For DeKalb's 100 year anniversary, Monsanto commissioned Paul Teutul Jr., of Paul Jr. Designs, to custom build a chopper for the milestone.
Paul Jr. unveiled it at the 2011 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. The crowd, along with representatives from Monsanto, got to see the bike for the first time. The bike will tour with the DeKalb brand for the rest of the year. In January, Monsanto will host a silent online auction. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the American Red Cross. Also, the auction winner will be awarded the chopper at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
The DeKalb brand was officially started Jan. 20, 1912 with the formation of the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association. The 11 founding farmers' initial goal was to improve soil quality, thereby raising corn yields in the process.
Some 20 years after the brand's formation, DeKalb adopted the winged ear of corn logo. According to Monsanto, the logo represented the fact that growers could expect their mortgage to fly away with the ear, as a result of higher yield potential.
To coincide with the chopper rollout, DeKalb's tent at the Farm Progress Show is filled with throwback signage from previous eras. Along with plenty of winged ear logos, the brand has a wall of advertising from farm publications dating back to the early 1900s. The first full page advertisement ran in the 1936 Prairie Farmer.
During the rollout, Paul Jr. gave a brief description of the bike. The wood grain finish makes it feel like a bike from years prior. However, no actual wood was incorporated in the design. The seat is from a tractor. Though it looks fairly spartan, Paul Jr. assures the crowd that a spring system gives it a very comfortable ride.
Paul Jr.'s show, "American Chopper," airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel. The DeKalb build is a special two part episode that begins in late September.