Ag Sector BoardAEM’s Ag Sector Board met in-person Aug. 3 in Boston, Massachusetts, to provide guidance and approval on actions being taken to address industry issues and move the association forward.

Ag Sector Board Chair and Kubota Tractor Corporation Senior Vice President Todd Stucke called the meeting to order. The group reviewed the Ag Sector Board’s priorities:

  • Maintain and grow AEM’s global ag leadership position
  • Advocate for ag equipment industry with policymakers and regulators
  • Strengthen and grow AEM’s ag member business
  • Promote agriculture as a sustainability and climate solution

Chair Stucke then asked that Board Members to help AEM to achieve those promotional and advocacy priorities by providing the information needed as requested at the previously held AEM Joint Sector Board meeting. Namely,

  • Complete the Self Assessment within the Sustainable Supply Chain Toolkit to develop a benchmark allowing us to tell our industry’s sustainability success story; and
  • Provide use case data on the operation of autonomous equipment in order to illustrate to regulatory groups and agencies that the safety technologies built into equipment are more than adequate to ensure safe operation.

Advocacy

Further on Advocacy, the Board received updates on current issues and activities including dealer bills, dealer association merger activity and right to repair activity in the US and Canada.  PAL, a ROPS rebate program, dairy and specialty crop equipment incentives, broadband and risk management were all identified as important areas to be included in the upcoming Farm Bill. The Board supported those items and noted that connectivity impacts so many other areas that it (i.e. rural broadband) should be considered a top priority.

Safety & Product Leadership

The reorganization of the AEM Safety & Product Leadership Department was approved by the Board. Dozens of technical committees have been reorganized and streamlined for more efficiency and productivity and less duplication. A reporting structure leading up to the sector boards has also been implemented.

Commodity Classic                                                                                                                         

The Board learned of new developments regarding the Commodity Classic agriculture show including changes within the association and farmer leadership, a new show director and a new AEM contract. It was noted that AEM will again bring the AEF Plugfest to the show in 2023, which is on course to be the largest show to date. An AEF Dealer Council meeting is also planned for Orlando. There was discussion on the show, and it was decided that the AEM Ag Show Task Force will be re-activated to develop any ideas or suggestions that could be brought forward.                                                                                                                                             

Future of Food Production

The meeting wrapped up with an open discussion to determine actions that AEM could take to help members and the industry prepare for the future agricultural trends identified in the recently developed Future of Food Production whitepaper. Key ideas agreed upon included:

  • Advocacy:
    • Connectivity is the cornerstone of our future in precision agriculture, so
      • we need to continue to fight for broad and consistent rural broadband/connectivity
      • need to continue to develop funding for farmers investing in precision agriculture as we did with the PAL Act
    • As regulations increase, continue to align our members and industry partners and advocate on behalf of farmers
  • Communications/Marketing: Use this whitepaper research to tell our positive story of agriculture being part of the sustainability solution; utilize the research to advance our priorities of connectivity and funding for farmers.

The next meetings of the AEM Board of Directors, Ag and CE Sector Boards are scheduled for Nov. 17-18 in Napa, California, at AEM’s Annual Conference.

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