Under the Hat

Our commitment to great customer service starts with the great people on our team.

You may already know and recognize many of the friendly faces around our Huron Tractor stores. They are your neighbours, part of our local communities, and hard-working members of our Huron Tractor team. But sometimes it's fun to learn just a little bit more about the people serving you from "under the Huron Tractor hat".

Meet Veronika Klaver.

Parts Representative | Huron Tractor, Mitchell

Veronika began her career with Huron Tractor in 2014. Growing up on her family’s cash crop and veal calf farm in Seaforth, Veronika is the 2nd oldest of 5 daughters who have all gained careers in the agri-business sector and are all active working on the family farm.

How I Got Here: Passionate about agriculture, Veronika attended Olds College in Alberta. During that time, she completed a co-op placement with Huron Tractor. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science Agri-Business Degree, we were thrilled to have Veronika join our Huron Tractor Parts department full-time.

Veronika is hard-working, energetic, and can even be credited with spear-heading the launch of our ever-popular “Santa Picture Days” event (which we definitely look forward to hosting again during less-challenging times in the future!)

When Not At Work: Veronika keeps busy farming with her parents, 4 sisters, and boyfriend’s family, as well as playing sports like broomball in winter and baseball in summer.

Favourite John Deere: A tough decision, but she decided on the 4020 and 4055 tractors. A favourite because they were the first two tractors her dad taught her how to drive growing up as a kid.

Why I Love What I Do: Veronika loves working with our customers and the simple enjoyment of having every day conversations about agriculture.

So thank you Veronika! Your passion for agriculture shows in all your hard-work and energy, and from your Huron Tractor family – it’s simply a joy working with you.

Meet John Johnston.

Turf & Compact Construction Equipment Technician | Huron Tractor, Thamesford

John is 67 years old and lives in London. He’s been pulling wrenches with our Thamesford service department for 20 years, and is the proud father of two, and grandfather of four. As you can see from his photo, John always has a big smile for everyone. You might also notice from his photo that John is not a big fan of wearing hats - even when profiled in an “Under the Hat” feature. (Just sayin’.)

How I Got Here: John has a long-standing career working around equipment and engines. Before joining Huron Tractor, he worked 20 years as a construction equipment technician. Ask anyone, John pretty much knows everything there is to know about engines. It is truly his passion and he spends as much time (if not more) around them when he’s off the job as he does at work.

When Not At Work: You’ll find John collecting and restoring vintage snowmobiles and bikes, as well as racing snowmobiles, motocross, and working on the crew of a stock car team. And yes, in case you’re double-checking, you read it right before. He’s doing all this at an impressive 67 years of age.

Favourite John Deere: You guessed it…. a 1978 John Deere Liquidator Snowmobile. In fact, John’s choice is rather appropriate, because as you may or may not already know, the iconic slogan "Nothing Runs Like a Deere", actually started with John Deere's snowmobile line in 1972.

Why I Love What I Do: Well, if you couldn’t tell from his life-long career and hobbies, John loves equipment and engines. If you’ve ever had a conversation with John, his enthusiasm and zeal is obvious as he loves sharing his knowledge and stories with people.

We’d also be remiss by not mentioning that John Johnston must clearly be partial to the name “John” so working with “John Deere” only seems fitting.

So thank you John – and with your Huron Tractor 20 year milestone, might we even say… “Nothing Runs Like John”.

Meet Andrea Shortreed.

Store Admin & Service Writer | Huron Tractor, Blyth

Andrea has been part of our local farming community her entire life - growing up on her family’s farm near Brussels, and now with her husband and five children on their farm outside of Walton. Her farming roots extend back through both sets of grandparents, who farmed around Blyth after emigrating from Holland in the late 1940’s, and generations of their large families continue farming here today.

How I Got Here: Some of Andrea’s earliest memories are of "parts-runs" with her dad to Huron Tractor Blyth, and then as his gofer once she could drive. She joined the Huron Tractor team in 2018, after years of managing her parents’ farm books, caring for her busy family, and previous work experience as a Service Writer.

In her dual-role as Store Admin and Service Writer, Andrea does it all. Multi-tasking in all areas of the business, Andrea capably takes it in stride, serving customers and staff alike with her competent nature and steadfast dedication to excellence.

When Not At Work: As you can imagine, Andrea’s talents, hobbies, and interests span everything from extensive home renovations, making maple syrup, decorating celebration cakes, camping, 4-wheeling, cottage-time, and of course chauffeuring her four sons and daughter to hockey, baseball, gymnastics, etc. Plus nurturing their family dog, who will otherwise hide shoes around their yard if feeling left out.

Favourite John Deere: Their 6140 tractor tops her list, but with four sons, her only opportunity behind the wheel was driving it home. She also has fond memories as a kid learning to cultivate with their 4240 tractor, which was passed along from her grandparents to her parents.

Why I Love What I Do: For Andrea, our customers, co-workers, and the every-day challenges are all part of the rural community she’s loved her entire life. And we're grateful for her conscientious care for all of us!

Meet Mike Wyant.

Service Technician | Huron Tractor, Stayner

Mike is 23 years old and lives in Stayner. He officially began his career as a Service Technician with Huron Tractor in 2015, but had already proven himself to be a valuable asset within our company.

