Customer connections, advocacy and strategic planning dominated the conversation during the AEM Ag Sector Board Meeting held on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

“There are several big wins that come to mind as we look back on 2018,” said Ag Sector Board Chair John Lagemann, senior vice president, sales & marketing, Agriculture & Turf Division, Deere & Company. “We rallied around the Right-to-Repair issue and were successful in thwarting that legislation in several states. We finalized an agreement with the Commodity Classic joint venture to continue to provide opportunities for manufacturer engagement with farmers. And finally, we navigated a difficult year politically to voice our legislative and regulatory concerns as an industry.”

During the meeting, the Ag Sector Board agenda covered the following:

Customer Connections - Received an overview of the principles of the agreement with the Commodity Classic joint venture from AEM Senior Vice President Megan Tanel and Director of Ag Events John Rozum. In addition, the sector board directed customer connections task force to further explore how AEM could foster meaningful connections with customers and stakeholders, as well as drive the narrative about the equipment manufacturing industry.

Public Policy - Heard updates on impact of the recent congressional elections on agricultural legislative and regulatory priorities, including trade, the Precision Ag Connectivity Act, the Farm Bill, dairy regulations and ordinances, and Canadian advocacy efforts from AEM Senior Director of Government and Industry Relations Nick Tindall. AEM Senior Vice President Nick Yaksich shared updates on the Right-to-Repair issue and specific concerns over aftermarket performance enhancement, also known as ‘chipping.’ The board resolved to form a board-level working group to propose actions and a stated position for AEM consideration. 

Statistics – Listened to a report from Todd Snell, market information manager, John Deere on global statistics harmonization through the Agrievolution Statistics Program (ASP). Data harmonization would create efficiencies of reporting and analysis with the goal of an ISO standard for categorizing equipment.  A discussion on proposed fully disclosed shipment statistics for ASP occurred at the board meeting.

Goals & Priorities Review – The board reflected on accomplishments from 2018 and had a motion to approve the following priorities for focus in 2019:

  • Implement strategy for AEM’s role in Precision Ag
  • Maintain and grow AEM global ag leadership position
  • Coordination of various agriculture organizations for unified message
  • Foster positive dealer and manufacturer relationships
  • Elevate experience for statistics
  • Improve customer connections in ag industry
  • Implement plan for rural and agricultural industry workforce development
  • Proactively address state and federal advocacy issues

 Strategic Planning - Consultants from Tecker International joined the meeting to gather views and perspectives around key area pertinent to the development of AEM’s next strategic plan.

The next meetings of the AEM Board and Sector Boards will be held March 5-6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Ag Sector Board, please contact Curt Blades (cblades@aem.org; tel: 414-298-4112).

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