AEM’s Ag Sector Board of Directors met in-person on July 26 at AEM’s headquarters in Milwaukee to discuss a wealth of important industry issues, including sustainability and ag technology. The agenda also featured updates from AEM staff regarding the association’s service areas, including advocacy, sectors and market share statistics.
Ag Sector Board Chair Bill Hurley, vice president of Distribution, AGCO, called the meeting to order and welcomed directors to the second meeting of 2023.
Hurley shared several updates on key ag sector initiatives aimed at achieving the board’s 2024-2025 goals. These updates included:
- 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston
- AEM’s Water Management Leadership Group initiatives
- AEM’s Ag Technology Leadership Group holding a joint meeting with the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF)
- Advocacy efforts in Canada
Corn, Soybeans, and Commodity Classic
CEO of the National Corn Growers Association Neil Caskey and CEO of the American Soybean Association Steve Censky both joined the Ag Sector Board meeting to discuss their respective organizations priorities surrounding issues like the upcoming Farm Bill, renewable fuels and ethanol, international trade and crop protection issues. This led to an in-depth conversation regarding how their respective organizations, AEM and other industry organizations can come together to address larger industry issues and provide a united voice for the ag industry.
AEM Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations Kip Eideberg and Vice President of Federal Affairs Kate Fox Wood provided an update on AEM’s key advocacy priorities in the areas of infrastructure, tax, rural America, trade, workforce development and immigration. This included highlights specific to the rural America priority it being a Farm Bill reauthorization year. They were then followed by AEM’s Senior Advisor on Global Public Policy Alex Russ, who provided an overview of the political landscape in Canada and AEM’s ongoing efforts at both the federal and provincial levels.
Right to Repair
Eideberg and Blades discussed Right to Repair which AEM continues to see at the state level. The Board then discussed how legislation may affect the Ag Sector.
Sustainability and ESG Reporting
To address the growing need for more streamlined ESG reporting, AEM Senior Vice President of Industry Sectors & Product Leadership Curt Blades provided an overview of an ESG reporting tool, which provides a snapshot of the sustainability and social responsibility of a company’s operations and supply chain practices. Both AEM’s Ag and CE Sector Boards were supportive of the project and approved moving it forward with developing a formal proposal for ESG supply chain reporting for review in November.
Ag Technology Issues
AEM Director of Product Stewardship, Jeff Jurgens provided a history of autonomy regulations in California and an overview of AEM’s efforts to address some member concerns surrounding these regulations to date. Directors discussed AEM’s role to date and agreed to continue discussion around what that role could look like moving forward.
This discussion was then followed by a presentation by Jurgens on AEM’s exploration into a machine hack-a-thon event per the direction of the board at the February meetings. Following the presentation and discussion, Directors agreed that more exploration was needed before moving forward with a direction.
Market Share Statistics
AEM Senior Director of Market Share Statistics Mike Lietke and AEM Director of Statistics and Market Share Statistics Rex Sprietsma led a discussion focused on AEM’s international statistics programs, harmonization efforts and digitalization project.
2024 Celebration of Agriculture on the National Mall
Finally, the Ag Sector Board wrapped up the day with a discussion around a potential Celebration of Agriculture on the National Mall event in 2024. Directors voted to approve moving forward with an event on May 6-8 of next year.
The next meeting of AEM’s Ag Sector Board is scheduled for Nov. 29 during AEM’s Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information about the Ag Sector Board, contact AEM’s Curt Blades at email@example.com.
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