The day started early as we departed at 6:45am to drive over to John Deere. Once we got to the facility, we were greeted by employees as we received a brief presentation about the company where we learned about the 18 countries they operate in, their sales and revenue, and the different types of tractors they manufacture. Following the presentation, we followed some very nice tour guides through the factory.

We were surprised to see how efficient and easy the employees made making tractors. It is crazy that every 3.3 minutes, a new tractor was finished being built. It was also surprising to know that most all the tractors they manufacture are unique from one another as they are all tailor made to customer demand. Following the tour we were able to hear from three executives and ask them any questions we had. We then got to eat lunch in the employee cafeteria, which was a special treat! Lunch was delicious potatoes, schnitzel, salads and more. We had a great time and learned a lot about John Deere.

After our great tour of the John Deere Production Line, we made our way to BASF where we heard from four distinguished executives.  They shed light into the EU’s market and how they diversify their products and services. They expanded upon their biotechnology and regulatory environment. It was enlightening as to how different of an approach the EU takes to production agriculture compared to the U.S.  Following the presentations, we were taken on a tour of the greenhouses and a few plots at BASF.  It was interesting to see how precise the environments were created for the experiments.  In addition, it was incredible how meticulously kept the whole facility was.  

Following the wonderful presentations and tour, we were provided with an exquisite meal at Palm’s by BASF while being accompanied by Anne van Gastel, Andrew Beadle, Sven-Oliver Jungklaus, and Jens Lerchl.  We started out the meal with numerous delicate appetizers followed by a luscious steak.  The appetizers were a great sample of German culture.  Throughout the evening we were able to socialize and relax while enjoying the company of the BASF executives.  During our wonderful evening we discussed everything from market potentials to cricket and even dabbed into why the U.S. should transfer to the metric system.

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Blog Writer
Theresa Miller, Visiting Academic Advisor and Marketing Coordinator