Tech and SafetyAEM’s Technical and Safety department provides valuable services to members as they address the ever-increasing global demands on equipment manufacturers to develop machines that are safe, productive and compliant to local and regional requirements. By facilitating opportunities to influence the development of standards, regulations, and best practices, AEM staff works with members to communicate those worldwide requirements and means of compliance to the benefit of all AEM members. These messages are a critical part of the ongoing promotion of safe and efficient operation for end users as well as bystanders.

Curt Blades has assumed executive responsibility for the AEM Technical and Safety services department in addition to his agricultural services responsibilities. In this role, Blades will provide coordinated guidance and direction for all Technical and Safety department activities. 

To meet this ever-increasing challenge, AEM has reassigned staff members to support the Tech & Safety initiatives:

  • Nick Tindall, based in Washington, D.C., has expanded his responsibilities to include regulatory activities for all AEM sectors. His geographic proximity to critical U.S. governmental agencies and his diplomatic orientation are proving to be very beneficial.
  • Mark Benishek, as the secretary of the Agricultural Electronic Foundation (AEF), brings an ever-increasing “high-tech” orientation to the department and its expanding portfolio of technology and applications used by all AEM members.

“AEM’s Technical and Safety Department has long provided AEM members with quality service, expertise and support,” said Blades. “As we continue to look ahead to the rest of 2019 and beyond, we’re excited for the department to build on past efforts and accomplishments and continue to provide AEM members with leading-edge services and programs.”

In addition to added personnel resources, AEM is doing a serious analysis of support technologies and techniques to maximize staff efficacy as it looks to the future of AEM and the association's members. While this review is in its infancy, a systematic gap analysis is revealing areas of potential investment on behalf of AEM members to maximize member value and invest in the industry. This includes application of systems and technology to capture and access critical information, as well as an innovative pilot program to leverage the knowledge and experience of seasoned industry professionals to mentor young, aspiring staff into future experts.

"Do it once, do it right, do it globally" is the department's motto. Its staff is tasked with working with more than 35 different product groups to address issues related to safety and compliance, as well as relevant topical issues that are important to both the association’s members and the equipment manufacturing industry as a whole. In addition, the department has developed a number of end user resources for AEM members to distribute to their customers in an effort to advocate for the safe and proper use of equipment.

Coordinated and organized by AEM’s Technical and Safety Department, AEM’s upcoming Product Safety & Compliance Seminar and Product Liability Seminar offers a wealth of leading-edge information and insights from industry experts and companies with effective product safety and compliance programs. Held annually, these seminars offer AEM member company representatives unprecedented access to the latest in standards, regulations and industry best practices, as well as valuable networking opportunities with AEM staff and industry leaders.

For more information on AEM’s Technical and Safety Department, contact AEM’s Curt Blades ( or Mike Pankonin (

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