The Benefits of Giving Back with RDO Caters Taters Sponsor, John Deere


Did you know giving back may boost your overall life satisfaction? The Women’s Philanthropy Institute recognized what it calls the “joy of giving” concept in a 2017 report. It noted that people are happier overall when they give to others – and the more a person gives, the happier they tend to be. Anyone who has been involved with RDO Caters Taters knows a hallmark of the event is lots of smiling faces. Of course, right? It is a fun event, with delicious food! But it goes deeper than that; the root of what the event is all about is what really gets that ear-to-ear reaction: giving back. Based on this “joy of giving” concept, it’s likely that team members from one sponsor – and longtime RDO partner – find themselves smiling all the time. John Deere Peanut butter and jelly. Thunder and lighting. Lennon and McCartney. With their rich history and decades of partnership, RDO Equipment Co. and John Deere are a classic partnership, like any of these dynamic duos. Since Ron Offutt took the reins of his first equipment store more than five decades ago, one group that has always been along for the ride is John Deere. A few years back, RDO and Deere expanded their partnership to include RDO Caters Taters, with Deere joining the effort as a sponsor. Deere believes in the importance of giving back, but not just when it comes to its own team members and communities. Rylee Streit, Sales Promotion Coordinator at John Deere says that the philosophy extends to dealer partners. “We believe in supporting our dealers and the communities they serve,” she said. “The John Deere team is really excited for the opportunity to continue supporting RDO Caters Taters again this year because we know it has a direct impact on the community.” Deere is no stranger to making an impact. Through its Bold Commitments program, the John Deere Foundation will invest $200 million over the next 10 years in key, strategic areas. Last year alone, the company donated more than $37 million to organizations and team members gave 120,000 hours of volunteer time to causes important to them. Trying to boil down those thousands of volunteer hours to highlight a few acts of community support proved difficult. However, one example really highlighted the shared roots of both RDO and Deere: agriculture. National FFA Organization In 1943, John Deere began a partnership with the National FFA Organization, a widely-respected organization that shares the same agricultural-based values as itself and RDO. In 2018, John Deere commemorated 75 years of partnership with the National FFA Organization by providing a $75,000 contribution to the FFA Living to Serve Platform. Since its first $1,000 contribution to its 75th-year anniversary support, Deere has done more than provide monetary donations. The company and team members also take an active role with the organization, with numerous team members giving their time to participate in FFA activities. Last year, COVID-19 posed a major challenge to how the FFA would operate many of its Career Development Events that normally would take place in person. That challenge extended to Deere, with many wondering how they could still “show up” for the FFA when in-person gatherings would be difficult or impossible. Rylee shares how the two groups were able to keep things going strong. “We learned there are a lot of ways to participate in FFA virtually,” she said. The National FFA Organization set up an online portal and trained Deere team members on how to judge its Career Development Events, things like national chapter applications and the annual National FFA Convention. Rylee was one of the team members who participated in this virtual judging and said it was a great way to continue to support one of Deere’s longtime partners during one of the most challenging times for everyone. In Alignment The Deere team appreciates another chance to experience the joy of giving back by supporting this year’s RDO Caters Taters charity, BIO Girls. Rylee says one thing she personally loves about RDO Caters Taters is that the event chooses a new benefiting charity every year, allowing supporters the opportunity to impact numerous causes in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “As a company, we have different areas of focus for our giving back efforts,” she explained, “so we enjoy being able to impact a new charity every year. It has been especially neat to learn about BIO Girls and their focus on education because creating educational opportunities is one of Deere’s areas of focus in our Bold Commitments strategy.” John Deere’s support of the Fargo-Moorhead community can be traced back more than 50 years and remains strong as every new year goes by. While their teams may be located far from the Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo, there is no doubt the joy of giving will reach Deere employees on November 16, even from hundreds of miles away. -- Join us for RDO Caters Taters for Charity, Tuesday, November 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo’s Crystal Ballroom. 100 percent of proceeds benefit BIO Girls. Interested in sponsorship? Find out more about the benefits sponsors receive for their generous support of RDO Caters Taters for Charity by visiting our Supporter tab. See event photos and special updates by following RDO Caters Taters on Facebook and RDO Caters Taters on Instagram.

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