Farm Progress

John Deere drafts Brock Purdy to launch search for chief tractor officer

New campaign features star athletes in search for company’s social media leader.

Andy Castillo

April 19, 2024

4 Min Read
San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Brock Purdy
JD DRAFTS PURDY: John Deere has drafted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy to help land the face of its social media brands. Pictured is a screen grab image from a video announcing the candidate search.Photos courtesy of John Deere

John Deere has enlisted the help of San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Brock Purdy to help land the next face of its social media brands. In a video announcing the candidate search, Purdy climbs into a tractor that’s parked in front of a California condo. Offensive tackle Colton McKivitz gets in next to him.

“Where we going?” McKivitz asks. To find “the QB of JD,” Purdy replies.

Over the next few minutes, they field calls inquiring about the job from Tyrese Haliburton, Gabby Douglas, Anna Frey and a host of social media influencers, including the Millennial Farmer and iJustine.

“This isn’t just a job; it’s the ultimate influencer adventure,” quips the machinery brand’s press announcement. “John Deere, with the help of quarterback Brock Purdy, launched an epic hunt for the company’s first-ever chief tractor officer — a witty and charismatic content creator ready to help the iconic American brand celebrate farmers, contractors, groundskeepers and brand fans.”

San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Brock Purdy, left, and offensive tackle Colton McKivitz, right, are featured in John Deere’s latest advertising campaign

Deere is looking for “a natural storyteller” who enjoys the outdoors to fill the position. The statement notes they should be “a little extra in front of the camera. Interested candidates must submit a short-form video with their pitch for the position, showing creativity, humor and passion. They are also encouraged to publish entries to TikTok and/or Instagram, tagging @JohnDeere. Applications close April 29.

“Behind every part of our daily lives — from your breakfast to your clothes to the roads you drive on — there are unsung heroes behind the scenes with a story to tell,” says Jen Hartmann, Deere’s global director of strategic public relations and enterprise social media. “The role of the chief tractor officer isn’t just about creating content, it’s about creating compelling stories about the people and industries supporting all of us.” 

Watch the video below:

CNH Industrial lays off 200

In a letter addressed to CNH Industrial’s CEO Scott Wine, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., says she’s “disappointed” by the brand’s decision to lay off more than 200 workers from its Racine-based manufacturing facility. The layoffs are a byproduct of top-down restructuring efforts to streamline the machinery brand’s focus on the development of precision agricultural technology, according to a November earnings statement.

Baldwin notes that more layoffs could be on the horizon.

“Agricultural machinery has been made in Racine by your workers for over 175 years. They have made Case­−New Holland into the international manufacturing powerhouse it is today,” Baldwin wrote in the letter. “Moving production to Mexico, as you are considering, would not only be a slap in the face to the workers who have given so much, it would destroy the institutional knowledge that your workforce has developed over decades of building agricultural equipment.”

As part of its restructuring plan, CNH reduced the size of its senior leadership team and trimmed its salaried workforce by 5% at the end of last year. 

Across the industry, the equipment and machinery marketplace has flatlined as the economy slows and spending stabilizes. This, in turn, is putting downward pressure on prices — welcome news for those farmers who have been waiting for a downturn to purchase new or used machinery.

The announced layoffs come after over 1,000 CNH Industrial workers in Iowa and Wisconsin went on strike for a better contract for more than 260 days from 2022 to 2023, a statement from Baldwin’s office says. CNH and its workers reached an agreement last year.

Titan expands Iowa plant

Titan International has completed a $2 million expansion of its Des Moines, Iowa, manufacturing facility. Upgrades include two new 104-inch curing tire presses, which will accommodate an expanded tire line.

The expansion is aimed at increasing production and delivery speed, so that dealers don’t have to stock high levels of inventory, according to a statement from the brand.

“The upgraded building and two new tire presses are the culmination of several years of investment in expanding the Des Moines plant capability and producing larger radial ag tires,” says Lester Brewer, vice president of NA tire operations at Titan. “This investment has allowed us to increase our output capacity for premium tires, positioning us to better deliver on the projected additional volume needed in the marketplace.”

The new tire machines incorporate automation for repeatable tasks, improving safety for employees while enhancing overall quality and productivity. They’ll also give Titan the necessary infrastructure to introduce a few new product offerings throughout the year.

About the Author(s)

Andy Castillo

Andy Castillo started his career in journalism about a decade ago as a television news cameraperson and producer before transitioning to a regional newspaper covering western Massachusetts, where he wrote about local farming.

Between military deployments with the Air Force and the news, he earned an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Bay Path University, building on the English degree he earned from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He's a multifaceted journalist with a diverse skill set, having previously worked as an EMT and firefighter, a nightclub photographer, caricaturist, features editor at the Greenfield Recorder and a writer for GoNomad Travel. 

Castillo splits his time between the open road and western Massachusetts with his wife, Brianna, a travel nurse who specializes in pediatric oncology, and their rescue pup, Rio. When not attending farm shows, Castillo enjoys playing music, snowboarding, writing, cooking and restoring their 1920 craftsman bungalow.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like