Store Also Carries
Stihl, Nutrena Feed,
BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
There will soon be several million dollars' worth of distinctively green John Deere farm equipment for sale at the new Meade Tractor dealership at 2960 W. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
A grand opening will be held on Saturday for the dealership that will serve John Deere customers in a three-state, 14-county area that includes Greene, Cocke, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Tennessee; Scott, Wise and Norton counties in Virginia; and Haywood, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties in North Carolina.
"We're a whole different line than most Deere dealerships," said store manager Rick Shelton. "Deere will be looking at what we're doing. We don't want to be a stop, but a destination," he said.
Independently-owned Meade Tractor will sell a full line of John Deere equipment -- "everything from lawn mowers to combines," Shelton said.
The store will also be a full-line Stihl dealer, offering sales, parts and service on Stihl equipment, plus sharpening services for mowers and saws.
The store will also be a dealer for Featherlite Trailers and Nutrena Feed, offering custom nutrition products for animals from cats and dogs to horses, alpacas and deer, along with a full line of animal supplies.
GRAND OPENING ACTIVITIES
The grand opening on Saturday will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 4-plus-acre Meade Tractor grounds directly across the West Andrew Johnson Highway from the intersection with Hal Henard Road.
"We'll be giving something away every 30 minutes," Shelton said.
The grand prize will be a locally-made John Deere riding lawn mower.
In addition there will be free hot dogs, a DJ playing songs, a live radio remote broadcast, inflatables for the kids, the U.S. Army NASCAR vehicle and a demonstration by Joel Porter of Crown Creek Kennels in Cherryville, N.C.
Porter will bring some of his dogs and give demonstrations of gun dog training, hunt test training, and obedience training.
A free shuttle will transport event-goers from the parking lot to the dealership.
'GREEN CHALLENGE' TUES.
Then, on Tuesday, May 3, Meade Tractor is hosting a Drive Green Challenge event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will give property-owners and farmers a chance to ride-and-drive and ask questions about the latest models of utility tractors available from John Deere.
The Meade Tractor Drive Green Challenge event is one of many to be held across the nation and features a uniquely-detailed semi-tractor trailer that will transport a one-of-a-kind tricked out "Tail Gator" XUV and several of the company's utility tractors to all the events, a news release said.
Dealer representatives will be on hand to demonstrate both John Deere and competitive equipment and answer questions.
In addition, Drive Green Challenge event attendees can register to win a custom version of the Gator XUV, which will be given away later this summer.
"The Drive Green Challenge events are designed to give people a one-stop opportunity to check out and operate different brands of tractors and a variety of other John Deere equipment they might be interested in," Shelton said.
"It's a convenient way to compare features of different equipment and get the latest information on attachments, maintenance and other aspects of equipment ownership," he added.
"With the Drive Green Challenge semi-truck and trailer and the specially-outfitted 'Tail Gator' XUV on display with its sound system, large video screens and barbecue grill, we want to make it a fun and informative experience for everyone," Shelton said.
For more information about the Drive Green Challenge event, visit the Drive Green website at http://www.johndeere.com/drivegreen
ABOUT MEADE TRACTOR
Meade Tractor has John Deere dealerships in Abingdon, Va., Marion, Va., and Bluff City.
Charles Meade, of Abingdon, is the owner.
Shelton, the local store manager, has 11 years of experience with John Deere. He was born in the Sunnyside community and is a 1980 graduate of South Greene High School and a military veteran of Operation Desert Storm.
The Parts Manager is Brenda Tyree, of Limestone, with 10 years of experience in parts with John Deere.
The Service Manager is Mike Babb, with 22 years of experience.
Mark Ricker and Jeff Campbell will be the sales representatives for the new store.
Earlier this week, Shelton took time out from getting ready for the grand opening to show off the inside of his dealership and the $200,000 in renovations that went into modernizing the former Greene County Express location.
It's not your father's farm implement store.
The spacious and customer-friendly interior offers high ceilings, attractive lighting, pods for sales and service transactions, and easy access to a full range of items for sale.
Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The telephone number is 787-7701.