Thousands of antique John Deere tractor enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada are traveling to the Quad Cities in March to attend the “Gathering of the Green” conference. The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois.  The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.

The “Gathering of the Green” is a biannual event for John Deere two-cylinder and New Generation tractor collectors, restorers and enthusiasts.  Over the years, thousands of event participants have traveled to the Quad Cities from coast to coast and from foreign countries to spend time with fellow John Deere fans.

The upcoming event will be held at the RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St. in downtown Davenport, Iowa, on March 16-19, 2016.  With the theme, “Forge to Farm” the convention-style conference offers admirers of John Deere antique two-cylinder and New Generation tractors and implements an opportunity to enjoy workshops and shop the vendor area.  There will also be an opening reception, evening speakers, John Deere factory and ag-related tours, a fun auction and an ending banquet.

60+ technical and historical workshops including sessions for spouses will be presented over three days.  Topics such as plows, combines, planters; decals, cooling systems, fine tuning a two-cylinder tractor, assessment of head/ block/transmission, New Gen hydraulics, New Gen diesel repair, carbs, electrical systems and sheet metal repair/painting will be offered, along with many others.  Go to www.gatheringofthegreen.com for a complete list.

65-70 vendors offer repair services; new, used, and reproduction parts; tractor restoration; manuals; literature books; tires; signs; decals; art; toys, clothing,  memorabilia and more.  See www.gatheringofthegreen.com for a current list of vendors.

The extensive displays for this year will mirror the 2016 “Gathering” theme of “Forge to Farm.”  Attendees can view significant tractors and implements from yesteryear as well as a vintage barn, early 1900s corn crib and an old time livery stable.  You will also see the “Forge to Farm” theme reproduced in the main Atrium as well as the history of growing and harvesting of hay.

Evening speakers will be Don McKinley, who will trace the evolution of agricultural equipment from early settlers to present, and the banquet keynote speaker is Dr. Jerry Apps, who will have an interesting and humorous presentation entitled, “Rural Wit and Wisdom.”

Go to the “Gathering” website at www.gatheringofthegreen.com for detailed information about the conference including registering online or by paper.