Association Monitors Federal Issues Relevant to Shortliners
In 1950, a group of manufacturers visiting their distributors in Chicago at what we know now as the Fall Marketing and Distribution Convention, recognized the need for a common voice that would connect them and represent their interests. That same year, they founded the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association with 46 member companies.
Sixty-five years later, the Association has grown to more than 700 member companies, and our efforts to build coalitions, bring members together, and serve as a common voice for the shortline equipment industry have never wavered.
In this issue, that commitment has us focused on several federal developments, including transportation and tax policy. >>>
Corn Belt to Cambodia: A Global Week for Ag
In the relentless flow of information we process at the Association each week, we sometimes see trends in topics.
The trends are often predictable. When it rains for 18 consecutive days, for example, the news will trend toward planting progress and crop predictions >>>
Canada Exports Stumble
Canada has posted trade deficits every month this year, and the cumulative 2015 total deficit of $13.6 billion is a record, reported the Toronto Star.
Data from Statistics Canada revealed that exports in May were down by six-tenths of a percent over April and 6.7% from the same time last year. Energy exports rose slightly in May although remain significantly down (33.8%) compared to the same time last year. >>>
Mapping Soil from Space
ASA and the USDA agreed last week to embark upon a partnership in data- sharing.
The USDA said the partnership aims to better protect working lands, predict and prevent natural disasters, and inspire young people to pursue careers in science, math, technology, engineering, and agriculture. >>>
White Collar Salary Exemption Gets the Squeeze
As we’ve discussed in earlier articles, in order to treat an employee as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirement, the employee must (1) meet a salary threshold, (2) be paid on a salary basis, and (3) perform certain “white collar” job duties. Recently, the Department of Labor announced that it intends to restrict this test and reduce the number of employees eligible for exempt status. >>>
Alamo Appoints VP
Alamo Group Inc. announced last week that Edward (Ed) Rizzuti joined the company as its Vice President and General Counsel. Before moving to Alamo Group, Rizzuti was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Erickson Incorporated, an aircraft manufacturing and operating company based in Portland. >>>
ASABE Announces Revisions, Updates, New Projects
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently announced completion of one standard, one revision and four new projects... >>>
Hint of Optimism on Mainstreet
Creighton University released its Rural Mainstreet Index for July last week, and the survey revealed a subtle uptick in growth for the fourth consecutive month. News specific to farm equipment sales was weaker. The July index rose to 17.9 from June’s record low of 12.5. The index for farm equipment sales has been below growth neutral for 24 straight months >>>
Ag Has Seen Tougher Times
The economic indicators and percentage declines can feel burdensome, but a recent article from Dave Kanicki, executive editor of Farm Equipment and editor/publisher of Ag Equipment Intelligence, puts today’s economic climate for farmers in perspective. >>>
Member Seeking Sales Manager
An Association member company is searching for a national sales manager to direct its sales and marketing department. The candidate must have a minimum of three years of experience in a sales management role, preferably in the agriculture industry. >>>
DOL Sues Deere
The Department of Labor (DOL) has filed suit against John Deere, claiming it violated the whistleblower provisions of OSHA.
At the center of the suit is a pipefitter who was terminated in 2012 from Deere’s Moline, Ill., facility. The suit alleges the termination was in response to the pipefitter reporting unsafe work conditions. >>>
Lessiter Acquires Implement & Tractor Magazine
Lessiter Publications Inc., announced Monday that it bought the assets of Implement & Tractor magazine from Farm Journal Media.
As part of Lessiter’s acquisition of the assets of the magazine, longstanding columnist Greg Petersen, also known as Machinery Pete, will contribute content and analysis for Lessiter Publications. >>>
John Fabick Tractor Company and FABCO Equipment Inc., have combined their family-owned, independently-operated companies.
Barnes County Implement in Wimbledon, N.D. is expected to close by October 1, with nearby Cooper Implement in the process of switching to independent status.
Hollingsworths’ Inc., with Deere stores in Ontario and Burns, Ore., and one in Weiser, Idaho, has changed hands and is now part of Camp Equipment
Association Bulletin Board
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Ag Innovator is on the Way - The August issue of Ag Innovator will be mailed next week. >>>
Missouri AG Sues Vilsack
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) filed a federal lawsuit July 15 against Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, seeking to compel the USDA to accept acreage reports from Missouri farmers beyond the normal deadline. >>>
Big Penalties for Small Biz 'Unintended Consequence'
Small business groups are sounding the alarm about an obscure IRS rule that excessively fines small businesses.
The rule, an apparent unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act, penalizes employers who do not offer employees a group health plan but give them additional pay to compensate for the purchase of health insurance or cover direct medical expenses. >>>
Hayward Acquires Ford
Hayward Distributing Company has announced it purchased the assets and distribution rights of Ford Distributing, a supplier of specialized agricultural and industrial equipment.
Ford Distributing has supplied several brands to dealers in Ohio and surrounding states since 1976. Its staff will remain in place and continue to operate from its Marysville, Ohio location. >>>
The Far West Dealer Association recently noted the passing of Douglas K. Moore. Moore founded Gearmore Equipment Co. with Bob Giersbach in 1965. >>>
Your Association membership entitles you to free 30-minute consultations with attorneys on distribution and human resource issues. For details, >>>
Highlights from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Ag Flash Reports. For complete data, go to FarmEquip.org/flash. >>>
Have Something to Say?
The United States Trade Representative, which is part of the White House executive office, has asked the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association to solicit feedback from member companies about trade. >>>