Supporting AgIn celebrating National Ag Day, AEM recognizes the importance of agriculture and the vital role it plays in society. Today serves as a valuable opportunity to not only celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture across the United States and around the world, but also for AEM to reaffirm its commitment to supporting farmers and ag equipment end users alike.

AEM recently spoke with three of its association staff members whose day-to-day responsibilities impact manufacturers of agriculture equipment and the ag industry as a whole. They discussed why they embarked on a career that supports the ag industry, their most notable accomplishments, what the future holds for ag, and more.

AEM: What pursued you to go into a career that supports the ag industry?

Nick Tindall, AEM senior director of regulatory affairs and ag policy: As an Iowa farm boy, ag is in my blood. And as a student of history, I know it’s the most important industry in the world.

John Wagner: AEM director of materials management: I’m someone who grew up on a farm, and both my parents grew up on farms. If I wasn’t going to grow up to be a farmer myself, I certainly wanted to pursue a career in an industry that supported farmers.

Brian Voss, AEM agriculture services manager: I’m a fifth-generation farmer. Both AEM and myself have ag roots that run deep, which is something that is near and dear to me. Plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I just plain love equipment, which explains my huge collection of 1/64th farm toys.

Tindall

 

 

"Ag is in my blood," said Nick Tindall, AEM senior director of regulatory affairs and ag policy. "And as a student of history, I know it’s the most important industry in the world."

 

 AEM: What motivates you to work on behalf of the manufacturers of ag equipment and the farmers who use it?

Voss: I’m extremely motivated to work on behalf of AEM members and the ag industry as a whole. I consider myself fortunate to work for an association with a storied history representing agriculture representing ag equipment manufacturers for 125 years and counting.

Wagner: I have seen so much progress in the nearly 40 years I’ve been involved in agriculture. Today, equipment size, technology applications and innovations in precision agriculture are the constants that encourage me about the future of agriculture in our world.

Tindall: The technological developments across ag, but in part in the equipment sector, make this an exciting time to be involved. I’m also motivated by the challenges posed by 2050 populations projections, which make the support we provide farmers and ranchers evermore critical.

AEM: What is your proudest achievement or accomplishment related to your career in the ag industry?

Wagner: I would have to say helping people understand the capabilities of the latest products to help them achieve their goals and solve their problems.

Tindall: It would have to be preventing the implementation of bad regulatory policy through positive, proactive engagement with federal agencies.

Wagner

 

 

"Equipment size, technology applications and innovations in precision agriculture are the constants that encourage me about the future of agriculture in our world," said John Wagner, AEM director of materials management. 

 

 AEM: In your opinion, what does the future hold for the ag industry as a whole? What factors will help shape that future?

Voss: It starts with diet and energy. In particular, animal protein production, internal combustion engines, and their future 10 years from now and beyond. As fads come and go, and ideas about the future of food and energy continue to develop, it’s really quite hard to know what will stick. We don’t know what fantastic innovation lies ahead, only what we know now. Currently, corn and soybeans dominate row crop farmers rotations and their commodity prices help keep farmland values where they stand. The two largest uses for corn and soybeans are animal feed and biofuels. However, a change in diet (i.e. less animal protein consumed) or what the future holds for alternative energy (i.e. decreases in consumption of fuels used in popular internal combustion engines) could severely decrease farmland values, which by some estimates amounts to over 80 percent of a row crop farmer’s assets. With that said, there are plenty of opportunities for farmers to position themselves for the future. Equipment and technology continually improve at a rapid pace, and an ever-evolving world still needs the food, fuel, and fiber that have made farmers famous for a long, long time.

Tindall: In the long term, few industries can expect a brighter future than ag. Agriculture produces the most important resource in the world: food. And as we approach 9.5 billion people, the importance of farmers and ranchers will only grow with time.

Wagner: Ultimately, I think the future of ag is only limited by the imagination and creativity of those entering the field today.

Voss

 

 

"Both AEM and myself have ag roots that run deep, which is something that is near and dear to me," said Brian Voss, AEM agriculture services manager.

 

 AEM: If you could give one piece of advice to a young person considering a career in the ag industry, what would it be?

Tindall: Do it!

Wagner: Be open to the opportunities that present themselves. My career path was not a straight line, but it has given me experiences that could not be duplicated.

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