Love at the John Deere Dealership: Rob and Karen Dove’s Valentine’s Story

Indiana farmers Rob and Karen Dove, who first met and fell in love at the John Deere dealership in Newberry, Indiana. Photo: C.J. Miller / Michigan Ag Today.

Rob and Karen Dove’s story sounds like a Hallmark Channel Movie! The Indiana farm couple will be celebrating 37 years together—and it all started at their local John Deere dealership!

“I was going for parts, and she was working there—and we made a connection,” says Rob Dove of Elnora, who says his wife Karen first caught his eye back in 1986 when she was working for the John Deere dealership in Newberry, Indiana. The dealership is owned by Hutson, Inc. today, but at that time, it was called McMillan Implement.

“Karen was behind the counter doing bookwork. I was kind of scared, I guess, to ask her out—but I did get up the nerve and we started dating,” according to Rob.

Karen says Rob got some help from some of his friends who worked with her at the dealership.

“Well, there were two salesmen working there—and I wasn’t dating anybody and he wasn’t dating anybody—and they talked him and asking me out,” according to Karen.

The John Deere dealership in Newberry, Indiana where Rob and Karen Dove first met in 1986. At the time, it was McMillan Implement. Today, it is Hutson, Inc. Photo courtesy of Hutson, Inc.

“He came to my parents’ house, picked me up, and we went to Bloomfield, Indiana to drive-in movie on our first date,” says Karen. “Then, he told me the story about how it was a terrible time for him to start dating somebody because of planting season.”

Rob shares a similar version of the story.

“I told her at the time that it was probably a really bad time for me to be even thinking about dating anyone just because it was time to plant and I probably wouldn’t be able to see her very much,” says Rob. “But she was very receptive to that. We saw each other whenever we could—and as planting season had come and gone, we saw more of each other and then we got married that winter.”

Karen says it was destiny that brought them together.

“For some reason, I always wanted to marry a farmer. I don’t know why but I did—one with the John Deere tractor!” Karen said with a chuckle.

In 2022, Rob and Karen both received the Master Farmer Award from Indiana Prairie Farmer and Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.

Today, not only do Rob and Karen farm together and raise over 100 head of Black Angus cattle, but they also raised a family together.

“I’m very proud of all of them—my son, as well as my daughter and her husband,” says Rob. “Karen and I also have a two-and-a-half-year-old grandson! He is a blast and we’re just having a real good time with him—so, everything has been a blessing.”

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news story about Indiana farm couple Rob and Karen Dove as they share their story of finding love at their local John Deere dealership!

Click BELOW to hear the FULL podcast interview with Rob and Karen Dove as they talk further about how they first met, and their lives together on their farm in southwestern Indiana.

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