ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASES
- In Memorium: Ed Elstun, Former Association PresidentFeb 3rd, 2016
We are sad to report the death of Ed Elstun, who served as President of our Association in 1981-82 and as Treasurer from 1984-1987. He began his career at Snow Corporation in 1953 and retired as President and CEO in 1987. He was 90.
Ed's service to this Association and many of our members extended long after his time in leadership positions. We have received several calls from members who recounted how Ed had taken the time to review business plans with them and provide wise advice over the years.
Current and former staff members also benefited greatly from Ed's willingness to provide advice, encouragement and share his perspective on various issues. Much credit for our Association's strength today is properly credited to Ed Elstun and other similar leaders over many decades whose efforts and leadership built the strong foundation we stand on today.
In addition to his service to our Association, he proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His life-long love for naval aviation was fostered during the war while he was based on many islands in the Southwest Pacific.
ST. LOUIS, Mo., Nov. 3, 2015 – Members of the Board of Directors of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association elected a president, treasurer, and secretary during the Association’s 2015 Fall Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
New Association officers are:
President Ric Kirby. Kirby is president of Kirby Manufacturing Inc. in Merced, Calif. He has served on the Association’s Board of Directors since 2007. Kirby succeeds Mike Kloster, president of Worksaver, Inc., in Litchfield, Ill.Treasurer Marc McConnell. McConnell is chairman of the Board of Directors at Art’s Way Manufacturing Co. in Armstrong, Iowa. He is a former president of the Association and has served on its board since 2007. McConnell succeeds Bob Atkinson, president of W&A Manufacturing Co. in Pine Bluff, Ark.Secretary Michael Irish. Michael Irish is Landoll Corporation’s Brillion Brand Manager in Brillion, Wis. Irish was elected to a second term on the board in 2014. He succeeds Stan McFarlane, who is a vice president at McFarlane Manufacturing Co., Inc., in Sauk City, Wis.
McFarlane was promoted to second vice president during the election on Oct. 30. Paul Jeffrey with MacDon Industries Ltd. in Winnepeg, Canada, advanced from second vice president to first. Mike Kloster, who completed his term as president with this election, is now an ex-officio member of the executive team.This newly appointed executive team leads a 16-person Board of Directors and a 725-member Association that serves as the collective voice and resource for shortline farm equipment manufacturers throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information, contact Vernon Schmidt, the Association’s executive vice president, at (314) 878-2304.
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 28, 2015 – The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association elected four members to its 16-person Board of Directors today at the Association’s Fall Marketing & Distribution Convention in Kansas City. The membership elected:
Chris Heikenen of Marshfield, Wis. Heikenen is president of H&S Manufacturing, also in Marshfield. He is an attorney and served eight years as assistant attorney general for Wisconsin before he joined his family business in 1986. He became president of H&S in 1993. Among equipment manufactured at H&S are forage boxes, manure spreaders, hay rakes, windrow mergers, bale wrappers, and grinder-mixers.
Ben Hellbusch of Columbus, Neb. Hellbusch is vice president of sales and marketing at Duo Lift Manufacturing Company, Inc., in Columbus, and general manager/partner of Busch Equipment Company, a sister company. Duo Lift produces specialty farm trailers and wagons such as fertilizer tank trailers and pipe haulers. Busch Equipment is a distribution and sales agency that represents 16 farm equipment manufacturers in Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. Hellbusch is the third generation to operate the family-owned business. He grew up working in the factory and on the family farm.
Tim Burenga of Raymond, Ill. Burenga is vice president of sales and purchasing at Worksaver Inc. in Litchfield, Ill. Burenga's history with Worksaver began at an early age working weekends and summers with his father, Tom Burenga. He worked in every department and learned manufacturing and sales. He earned a degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois and began his career at Worksaver in earnest in 2001. The company manufactures land management tools such as, material-handling, seeding, rear blades, and landscape rakes.
Scott Eisenmenger of West Point, Neb. Eisenmenger owns West Point Design, Inc. with his father and brother, Erv and Chad Eisenmenger, respectively. Founded in 1993, the company designs and produces the heavy duty manure spreader, Spread-All™, as well as other related livestock equipment. Eisenmener served in the United States Air Force for four years. He also attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanized systems management.
The men, who will serve three-year terms, join other executives who represent shortliners, a segment of the agricultural industry that designs and produces equipment to complement mass-produced lines. The Association serves as the collective voice and resource for more than 725 member companies throughout the United States and Canada
For more information, contact Kristi Ruggles, Association editor, at (314) 660-7341.
Global agricultural productivity stagnating, says new report: productive, sustainable agriculture must be prioritized
Download full report
DES MOINES, Iowa (October 14, 2015) – For the second year in a row, the rate of global agricultural productivity growth continues to stagnate, says a report by the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) released today. GHI’s 6th annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (2015 GAP Report®): Building Sustainable Breadbaskets warns that unless this trend is reversed, the world may not be able to sustainably provide the food, feed, fiber and biofuels needed for a booming global population.
Global agricultural productivity must increase by 1.75 percent annually in order to meet the demands of an estimated 9.7 billion people in 2050. According to GHI’s annual assessment of productivity growth – the GAP Index™ – the current rate of growth is only 1.72 percent. The rate of annual productivity growth in low-income countries is much lower, only 1.5 percent. At this rate, fifteen years from now (2030) sub-Saharan Africa will only be able to meet 14 percent of its food demand, driving up food prices for poor households and requiring significant imports, food assistance, and opening up environmentally sensitive land for agricultural production.
Productivity growth in the United States is also stagnating, from its historical average of 1.5 to 2 percent (1960 to 2000) to less than one percent (2001-2010), generating concerns about the long-term potential for sustainable agricultural and economic growth. Agriculture is a key driver of the U.S. economy, providing $2 trillion in revenue annually and employing 19 million people. U.S. consumers spend just 6 percent of their disposable income on food – the lowest rate in the industrialized world.
The GAP Report® highlights the powerful legacy of the United States’ agriculture and conservation system and also urges continued commitment and investment in order to generate new innovations that produce more food, feed, fiber and biofuel while simultaneously conserving soil, water and other precious natural resources. The report also shines a spotlight on Zambia, a country that is diversifying its agricultural production systems and building its capacity to become a regional breadbasket in southern Africa.
“Raising global agricultural productivity requires long-term investments in the research and development of science-based agricultural technologies, agricultural extension services and education for farmers around the world, efficient transportation and telecommunications infrastructures, and support for the next generation of farmers,” said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Executive Director of GHI. She continued, “We also need agreements for better facilitation of global and regional trade and we must prioritize agriculture technologies and practices that help mitigate climate change and conserve natural resources.”
“By combining precision agriculture with advances in seed, fertilizer and bioagriculture technologies, we are able to “farm smart”, meaning farmers can produce more while also conserving and protecting soils, water, and the natural resource base” said Cory Reed, Vice President of John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group and Chair of the GHI Board of Directors.
GHI presented the GAP Report’s findings before an audience of farmers and global leaders in science, research, policy and private agriculture industry attending the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. Panelists discussed how to cultivate resilient food and agriculture systems in the United States and Zambia, and how the right policies and public-private partnerships advance resilience and help manage risk.