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John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company , an American corporation that manufactures agricultural, construction , and forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains (axles, transmissions, gearboxes) used in heavy equipment , and lawn care equipment. In 2018 , it was listed as 102nd in the Fortune 500 America 's ranking and was ranked 394th in the global ranking. The company also provides financial services and other related activities. Deere & Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DE. The company 's slogan is "Nothing Runs Like a Deere", and its logo is a leaping deer , with the words 'JOHN DEERE' under it. The logo has been used by the company for over 155 years. Deere & Company began when John Deere, born in Rutland, Vermont, USA on February 7, 1804, moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836 to escape bankruptcy in Vermont. Already an established blacksmith , Deere opened a 1,378- square - foot (128 m2) shop in Grand Detour in 1837, which allowed him to serve as a general repairman in the village , as well as a manufacturer of large tools such as pitchforks and shovels. Small tools production was just a start; the item that set him apart was the self -scouring steel plow, which was pioneered in 1837 when John Deere fashioned a Scottish steel saw blade into a plow. Prior to Deere's steel plow, most farmers used iron or wooden plows to which the rich Midwestern soil stuck, so they had to be cleaned frequently. The smooth-sided steel plow solved this problem , and greatly aided migration into the American Great Plains in the 19th and early 20th centuries.