Sonny Perdue

On March 27, Secretary Perdue released a video message reaffirming his appreciation for equipment manufacturers and assuring the industry that it is “essential” as the nation works to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The message was a result of AEM’s ongoing work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration, to highlight the essential role that agriculture equipment manufacturers play in the country’s food production during the unfolding crisis.  

“For all of you out there who make the things that make the things that allow our farmers to continue to produce the great food that they produce - many times you're not thought of in the food supply chain, but they couldn't do what they do without you. You're just as essential as anybody,” said Perdue in his message to equipment manufacturers.

AEM’s ongoing state and federal advocacy efforts to highlight the vital role played by agriculture equipment manufacturers, as well as suppliers and distributors, has resulted in a number of important wins for the industry. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared the industry as “essential,” allowing operations to continue during the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Declaring agricultural equipment manufacturing as “essential” ensures that farmers, ranchers, and growers have access to the tools they need to puts food on tens of millions of dinner tables across the country.

However, making sure that farmers and ranchers have access to important agriculture equipment, parts, and maintenance services for a successful spring planting season is only one part of AEM’s advocacy efforts.

AEM is coordinating with trade associations and commodity groups in Washington to support our member companies on a range of important issues. Together, we have fought for additional funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation in the “Phase 3” relief package, calling on Congress to replenish the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s borrowing authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to “help farmers and ranchers survive during this emergency.” AEM has also been working closely with senior USDA staff to make sure they take important steps to support dairy farmers, including reopening enrollment in the Dairy Margin Coverage program.  

Ethanol producers purchase two out of every five bushels of corn, and they have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many ethanol producers have stopped all corn purchases, putting further downward pressure on commodity prices. AEM has been working with commodity groups to push lawmakers, the Administration, and federal agencies to support ethanol producers during these uncertain times. We will continue our efforts to get ethanol plants back up and running.

To learn more about AEM’s Advocacy efforts to support the equipment manufacturing industry, visit the COVID-19 section on the AEM website. If you have questions or need to get a hold of AEM staff, please e-mail our Response Ream at responseteam@aem.org.

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