Don Bacon

This past Tuesday, Oct. 30, AEM co-hosted a manufacturing day with CLAAS of America, which kicked off with a visit by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. Gov. Ricketts toured the facility, spoke with employees on the shop floor, and drove a CLAAS Xerion Tractor. He also presented CLAAS of America with a Manufacturing Month Proclamation.

Later that day U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and U.S. Rep. Don Bacon stopped by for a tour of the facility and a Q&A with 100 Nebraska business leaders.

The day ended with a panel discussion that explored the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturers in Nebraska and the United States. The panel, which was moderated by AEM president Dennis Slater, featured Leif Magnusson, president of CLAAS Global Sales Americas Inc., Jim Glazer, president and CEO of Elliott Equipment Company, and Mark Zumdohme, president of Graepel North America Inc. The panel was streamed live on AEM’s Facebook page, with the Associated Press, Omaha World-Herald, Brownfield Ag News, and The Progressive Farmer in attendance.

Below are some highlights of what Rep. Bacon and Sen. Fischer said during the Q&A with business leaders:

Rep. Bacon commented on a range of topics important to our industry: “On trade, we were seeing really dark storm clouds for a while, those are starting to lift and look better, [USMCA] helps us with agriculture and that’s important with our manufacturers… What we really want is free trade that’s fair… We’re also working hard on a farm bill that will help our farmers, that’ll double the production of combines out here, and will help this industry. That includes affordable crop insurance and rural broadband.”

FischerSen. Deb Fischer commented on manufacturing in Nebraska: “Manufacturing is the silent gem of the state of Nebraska… Manufacturing is a big part of our economy here… Agriculture is the economic engine of our state… I’m focusing a lot of my energy on broadband deployment, to make sure that’s going to be the super highway when it comes to infrastructure… When we look on manufacturing and agriculture, tie those together and then bring in broadband and make sure it’s deployed all across rural Nebraska and rural America so that we can take advantage of that great technology that’s what is going to make Nebraska a more profitable state, help our economy, help families in Nebraska to have good jobs, good-paying jobs, it’s going to help our country, too.”  

If you would like to watch the roundtable, visit AEM’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AssociationOfEquipmentManufacturers

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