How I Got Here: Growing up on his family’s cash crop farm, Mike always had an interest in farm equipment. In high school, Mike participated in co-op placements with Huron Tractor and his likeable, helpful, hard-working demeanor quickly made him a natural fit for our team. After graduating high school, Mike was hired full time and completed the John Deere Ag Tech Apprenticeship program. In his words, “It was a really good program, great information, great hands-on experience, and I would definitely recommend it.”

Mike has a big heart, is quiet, polite, always helping, and determined to get the job done right. When you think of Mike, you think integrity.

When Not At Work: You’ll still find him around equipment and continuing to help - working on the family farm and snowmobiling in winter.

Favourite John Deere: Mike’s always liked the John Deere 8410 Tractor, simply because it's proven and reliable. (Kind of like Mike, we think.)

Why I Love What I Do: For Mike, he loves that every day offers a different challenge, meeting customers, and helping resolve their equipment issues.

So from your Huron Tractor team - thank you, Mike! For being an integral part of what makes up the Huron Tractor difference.

Meet Charlotte Hilder.

Parts Manager | Huron Tractor, St.Thomas

Joining our Huron Tractor Parts team over 6 years ago, Charlotte accepted the position of Parts Manager in March 2020.

Charlotte lives in St.Thomas, but was originally born in Maine, and grew up in Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron. Her father owned standardbred horses and she enjoyed spending time at the track with him, travelling around Southwestern Ontario.

How I Got Here: Perhaps her time around horses is what initially steered Charlotte’s career path to the farm supply and farm equipment sector. She began working in admin and accounting, but was naturally drawn to the equipment side and progressed to roles in parts and as a service coordinator over the years, realizing how much she enjoyed working in this aspect of the business.

In 2014, Charlotte was welcomed to our St.Thomas Parts team. Well-liked by everyone, her experience, dedication, and commitment, are complemented by her humble, friendly manner.

When Not At Work: That same likability and loyalty are reflected away from work too: spending time with family and friends. Whether relaxing at home altogether around the fire pit, travelling to discover new places, or local road trips which no doubt often lead back to some of her beloved ‘lake-life’ roots, it’s all about the ones you’re with.

Why I Love What I Do: No surprise, what Charlotte genuinely loves about her job, is the people. Getting to see and work with new and long-standing customers, as well as our Huron Tractor team every day.

And we all appreciate how much it shows in her devotion to both!

Meet Mark Baker.

Customer Parts Counter Representative | Huron Tractor, Exeter

Mark is 46 years old and lives in Crediton with his wife and their 3 children. Raised in the Exeter area, Mark is a familiar face to many. His career with Huron Tractor began in 1993 as a Service Technician for 27 years, before recently moving into his current role in Parts.

How I Got Here: From his family’s farming background, Mark’s passion for farm equipment solidified at the age of 12, when he began cutting grass and doing odd jobs at a local dealership. He soon progressed to helping with small engine repairs and then larger equipment. Mark loved taking things apart and fixing them and knew he wanted to be a farm equipment mechanic. This led to high school co-op placements at Huron Tractor, followed by accepting a Huron Tractor apprenticeship.

27 years later, Mark’s passion for equipment continues strong. His valuable expertise, vast experience, and dedication to customers are a welcome asset to our Exeter Parts department.

Favourite John Deere: A tough question for someone with Mark's experience, but the classic John Deere 4450 or a 7800-7810-series tractor tops his list as always being a nice, general-work, farm tractor – not too big or too small.

When Not At Work: Commitment and reliability are evident with Mark's long-standing involvement in local organizations over the years, such as the Pineridge Snowmobile Club Board (24 years), Exeter Rodeo Committee (8 years), and presently the Crediton Cemetery Board (10+ years). Plus, as the father of 3 teenagers, Mark is kept busy supporting his kids in curling, hockey, and baseball.

Why I Love What I Do: Although Mark’s career is inspired by his love of agriculture, machinery and technology, what’s become best of all about what he does… is the people - our customers and co-workers - who’ve become like family.

And your Huron Tractor family, couldn’t agree more!

Meet Katherine Cruickshank.

Service Technician | Huron Tractor, Chatsworth

Katherine is 28 years old, born and raised in Shallow Lake, and joined Huron Tractor, Chatsworth, as a Service Technician in 2018.

Inspired by her dad, Katherine completed her Heavy Duty Equipment Technician apprenticeship, interprovincial Red Seal, and Trailer Mechanic License. Her career started 10 years ago working with an oil sands company in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Globally, Katherine was the first-ever female technician hired by the company, and worked on the largest pieces of equipment in the world, such as the 797 Haul Trucks, D11 Dozers, and Hitachi Excavators. Although Katherine enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience, coming back home to her amazing parents, two older brothers, german sheppard, and undoubtedly, her fiance, brought her to our Huron Tractor team.

Favourite John Deere: 60G Compact Excavator. They're like mini-versions of the large machines from out west. Plus fun to operate!

When Not At Work: Enjoying the rural life. Fishing, hunting, and working with her fiance on their 50 acres building tree blinds or maintaining a habitat.

Why I Love What I Do: Gaining experience from other mechanics and working with such a variety of equipment systems keeps Katherine constantly learning, which makes every day interesting and empowering - especially as a female in this industry.
But ultimately, it's realizing her dream as a little girl watching her dad work, and aspiring to be just like him one day.

We're glad you did!