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Family's love of farming and John Deere endures

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Every year the Gonyeaus take a family picture wearing John Deere hats.
Every year the Gonyeaus take a family picture wearing John Deere hats.

John Deere clothing holds a special meaning to the Gonyeau family of Colchester, Vermont. Every year, the family gathers together for a family portrait. The picture, however, differs from the garden variety ones of most other families.

The family comes together to celebrate its patriarch, Roger Gonyeau, and his love of John Deere apparel and tractors. Each member of the family wears a unique John Deere hat in honor of their grandfather, who has 16 tractors and 40 vintage John Deere hats. Gonyeau told the Burlington Free Press that his "tinkering with tractors and farming is something I have always loved to do."

This love of John Deere and farming extends to all family members, down to his 13 year-old grandson, Kiland Place, who connects with his grandfather through farm activities and his restoration of classic John Deere tractors. His uncle, Roger Gonyeau, remarks that his nephew "knows more about tractors than all of us."

Gonyeau Sr. shows no signs of slowing down. He has manyJohn Deere tractors to restore, including the first tractor he ever drove, a 1927 John Deere Model D. Gonyeau Sr. believes that it is "important to keep the heritage" of farming alive.

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