John Deere celebrated the achievements of the team at the Turf Care manufacturing facility last week, as it commemorated its 20-year anniversary. Located in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., the 335,000-square-foot Turf Care facility first opened in 1997, producing Light Weight Fairway Mowers (LWFM). Over the next 20 years the facility would introduce several new commercial and golf mowing innovations, becoming an important manufacturing hub for John Deere commercial-grade production.
“Over the past 20 years, we’ve cultivated a team of professionals who take great pride in designing and manufacturing top quality products in the Turf Care facility,” said Siva Sundaresan, factory manager and global director for commercial mowing and golf equipment at John Deere. “In addition to producing innovative equipment that is revolutionizing the golf and landscaping industries, we are also proud to employ a team that is dedicated to bettering their local communities.”
Since the production of the first LWFM, the Turf Care facility has introduced more than 15 products into production, and celebrated significant milestones along the way:
- July 1997: Manufactured the first unit at the Turf Care facility
- 1999: Introduced multiple equipment offerings, including LWFMs, Riding Greens Mowers, 2653 Trim and Surrounds Mowers, ProGator™ Utility Vehicles for the Golf business, 700 Series Front Mowers and Decks, Gas ZTrak™ Mowers and Wide Area Mowers for the Commercial business
- 2000: Began production of the 1400 Series Front Mowers and Decks
- 2007: Transferred production of the Z997 Diesel ZTrak Mowers to Turf Care, where it continues to be built to the present day
- March 2015: Turf Care Produced its 500,000th unit
- April 2015: Relocated production of QuikTrak™ Mowers to Turf Care
The Turf Care facility, which also operates a 320,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in Benson, N.C., is not only heralded for its production records, but also for its dedication to employee safety and giving back to the local community.
“The safety of our team is key to our success. Since opening the doors in 1997, Turf Care has received numerous operational achievements, including NC STAR Certification, the National Safety Council Occupational Excellence Achievement Award, and the NCDOL Certificate of Safety Achievement. Additionally, Turf Care boasts a 0.91 OSHA Recordable Rate over the past decade, compared to the industry average of 5.5, demonstrating our commitment to safety,” added Sundaresan.
Turf Care employees are active with the local community, volunteering with multiple local charities including Junior Achievement, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and FIRST® Lego League. The employees have partnered with Habitat for Humanity since 2015 when they sponsored their first home, and participate weekly in the Backpack Buddies program benefitting a local elementary school.
Additionally, the Turf Care facility is a North Carolina Environmental Steward, was honored with the John Deere Enterprise Well Being Award, and is a member of the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Circle.
With this 20-year anniversary, John Deere is also excited to honor 19 employees who have worked at the facility since the doors opened in 1997. The dedication of this select group is a lasting example of the impact the Turf Care facility has in the industry and local communities.
John Deere will celebrate the Turf Care facility anniversary on Saturday, July 22, during a special event for its employees, their families and the local community on the Turf Care Facility grounds.