Graduate: Benji Blevin

Max Cusack - John Deere Graduate

Dealer Development Manager

Soldier, wildlife protector, engineer – Benji Blevin’s life and career has been anything but predictable. But underpinning it all has been one key driver: a passion for a more sustainable future and making positive change in the world.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Benji's family left their farm in 2003 and resettled in Queensland where he went on to study mechanical engineering and spent time as a combat engineer with the Australian Army and Army Reserves.

However, joining John Deere was a long-held goal and Benji secured a spot in the company's graduate program in 2016. "I grew up around farm equipment and spent time on John Deere machinery whilst at university during summer breaks." Benji said. "As an engineer, I always had an interest in how machines worked, and particularly the technology of John Deere. The excellent reputation of the John Deere brand, made me confident that they would be a great company to work for."

Since joining John Deere, Benji has gone on to work as a Precision Ag Specialist, Precision Ag Product Manager, and is currently Dealer Development Manager where he is focussed on driving improved business performance and customer experiences across our dealer network. He believes the graduate program has been integral in supporting his growth as an emerging leader in his field, while allowing him to progress his career quickly. "The program enabled me to develop to a point where the company was confident for me to step into a fulfilling and exciting field-based role where I could work with our products and technology, supporting dealers and customers," he said. "The relationships and knowledge learnt from various departments during the grad program helped me to quickly grasp new roles by knowing who to go to for help."

A key part of Benji's current role is working with dealers to improve their ability to sell and support John Deere equipment, as well as prepare for the transformational changes that lies ahead of the industry, such as autonomy. "The transition towards autonomy is a journey for our customers and dealers. We have an important role to play in preparing our dealers with the knowledge, processes and systems to support our customers with this technology and ensure that customers are aware of what their equipment is capable of, and how to get the most out of it."

Benji says that all works into a bigger goal: producing equipment and technology in the most sustainable way and preserving the world for future generations. "What I do at work, and what we all do at John Deere, has a direct impact on the outcomes of our customers around the world. The great thing about advancements in technology are the mutual benefits for our customers, and the planet; to be more productive and profitable, but also more sustainable. The world needs more food, fibre, fuel and infrastructure, and knowing that I am contributing to this global need, while helping to build more sustainable industries and livelihoods, is what keeps me motivated."

However, Benji's personal commitment to sustainability does not stop there. While completing his schooling, Benji's deep interest in wildlife conservation, particularly in Southern Africa, developed. "Along with my two brothers, we frequently return to this part of the world to immerse ourselves in some of world's most incredible, true wilderness areas," Benji said. The brothers have even taken the step of forming a wildlife charity. "It provides funding to various operations and initiatives such as anti-poaching, to help preserve the wildlife and their habitat for future generations. John Deere has always been very supportive of my extra-curricular activities, and I think this is reflective of the company's higher purpose to make a positive contribution to the world we live in."