John Deere’s can-do attitude fights hunger

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If you've driven by the John Deere Pavilion in downtown, Moline recently, you may have noticed a different kind of combine on display.

John Deere employees have built a life-size replica of their new S-Series combine with cans and cans of food. More than 300,000 cans of corn, pumpkin, black olives, and a lot of green beans and spinach create the sculpture with bags of rice, popcorn, and pasta surrounding the structure to make a field.

The project is called the "Can Do" program. It's designed to raise awareness on the importance of farming, while fighting hunger in the Quad City community. Every year, farmers produce safe, healthy, and abundant food for a growing world population while using the same amount of land, water, and other resources. New equipment technologies, like the S-Series combine, can help farmers meet that demand.

John Deere is also hoping to break a world record with the "Can Do" project. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Thailand holds the current record for the largest canned food structure. It consisted of 247,580 cans and was achieved by the Architecture Students of Chulalongkorn University and the Food Industry Network Co.,Ltd. at the IMPACT Exhibition Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand, on March 3rd, 2011. On Thursday, November 17th, 2011, John Deere will place the last can in their combine sculpture, breaking the world record by more than 300,000 cans.

The "Can Combine" will be on display at the John Deere Pavilion until mid-December. Workers will disassemble the combine and all the cans, bags, and boxes of food will be donated to the River Bend Food Bank in Moline. The Pavilion is then closing for two months for a major renovation project. It will be back open to the public in mid-February.