Friday Fun: Southeast Nebraska Family Wins 2016 John Deere Drive Green Grand Prize

John Deere tractor winner

Calvin Kunze thought it was probably too good to be true. Someone called him and told him he had won a new John Deere 2025R Compact Utility Tractor, equipped with an H130 Loader and 62D Mower Deck. “I was super shocked. I really have been ever since I got the call,” Kunze says when he found out it was no joke and he was chosen as the grand prize winner.

Last April the retired Nebraska food inspector attended a John Deere Drive Green event at Plains Equipment Group in Seward, Neb., where he registered to win the grand prize tractor package. Kunze’s name was chosen as the winner during the grand prize drawing that took place in December.

“I had been at the Drive Green event at the dealership the year before. I entered and didn’t win. So, I entered again this past year. I put my name in there and thought if I win something I do, if I don’t, I don’t,” Kunze says. “I told my wife, if I win, I’m going to do good things with it. I want to try to help other people.”

Helping others is something Kunze strongly believes in and he says can be traced backed to the work he did as a youngster on his family’s farm. These days he’s part of a tractor club in the Seward area that sponsors and participates in tractor drives to raise money for the Children’s Hospital in Omaha. “We have a fun days parade that we do every year. We take our antique tractors and drive them through the parades and we go to different events across Nebraska and do tractor shows,” Kunze says.

Plains Equipment has hosted Drive Green events for the past several years. “It gives customers a chance to get in the seat and operate the equipment they want. They can compare different sizes and specs, models and features. The mower line goes along with that, too,” Allen Troester, district manager for Plains Equipment, says. “It was a week-long event where we tried to get as many people into the dealership. We had just about every size of tractor from the 1 Series to the 6 Series and we encouraged everyone to sign up for the grand prize.”

Troester says John Deere dealers match their customers to the right machine that best fits their needs. After the purchase they help orientate new customers to their equipment. “We show them how to operate their machine with the proper settings and to operate it safely. We show them all of the controls and where to make the maintenance and service checks,” Troester says.

Kunze took delivery of his grand prize tractor package during a reception at Plains Equipment on Tuesday, Feb. 7. He says the new 2025R will be a welcome addition to his John Deere tractor collection that includes a 1959 730 Tractor and a 1010 Tractor.

Plains Equipment will host this year’s Drive Green event on May 10-13, in Seward. Complete details on the Drive Green Challenge events and program can be found at

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