There’s a popular saying that reminds us to “Walk a mile in my shoes. See what I see. Hear what I hear. Feel what I feel. Then, maybe you’ll understand why I do what I do.”
That’s the thinking behind several recent leadership volunteer projects, including one in Inner Mongolia last fall with John Deere China leaders.
A group of 30 employees traveled to the remote farming village of Shangtuhai Town, Wuchuan County, to engage in a variety of activities supporting John Deere Corporate Citizenship’s focus area of solutions for world hunger.
For four days, the leadership team worked alongside local villagers harvesting potatoes, and sharing their skills on such topics as agricultural development, pest prevention and farm mechanization. ?The program was funded by the John Deere Foundation, and administered by its non-profit?partner PYXERA Global.
We want to have a closer contact with agriculture and farmers as well as develop a deeper understanding of production problems.”
In addressing the village farmers, John Deere China Country Manager Jinghui Liu said his team wanted to become more “grounded.” “We want to have a closer contact with agriculture and farmers as well as develop a deeper understanding of production problems,” he said. “In addition, we also want to introduce you to how farmers from developed countries operate, and what farming in the future will look like. We’re hoping to open a window and let you know the outside world,” Liu added.
Building on the success of this project, John Deere China leaders are investigating future programs in western and southern China, where they would work alongside cotton and sugar cane farmers respectively.