FIRST Announces John Deere as Strategic Partner

John Deere Continues to Expand Support for Global Not-for-Profit as Part of Their Dedication to STEM Education

MANCHESTER, N.H., June 2, 2017 – FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a global not-for-profit founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), today announced John Deere as a Strategic Partner. The company (NYSE: DE) has significantly expanded their support for FIRST over the last five years, and joins more than 20 companies in the top-tier level for sponsorship of the youth-serving organization.

FIRST Strategic Partner status recognizes John Deere as providing the highest level of sponsorship to FIRST through financial and volunteer support. John Deere’s support for FIRST began for the 2011-2012 season when it sponsored 45 teams in the U.S. As John Deere expanded its support of youth STEM education through its signature program, John Deere Inspire, its commitment to FIRST grew.

For the 2015-2016 season, the John Deere Foundation sponsored 460 teams in four countries.  In addition to financial support, John Deere also supplied 250 FIRST team Mentors, and hundreds more event volunteers, collectively pledging more than 15,000 hours of service to the organization.

“Over John Deere’s 180-year history, it has shown a commitment to improving living standards for people everywhere,” said Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President. “This commitment is on full display through the John Deere Foundation’s financial commitment to FIRST. More importantly, this commitment is brought to life by the John Deere employees who spend thousands of hours sharing technical expertise and affirming the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®. Together, FIRST and John Deere make a powerful team helping inspire the next generation on innovators.”

For more information about FIRST programs and sponsorship opportunities, please contact


About FIRST® 
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to