Ag Leadership GroupsEver had to get a message out to a certain group of people? Do you feel like there are issues that need to be addressed within your sector? Or do you just feel like AEM could be doing more to help you, and other companies like yours maximize your AEM membership?

Accomplishing all these things, and many more, is what AEM Leadership Groups are all about. In the past, AEM Leadership Groups have given birth to such things as Sprayer Demo Days to demonstrate how manufacturers are already incorporating technologies to address spray drift all on their own with no government interjection. Or new statistics and safety programs as the Dairy Equipment Engineering Committee and the Dairy Equipment Statistics Committee were both born out of the Dairy Leadership Group as a way to offer a better service to our dairy members.

Ultimately, AEM strives to provide a service that encompasses all sectors of all industries represented. The goal is to help ensure that member companies can maximize their memberships while receiving the best value there is, and leadership groups help us do this. Leadership groups form around a certain issue or product segment that needs a greater focus. These groups consist of representatives from member companies who fit under the umbrella of the group formed. These representatives then provide direction as to how AEM should address issues related to their industries and tailor our services to better serve them.

Within the Agricultural Sector four active groups exist:

  • Sprayer
  • Specialty Crops
  • Dairy
  • Manure Management.

These groups have been extremely active over the last year in the work that they have been doing.

Dairy Equipment Leadership Group

The Dairy Equipment Leadership Group is AEM’s longest active Ag Leadership Group. This group is chaired by Fernando Cuccioli of DeLaval, and it includes representatives from AMS Galaxy, Boumatic, GEA, Lely and Waikato.

Formed originally to help better serve AEM’s dairy members, this group has become extremely active on the regulatory and educational front as well. Over the past year, the group held numerous calls to help address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Work has also continued on other fronts as well. Back in September, this group, along with AEM’s DC team began working on a proposal to help secure funding to support the modernization of dairy operations. By doing so, farmers would have easier access to technologies that would make U.S. dairy farming more sustainable and competitive on a worldwide scale.

The group has also been working to educate both those within AEM and outside, as well on the newer technologies that exist today that are allowing farmers to be more sustainable and competitive.

Manure Management Leadership Group

AEM’s newest Ag Leadership Group, the Manure Management Leadership Group is set to launch next month. This group will be chaired by Lely’s Chad Huyser, and will consist of representatives from AGCO, Boumatic, CNH, DeLaval, GEA, John Deere and Kuhn. While group priorities will ultimately be determined by those who participate in the group, some possibilities include:

  • Addressing the environmental impact that manure can have
  • Educating on the benefits of properly used/applied manure
  • Manure equipment safety, etc.

Specialty Crop Leadership Group

AEM’s Specialty Crop Leadership Group was launched back in October of 2020. The group is chaired by Joe Richter of the Morning Star Company and consists of representatives from Gregoire, GUSS Automation, John Deere, New Holland, Oxbo, and Pellenc.

Born from this group, AEM has already begun work to launch a new grape harvester statistics program. Heading into the new year the group intends to begin work on a number issues, such as working with grower groups to educate end users on new and existing technologies. They will also look to determine how to begin creating some level of standardization within the specialty crop realm. Beyond that, there will also be the ongoing discussion of what additional services, such as new statistics programs, AEM can offer to help specialty crop members maximize their membership.

Sprayer Leadership Group

AEM’s Sprayer Leadership Group was originally started back in 2015. The group originally formed around resolving the issue of spray drift and demonstrating to regulators that there was no need for regulations around the issue due to the work being done by the manufacturers to already mitigate the issue. Once this was resolved, the group no longer saw a reason to meet and went inactive.

The Sprayer Leadership Group remained inactive until the start of 2020, when the opportunity arose to educate EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs on new and existing sprayer technologies. This educational opportunity is being undertaken with the goal of ensuring that when OPP is creating application label language that they are being inclusive of all technologies so that they are accessible to all. By doing so, it helps to ensure that new technologies such as See and Treat are not left out of the equation. The group is now chaired by Raven’s Chad Biegler, along with representatives from AGCO, CNH, Great Plains Manufacturing, John Deere, Robert Bosch, and Trimble.

Want to learn more about AEM’s Ag Leadership Groups and the work being done on behalf of members? Contact AEM Agricultural Services Manager Austin Gellings at

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