Westyn Wilson is John Deere’s first ever junior CEO
By Diego Flammini
Photo courtesy of John Deere
John Deere employees and executives helped make a young boy’s wish come true.
Westyn Wilson (pictured), a 12-year-old from Pine, Ariz., got to visit John Deere facilities as part of a Make-A-Wish experience.
In 2019, Wilson was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a kidney cancer that primarily affects children.
And after about one year of weekly chemotherapy treatments, Westyn is in remission.
Wilson has loved tractors from a young age and wants to own a John Deere 730 – the same tractor his grandfather had.
“There is nothing this kid has wanted more than green tractors,” Westyn’s father Dustin told KWQC.
Knowing what the young boy went through, being able to provide moments of joy is a special honor, said Nate Clark, president of the John Deere Foundation.
“It is enormously humbling that somehow, we did something to earn such a special place in someone’s life,” he told Farms.com. “And when someone chooses us – be they a customer or a Make-A-Wish child and family – we want to show them what they mean to us as well. There is no better way to do this than through our own people and in one of our hometowns.”
Wilson’s family, which also includes his mother Shelbi and his brother, 8-year-old Aceyn, enjoyed multiple experiences while in Illinois.
First, at Harvester Works in East Moline on July 14, employees greeted the family of four and took them on a VIP tour.
As part of the tour, Westyn pressed the button to start a new laser system and received a laser cut-out plaque featuring his name and pieces of farm equipment.
That night, the family went on a shopping spree at the John Deere Store and had a party at the John Deere Pavilion.
The next day, the Wilsons visited the John Deere Demo Site in Coal Valley, Ill., where they watched construction and forestry equipment at work and explored the machines up close.
Following that visit, the family arrived at John Deere’s World Headquarters where more employees and executives, including Charman and CEO John May, greeted the family.
The family shared a meal with Mr. May, who then took the Wilsons to the executive board room.
While there, Mr. May and Westyn signed a document making the young boy John Deere’s first ever junior CEO.
In addition, John Deere organized a trip for the family to see a Quad City River Bandits baseball game.
The experience is something the family won’t soon forget.
“We are beyond grateful. I don’t know if we will ever be able to truly thank (John Deere and Make-A-Wish) the way we would like,” Shelbi Wilson told KWQC.