President’s Column: Time, Effort Today Lead to Big Gains

This message from President Matt Westendorf appears in the fall issue of Ag Innovator magazine, which is in the mail now.


You get out of something what you put into it. That message we likely heard as kids and now repeat to our own children is relevant beyond science fair projects and team sports. It is true of Association membership.

I offer this thought to you as an Association member who has in fact put time into membership and has seen our business made better by it. It is an especially important message now because the Association is offering opportunities that may take time, but the payoffs could be enormous.

First, the Marketing & Distribution Convention in Oklahoma City starts Nov. 2. I would argue that you will save time if you attend. In the span of a few days in a single location, you will see colleagues, meet distributors and suppliers, and hear from experts on topics relevant to this industry in this moment. If you haven’t yet registered, go to FarmEquip.org to check out who already has signed up, meet the speakers, and explore the opportunities to network and sell your products.

Next, the Association is announcing two new resources. Sentry has released a comprehensive safety toolkit for farm equipment manufacturers, and the insurer has made the generous decision to make it available to members regardless of whether they are policyholders.

A story in the fall issue explains the resource in more detail, but of course the best way to fully grasp what it offers is to go to the password-protected document online. It’s available at FarmEquip.org/SentrySafety. If you need your username and password, call Tricia Kidd at (314) 878-2304, or send her an email at TKidd@FarmEquip.org.

I am also excited to tell you about a new cybersecurity benefit. The Association has invested in a three-year partnership with Enquiron to provide vast resources to companies seeking to mitigate their risk of a cyber attack and be prepared to respond to one. Through this web-based platform, you will be able to:

  • Conduct a phishing campaign to assess employees’ vulnerability.
  • Access an online training program that allows employees to choose courses and employers to monitor employees’ progress.
  • Access webinars, cyber security news, and a depth of policy samples, including:
    • patch management
    • data breach response plan
    • end user encryption key protection

This much information would be overwhelming if not for the way it is structured. Members who use this resource will begin by answering 15 straightforward questions such as “How many critical records does your company have?” And, “Is data transmitted in a secure and encrypted fashion?”

Based on your responses, the platform recommends next steps.

This is again a resource that cannot be fully explained in this format. Josh Linton from Enquiron will speak at the convention in Oklahoma City on cyber risk and this new resource, which launches Nov. 1.

You will receive an introductory email from Kristi Ruggles at the Association and a follow-up invitation from Enquiron to set up your login. (Quick note: Members who have insurance policies with Sentry have this service as part of your coverage. You will continue to access the resource through Sentry rather than the Association.)

Will it take time to see what’s available through the safety toolkit created by Sentry? Yes. Will it take time to activate the cyber security resource at your facility? Not much, but yes. Will you regret not spending that time if indeed your data is compromised, or an accident happens?

The message that applies to the convention and these resources applies to every facet of Association membership. There is much to be gained if you take the time.

See you in Oklahoma City.

Association President Matt Westendorf,
Westendorf Manufacturing