AEM Manufacturing Express Kicks Off Cross-Country Tour in Iowa

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7/8/2024

AEM Manufacturing ExpressThe AEM Manufacturing Express officially kicked off its 10,000-mile cross-country bus tour in Iowa with stops at Weiler, Vermeer, and Ring-O-Matic, before capping off a busy week with an appearance in the Urbandale 4th of July Parade and a tailgate at the Iowa Cubs game with Two Rivers Marketing and Spindustry. The stops drew thousands of manufacturing workers and their friends and family for a celebration of the grit, determination, and can-do spirit of the men and women who build amazing equipment in central Iowa.

The AEM Manufacturing Express is the most ambitious member engagement initiative in the association’s 130-year history, designed to tell the stories of the men and women who make the equipment that builds, powers, and feeds the world. “Behind every piece of equipment is a story, and we are excited to tell the stories of the 2.3 million men and women of our industry,” AEM President Megan Tanel told the crowd of more than 700 people who had gathered for the launch at Weiler.

These stories were front and center during the tour’s swing through the Hawkeye State. Like that of Erik Murphy at Ring-O-Matic, who turned an internship into a career as a design engineer and the pride he feels when he sees machines he helped design hard at work cleaning up construction sites. Or that of Jake Harsin at Weiler, who spoke about the opportunities that a career in equipment manufacturing offers anyone who is willing to take chances, try different roles, and let their career grow around them.

The impact of the equipment manufacturing industry is felt beyond the family-sustaining jobs that it provides people in communities across Iowa. Pat Weiler spoke passionately about “how proud we are to call Knoxville home and honored to support the community through the Weiler Foundation, with contributions to schools, hospitals, community centers, and a wide variety of nonprofit organizations that make Knoxville a great community, and a better place to live.” His words were echoed by Jason Andringa, who spoke with KNIA / KRLS Radio about Iowa’s rich manufacturing history and how the industry has made a lasting impression on Marion County.

Kip Eideberg, AEM’s Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations, sat down with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for the first installments of ON BOARD! They discussed the importance of equipment manufacturers to small towns like Knoxville and Pella, touched on the policies needed to secure the long-term growth and prosperity of the industry, and settled the debate about the greatest road-trip snack (hint: it rhymes with lizard). You can watch the inaugural segments of ON BOARD! on the tour’s website. Be sure to check back for future segments as the tour rolls on across America.

Other highlights from the first week included a stop at the iconic Knoxville Raceway, known as the “Sprint Car Capital of the World,” and a trip to Lake Red Rock, the largest lake in Iowa. See some of the notable highlights in the Flickr gallery below:

AEM Manufacturing Express

Following a busy week in central Iowa, the AEM Manufacturing Express headed north to Minnesota where it will be spending the next two weeks visiting nine equipment manufacturers across the state, including Condux Tesmex (Mankato), Jarraff Industries (St. Peter), The Toro Company (Bloomington), and Rotochopper (St. Martin) this week.

The AEM Manufacturing Express returns to Iowa this fall for stops at Deere & Co. and Kinze Manufacturing.

For more AEM news and updates, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.

Advocacy & Legislation, AEM Updates, Agriculture & Forestry, Construction, Mining & Utility

For more AEM news and updates, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.

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