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Spring Conference: Association Staff Eager to Hear From You
We communicate today through channels that are one step removed from personal interaction. I wonder if as we rely more on text and email, we compromise our skills to listen.

Along the same lines, with so much information available to us from digital sources, are we prone to wrongly assume that everyone is operating with the same information we are? And does that ultimately diminish the quality of our face-to-face conversations?

The Association staff and I are determined to renew our focus on listening, and we start with this newsletter.

First, I want you to know what we’ve heard recently, beginning with the Spring Conference. In visiting with a wide section of members, we learned that to reach most of you, we need to cast a wide geographic net from the upper Midwest to cities like San Antonio, Charlotte and even an occasional beach location like this year’s event in Clearwater, Fla. >>>

Purdue, CME Group Introduce Tool to Assess Ag Sentiment
Agribusiness executives have another tool to measure the health of the U.S. agriculture economy—this one seeking input from growers.

Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, in partnership with the derivatives marketplace CME Group, have launched the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly economic indicator report that underscores the importance of the ag economy to the U.S. and global economies. >>>

Kubota to Acquire Member Company Great Plains
Kubota Corporation announced Friday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.

Roy Applequist, who founded Great Plains in 1976 and remains chairman today, will continue on the leadership team to assure a seamless transition. “My plan is to play a significant role in helping Great Plains become a vital part of the Kubota family,” Applequist said. “Great Plains’ leadership position in the agricultural implement business has been earned by striving to do our best in satisfying our customers’ needs, and we are confident that teaming up with Kubota will allow us to continue to uphold this tradition.” >>>

Canada's Ag Industry Intensifies Lobby Work
Reports filed in the federal lobbyists registry show communications in April between federal officials and groups such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, Soy Canada, the Canada Seed and Trade Association, and dairy associations from three provinces. >>>

President Signs Trade Secrets Law
President Obama last week signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which allows companies to file suit in federal court over allegations of trade secrets theft. Trade secret theft was already a federal crime, but without the right to sue in federal court, companies had to seek redress amid a patchwork of state laws. >>>

Brazil's 'Soy King' Named New Ag Minister
Brazil’s Senate voted last week to suspend its president and put her on trial. The interim president appointed the country's largest soybean farmer as the new agriculture minister. The ag industry is among Brazil's strongest sectors as the country battles a financial crisis. >>>

Production Pressures Prices
Meat and livestock prices are likely to fall further in North America in 2016, according to Tyson Foods. Lower feed costs, however, will support profit margins. >>>

USDA Releases Planting Numbers
Numbers from the USDA tell us that as of Sunday, 75 percent of corn had been planted nationwide, which is up 11 points from a week ago. This time last year, about 82 percent of corn was in the ground. >>>

Call for Board Nominations
Do you know someone who would make a good addition to the Association's Board of Directors? Paula Kaster from Kasco Manufacturing will lead the committee to nominate candidates for the board. Find out how the process works. >>>

Association Spotlight: Towed Implement Council
Have you ever wondered what they talk about in the Towed Implement Product Council meetings? Here's your opportunity to learn. >>>

Is Your Directory on Your Desk?
You should have received your 2016/2017 membership directory by now. Please check your listing. If you'd like to make changes, you can update the digital directory today. >>>

2016 Standards CD Available to Members
The Association will again this year provide free copies of the ASABE standards CD to regular members who do not have access to an ASABE membership. The CD is a $549 value. >>>

ASABE Develops, Revises, Adopts Standards
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has released information about several standards. >>>

When Will Relief Come to Ag Economy?
Greg Cole, CEO of AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, shared this thought recently at an ag conference: A Purdue University study showed that "good times last five to seven years. Not so good times last 10 to 12 years" in agriculture. >>>

Dealer News: Fire Destroys Titan Store
A massive fire destroyed a Titan Machinery building in Milbank, S.D. earlier this month. >>>

AgJunction Reports Gains in Q1
AgJunction, on the heels of acquiring Novariant, reports first quarter gains compared to the same quarter last year. >>>

Member Anniversaries
Look who's celebrating an anniversary! These companies represent a collective 90 years of Association membership. >>>

Loftness Anniversary
Loftness Specialized Equipment, an Association member since 1980, is celebrating 60 years in business. See the company’s story at >>>

Sales Up at Buhler in Q2
Buhler Industries reported its sales revenue for the most recent quarter was up, but for the first half the fiscal year, sales are lagging. >>>

Rocky Mountain Releases Q1 Results
Rocky Mountain Dealerships report that in the company's first quarter, used equipment inventory declined by $10.9 million, or 3.8 percent. Total revenues declined by 14 percent to $189.5 million. >>>

Trial Delayed in Iowa Water Quality Case
The legal battle over water quality in Iowa will not make it to trial this summer. The judge, who was reassigned to the case in February, cannot honor the August trial date set prior to his assignment. >>>

Supreme Court: Franchises Must Pay $15 Minimum Wage by 2018
A Supreme Court decision means that cities and states that increase the minimum wage must treat franchises as offshoots of brand parents rather than independent small businesses. >>>

S.C. Governor Vetoes Farm Funding Bill, House & Senate Override
Farmers in South Carolina were hit with two feet of water in October. The state's governor has vetoed a bill that provided funding to recover, suggesting farmers shouldn't be singled out from other flood-affected businesses. The House has approved an override of the veto, and the Senate is expected to follow. >>>

Contribute to the Conversation
Are you affected by regulations related to the Clean Water Act? Get in touch. We want to tell your story. >>>

In Memoriam: Warren Pence
Bobby Warren Pence of Hi-Light USA in Memphis died in April. He was 56. Pence is survived by his wife, Lynne O’Malley Pence, a daughter, a son, and brother Terry Curtis Pence, with whom he began Hi-Light. >>>

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