Use the Spring Conference Schedule to Plan Your Travel
Many Association members have registered for the 2015 Spring Conference & Supplier Showcase, which we will hold March 18-21 in beautiful Charlotte, NC. To help you plan your trip, here are some highlights you may wish to place on your calendar:
First Event is on Wednesday afternoon, March 18: The plant tours can accommodate a finite number of people, and spots are filling up quickly, so if you want to participate, we encourage you to sign up sooner rather than later.
Final Sessions are on Saturday morning with a NASCAR Experience closing out our schedule that afternoon....
We are excited to offer the NASCAR Experience on Saturday afternoon. All registered attendees and guests are welcome to wind down the week with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There is no addition fee to participate—your admission is included with your conference registration. >>>
ASABE Honors Association Members with AE50 Award
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently announced the recipients of its 2015 AE50 Awards for outstanding innovations, and several Association members’ products appear on the list. Please join us in congratulating the following Association members who received the 2015 AE50 Award: >>>
Canadian Ag Will Remain Strong in 2015
Canadian agriculture is more resilient, and ready to take on more new opportunities, than ever before, according to J.P. Gervais, Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) chief agricultural economist.
Beef and pork were the main drivers behind the 2014 increase—good news for producers who saw unprecedented high prices for cattle and hogs. The markets suggest cattle will trend slightly higher in 2015, while hog prices will ease from recent highs. >>>
• Bridgeport Equipment & Tool
• James River Equipment
• Bane-Welker Equipment, LLC
• Marion Equipment
• Altorfer Ag Products >>>
Spring Conference: Purchasing Track Offers Something for All Purchasing Agents
If you are a purchasing or buying agent, no matter how long you have been in the business, the Purchasing Track sessions at the 2015 Spring Conference in Charlotte, NC, have something for you. The Purchasing Track program features two workshops on Contract Topics and Issues for Buyers and Purchasing Agents and Inventory Control and Supply Chain Management. >>>
Spring Conference: Social Media Session
Provides Strategies for Bottom-Line Business Results
Social media is more than a trend; it is a phenomenon that can help make or break an individual business or revolutionize an entire industry. But far too often, presentations on social media focus on the technical aspects of using the latest tools, but fail to tell business owners and managers how to actually use them as part of an effective sales and marketing strategy. The Social Media General Session on Friday, March 20, at the 2015 Spring Conference in Charlotte, NC, will explain how you and your company can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other Social Media to enhance your exposure, expand your reach, boost sales, and increase profits. >>>
AGCO and Russian Machines Complete Joint Venture
AGCO and Russian Machines Corporation announced they have completed a deal to begin operations of “AGCO-RM” for production of agricultural equipment.
The joint venture began in March 2013, when the two companies signed an agreement to establish mutually owned Russian manufacturing and distribution businesses. While competition approvals were being sought, >>>
Supplier Section Board of Governors Seeks Nominations
The Supplier Section Board has an opening for a new director. At the governors’ January board meeting, Chairman Gary Esterling, of ABT Bearing, appointed Johnny Mills, of Bondioli & Pavesi, Inc., to serve as the Nominating Committee Chairman. Other nominating committee members are still being appointed. >>>
Supplier Members: Become a Key Reception Sponsor and Stand Out at the Spring Conference
This year, during our Welcome Reception, we will offer a chance for supplier members to increase their visibility by becoming Key Reception Sponsors. The benefits include having their company name/logo featured at one of our serving stations or at the bar. Also, as guests enter and exit the reception, they will see signage with sponsors’ names and logos. >>>
Rotary Cutter Council Will Meet in Louisville in February
The Rotary Cutter Product Council will meet during the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 10, in room Coronet B at the Crown Plaza Hotel. >>>
Farm Bureau Delegates Set Public Policy Positions for 2015
Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 96th Annual Convention on Jan. 20 approved resolutions that will provide the organization grassroots authority to ask Congress to finish many measures that remain unsettled at the start of 2015, according to a Farm Bureau news release. >>>
Cautious Outlook for Europe’s Ag Machinery Market
Europe’s agricultural machinery industry takes a cautious outlook for 2015, with overall equipment sales expected to drop by 5-10%, reported cema-agri.org. Compared to 2014, sales in Germany and France are expected to fall 7% and 10%, respectively, with similar declines expected in other key markets, such as the UK (-5%) and the Netherlands (-5 to -10%). >>>
Association Members Receive Complimentary Registration for SIMA 2015
SIMA 2015, Paris International Agri-Business Show, will take place from Feb. 22-26 in Paris Nord Villepinte, France. Event organizers have offered members of our Association an opportunity to receive complimentary registration for the show. >>>
Fed May Raise Short-Term Interest Rates This Year
Federal Reserve officials are on track to raise short-term interest rates this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. inflation is below the Fed’s 2% objective, but the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in December, which many Fed officials see as a sign that wage and price pressures could be building in the domestic economy. >>>
Confirm Your Company Listing in the 2015 Membership Directory
Association staff are finalizing the 2015 Membership Directory & Product/Service Index, and we want to ensure all members’ listings are up-to-date before we publish it.
Last December, we emailed proof sheets showing how your company’s listing now appears and asked you to review it and tell us if it is still correct, or if anything needs to be revised. If you already did so, thank you! >>>
Kaster Named Chair of Nominations Committee
Association President Mike Kloster has appointed Paula Kaster from Kasco Manufacturing to serve a one year term as chair of our Nominations Committee for Directors of the Association. In addition to the Chair, Kloster also appointed the following former Association Presidents to serve on the committee: >>>
Regulatory Accountability Act Gains NFIB Support
“We feel your pain,” was the National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) response to the administration’s statement on the Regulatory Accountability Act, a bill that would, according to the White House, “impose unprecedented and unnecessary procedural requirements on agencies that would prevent them from efficiently performing their statutory responsibilities.” It also would create needless regulatory and legal uncertainty. >>>
U.S. Eases Travel and Trade Rules on Cuba
Swiftly expanding trade ties with Cuba, the Obama administration this month opened the door to easier travel and a wide range of new export opportunities with the island country. The Commerce and Treasury departments unveiled new rules last week permitting U.S. citizens to visit Cuba without special permits, poking a large hole in America’s 54-year embargo. >>>
Federal Mediator Intervenes in West Coast Port Labor Dispute
A federal mediator is now involved in the West Coast port labor dispute that has slowed down shipments of agricultural products, according to agweb.com.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents shipping companies, said West Coast ports are facing “complete gridlock,” with few ships going in and out. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have been working without a contract since July 1, 2014. The PMA accuses union members of intentionally slowing down trucks at the ports, while the union says shippers have cut workers’ shifts. >>>
U.S. Ag Exports to Decline From Record Levels
USDA announced it expects agricultural exports to decline modestly in 2015 and ag imports to continue record growth. Exports will decline about 5% this year from the record $152.5 billion in 2014, while imports rise from $110 billion in 2014 to a record $119 billion in 2015, the agency forecasts.
Foreign economy projections are mixed. While China continues to grow faster than other major markets, it no longer sees double-digit growth. Japan, long a strong market for U.S. agricultural commodities, has again slipped into recession. European economies are mixed. And, while the U.S. dollar has strengthened somewhat, it remains relatively weak enough to keep U.S. export markets in positive territory. >>>
Ag Innovator Winter issue
Ag Innovator’s 2015 Winter issue is now available online at FarmEquip.org/AGI.
To subscribe to either the print or electronic edition, go to the Association website’s home page and click on “Manage Your Subscriptions” in the left column. >>>