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Get Ready for Ratzenberger: Actor Previews His Talk in KC
The feisty and passionate John Ratzenberger is looking forward to meeting members of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association. He chatted with Shortliner this week to offer a quick preview of what we'll hear in Kansas City.

Ratzenberger tells his audiences: "If every actor, celebrity and sports hero disappeared tomorrow, our families would be sad, but that's about it. But if every machinist, welder, and fabricator disappeared, our civilization would grind to a halt." >>>

Newspaper Investigates Farm Accidents
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has begun a four-part series examining deaths related to farm accidents. The series—Tragic Harvest—is based on a comprehensive analysis of records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, death certificates in Minnesota, more than 100 interviews with people who lost a loved one or co-worker in a farm accident, and investigative reports from sheriff’s departments, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, and the Minnesota State Patrol. >>>

Tractor Supply Hit with $775,000 Penalty
The EPA and Justice Department have announced a settlement with Tractor Supply that resolves allegations that the company imported and sold more than 28,000 . . . >>>

Crops Rot for Want of Laborers
Some Michigan farmers are being forced to leave crops to rot in the field for lack of available harvest laborers. The Detroit News calls the problem shameful and blames bad immigration policy, which it says could be easily fixed if Congress would stop fighting about immigration and start adopting sensible regulations. >>>

Editorial from the Wall Street Journal: Planting a Pro-Union Ruling Down on the Farm
Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece on employees who keep trying to boot the United Farm Workers, but California’s labor board won’t allow it. This excerpt offers a good sense of the pro-union tactics at work in this case.

“In the tradition of the Obama administration’s pro-union shenanigans with the National Labor Relations Board, California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) has teamed up with the United Farm Workers union to shake down workers at the state’s largest tree-fruit grower. Gerawan Farming, a third-generation family farm in Fresno, is trying to fend off the attack. >>>

Klubertanz Named President of Digi-Star and RDS Technology
Digi-Star has announced that Kevin Klubertanz has been appointed as president of Digi-Star and RDS Technology. Klubertanz is charged with further integrating the Digi-Star and RDS business and to work collaboratively with the other Topcon agriculture businesses. >>>

Michigan Dealer Shifts to Selling Lawn, Garden Equipment
The Traverse City Record-Eagle shared a bit of news recently about a business in Williamsburg, Mich., that hinted at bigger issues in the industry. The business, Classic Farm Equipment has shifted its inventory from agricultural equipment to lawn and garden and land management. >>>

UAW and Deere Agree on Contract
United Auto Workers voted this week to ratify a six-year contract with Deere & Co., deciding that a modest pay bump and increased job security outweighed increases in their medical costs, the Des Moines Register reported. >>>

Stoll and KMW Announce Front-End Loader Alliance
KMW Ltd., of Sterling, Kan., and Wilhelm Stoll Maschinenfabrik, of Lengede, Germany, have announced a global strategic alliance for the engineering, manufacturing, and sales of front-end loaders used in agricultural and professional applications. >>>

NAEDA Gets New Name, Leaders
The North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) announced that it has rebranded the association in order to communicate that the association is evolving, engage positive perceptions, and draw attention to the renewed focus of the organization. >>>

Commentary: Integrating Millennials into the Workforce
Research from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte predicts as many as 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025, up from initial estimates of 600,000. Add to that a whopping 77 million members of the Millennial generation entering the labor force, and what do you get? Scott Stone, Director of Marketing for Cisco-Eagle, Inc., posed this question in a column he wrote at

His response: an opportunity to revitalize the manufacturing sector with a renewed emphasis on technology, innovation, and digitization.

Millennials, ages 18–32, are expected to take over 75% of work over the next decade. This shifting demographics will alter the manufacturing landscape, he wrote, and he offers these tips to prepare. >>>

Labor Departments Post 'Worker Voice' Video
On its own YouTube channel, the DOL posted a video called “Start the Conversation.” It’s clearly pro-union, although it does not use the word “union.” It’s meant to help draw attention to the White House Summit on Worker Voice (the video includes a link to the White House’s page for the summit). - Video - >>>

Camoplast Solideal Becomes Camso
Camoplast Solideal, a Canadian company specializing in components and assemblies for manufacturers like Deere, AGCO, Case IH, New Holland, and Claas, changed its name this summer to Camso. >>>

Broyhill on Fox Business Network
The Broyhill Company was featured on a two-minute piece on Manufacturing Marvels, a show dedicated to spotlighting American manufacturers and products. Among Broyhill’s products are agriculture sprayers. (video) >>>

Vermeer Introduces Pre-Owned Program
Vermeer Corporation has introduced a program designed to give peace of mind to farmers shopping for pre-owned machines: Job Ready. >>>

ASABE Adopts Standard for Guards for Moving Parts
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has completed the national adoption of ISO Technical Specification 28924:2007 Agricultural machinery—Guards for moving parts of power transmission—Guard opening without tool.

This identical adoption, designated ASABE/ISO TS 28924:2007 SEP2015, provides safety requirements for the design and construction of guards that can be opened without a tool and that shield the moving parts of power-transmission machines used in agriculture. >>>

On the Agenda in KC:Discussion on Towed Implements
Any Association member who manufactures equipment that may be towed on public roadways is invited to participate in the Towed Implement Council meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Fall Convention in Kansas City. >>>

Strong Dollar Hurts Exports
The U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $48.3 billion in August from $41.8 billion in July (revised), as exports decreased and imports increased.

Exports decreased to $185.1 billion in August from $188.8 billion in July. Goods were $124.5 billion in August, down from $128.5 billion in July. >>>

Art's Way Releases Q3 Numbers
Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. has announced its financial results for the quarter ending August 31. The company’s consolidated corporate sales for the period were $6,886,000, compared to $11,585,000 for the same periods in 2014, a 40.6% decrease for the quarter. >>>

Wisconsin Wins Grant to Study Ag Equipment on Bridges
Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials will receive a $1.3 million national grant to conduct research on how agricultural implements impact the state’s bridges. DOT applied for and received a grant from the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board “to get a better understanding of the nature of the fleet of vehicles out there.” >>>

Member Anniversaries: A Whopping 565 Collective Years
October has long been a standout month for membership. It is the month of the Fall Marketing & Distribution Convention, the event upon which the Association was built and the event which continues to rank among members’ most valued benefits.

This October is marked not only by a long list of anniversaries but a number of members with remarkable longevity.

This is what gives the Association such strength. When we can bring together shortliners with a 60-year history in the Association with shortliners who are new to membership and perhaps rookies in the industry, we can bring together the wisdom and energy that can lead to great things.

To these members, and to each of you, thank you for being part of Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association. >>>

Caterpillar Announces Big Job Cuts
Caterpillar announced recently it plans to cut as many as 10,000 jobs. The cuts are part of a restructuring plan in response to what the company calls “a convergence of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors—namely in mining and energy.” >>>

Trade Ministers Approve Trans-Pacific Partnership
Trade ministers from a dozen countries convened in Atlanta last week and, after five days of round-the-clock talks, reached agreement on the biggest trade deal in a generation.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact among the U.S., Japan, Australia, Vietnam and eight other countries around the Pacific—though not China—lowers trade barriers for goods and services ranging from poultry to building materials, and sets commercial rules for two-fifths of the global economy. >>>

Combines Make Bad Getaway Cars
Deputies in Barton County, Kan., fired 18 rounds into a Case IH combine earlier this month to disable it and end a slow-moving police chase. The man driving the combine allegedly stole it from a cornfield near Ellinwood in central Kansas. A call to 911 reported a reckless combine on the road, swerving from >>>

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