Cider and Classics with Author Neil Dahlstrom

Last Friday, Author and Monmouth College alum, Neil Dahlstrom spoke with students about careers they can pursue with History and Classics majors during the department’s “Cider with Classics”. Dahlstrom, who is now the official “Branded Properties and Heritage Manager” at John Deere expressed to students his appreciation for the Liberal Arts education he was given at Monmouth, as well as explained how he ended up in his current position. “Any time I could get my hands on experience, I did it,” said Dahlstrom.  

His book, “Tractor Wars: John Deere, Henry Ford, International Harvester, and the Birth of Modern Agriculture” combines Dahlstrom’s personal research into the industry, his experience teaching the history of John Deere, as well as the skills he had learned while studying at Monmouth.

He said that he greatly benefited from the reading, writing essays, and proposing thesis statements throughout college. Dahlstrom cited a quote from Former Classics Professor, Dr. Thomas J. Sienkewicz which he had been told as a student of his, “The book you need is next to the book you’re looking for.”

Dahlstrom said that if you want to get into the archivist field you need to, “Do a little bit of everything, because you don’t know where that’s gonna go.” As the first person with his position in the John Deere company, he says he is grateful that he decided to take a job as an archivist at the company despite his previous lack of interest in agriculture.

“You just have to make your way through it, do the hard time… The best advice I have is just hang in there,” said Dahlstrom.

Dani Brogan – Contributing Writer

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