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“Ag is important to everyone, and there are a lot of commonalities between the military and what we do,” Regional Store Manager John Gilligan said. “One case in point is the sense of urgency; the military teaches this better than anyone. We teach the same sense of urgency to the [Belkorp Ag] team.”

John Gilligan, our Regional Store Manager in Modesto, CA, has been with Belkorp for an incredible 37 years. He spent 33 years at our Stockton location before moving to the Modesto store, where he has been for the last 4 years.

Before he began his Belkorp career, John spent time serving in the military.

“I enlisted in the Marine Corps on my 17th birthday and shipped out about 20 days later,” he said. “Most of my service time was spent as a Plane Captain on A4M Skyhawks. I was responsible for inspecting and certifying the aircrafts safe for flight, launch and recovery.”

Shortly after serving in the Marine Corps, John got a job with his local John Deere dealership in Stockton.

“The Deere brand has been my life and has been very good to me,” he said. “Candidates with military experience are a good fit for our industry because they are taught accountability, brand loyalty and a training structure that is very similar to ours here at [Belkorp].

When John first started working for a dealership in 1980, he had no real tractor or agriculture experience. What he did have was aircraft technical experience and experience working on his own cars.

“Really, it was just some good people that took a chance on a young veteran,” he said. “I look back and remember the people that took me under their wings. My coworkers took the time to teach and coach me in this industry and also in life.”

Now, what John enjoys most about his job is passing along that knowledge and those life skills to other Belkorp Ag employees.

“I try to teach my employees what I learned the hard way,” he said, “and to always remember that someone, somehow, gave you a break — don’t ever forget that.”

According to John, it’s Belkorp’s team of devoted employees, who are focused on customer service excellence, that set the dealership apart from the rest.

“Belkorp Ag has employees like myself with 10, 20 and 30 plus years of experience,” John said. “We offer 24-hour support 7 days a week in all areas of our company. We have Product Support Representatives focused on getting our customers’ special needs met.”

Outside of work, John enjoys racing, classic cars, snorkeling and surfing. When he is on the job, he particularly likes working with his favorite pieces of equipment: the JD 4020, JD 2755, and JD 5101E.

John, we are so glad to have someone like you on the Belkorp Ag team. Thank you for all that you do for our company and community. You are valued and appreciated!