John Deere will donate $1 million over five years to The First Tee, a non-profit organization that provides life skills and character education programs using golf as a platform.
James M. Field, president of John Deere’s Worldwide Agriculture and Turk Division, and Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., CEO of The First Tee, made the announcement at the Fold Industry Show on Thursday Feb. 7.
"We have a long history of providing unique learning and networking opportunities for turf care professionals, and we are deeply engaged in the golf industry as the official equipment supplier of the PGA TOUR and title sponsor of a PGA TOUR event," said Field. "Our donation to The First Tee allows us to demonstrate this fierce commitment to golf through support of an outstanding and proven program for youth development. We are thrilled to provide our support of this initiative at many levels of our enterprise, including volunteer programs at John Deere units around the U.S."
The $1 million donation will be used to support The First Tee network andcreate and launch a golf maintenance career-oriented youth development program, in conjunction with the PGA TOUR. Local chapters of The First Tee will partner with the TOUR's Tournament Player Courses (TPC) to provide the opportunity for high school-aged participants to learn about topics in agronomy and golf course maintenance careers. As a planned extension, participants will also have the chance to experience what it's like to maintain a TPC golf course during a tournament week.
"At The First Tee, we rely on strong partners like John Deere Golf to help us carry out our ambitious efforts to reach 10 million additional young people between 2011 and 2017," said Barrow. "We're thankful that in addition to their substantial donation, John Deere will help us develop a program to teach our participants about turf care and what it means to be a leader in the golf industry."