Case IH recently entered into an agreement with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, helping preserve the company’s connection to a treasured piece of Case IH history. New Case IH equipment will be leased at a nominal annual fee for an ongoing 10-year rolling commitment. The Case IH equipment is for use at the St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville, Ill.
Under the agreement, Case IH will lease tractors with loaders, mowers and utility vehicles to the district, which will pay for insurance and routine maintenance.
Johnson Tractor, in Janesville, Wis., and Rochelle, Ill., is providing the equipment to be used in the lease agreement. “We are pleased to participate in this agreement with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District,” says Leo Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Tractor with his brother, Eric. “We feel it’s important to have Case IH equipment at a farm that holds special importance to our company, and we see potential for developing even closer ties in the future.”
The agreement once again connects St. James Farm with its historic International Harvester (IH) roots. Case IH was formed in 1985, when Case’s parent company acquired the agricultural assets of IH. Similarly, IH was founded in 1902 as part of the merger of five successful agricultural equipment manufacturers, including Cyrus McCormick’s McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. Cyrus’s great-nephew, Chauncey, also an International Harvester board member, purchased St. James Farm in 1920. His son, Brooks, who served as International Harvester’s CEO, took over the farm in the 1950s. He sold it in 2000 to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, which took possession in 2007.
Patricia Lardie, Government Sales Manager for Case IH North America states, “The St. James Farm location makes it accessible to Case IH global headquarters in Racine, Wis., our world-class Burr Ridge, Ill., engineering center and many current and retired employees and their families. Sharing the experience of St. James Farm with exposure to new Case IH equipment truly ties the past and present. It is sure to precipitate many memories and wonderful stories.”
The 607-acre St. James Farm Forest Preserve is a popular destination for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. It is open daily between “Family Field Day” in late May and the end of November. For more information on ways to experience conservation, education and recreation in DuPage County, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.com.
There’s a renewed interest in tracing our roots back to previous generations. Tell us about the history of your farm – how many generations have farmed your ground? How have farming practices changed during that time?