Events, Technology, Advocacy Headline Discussions of AEM's Ag Sector Board

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4/15/2024

AEM Ag Sector BoardAEM’s Ag Sector Board of Directors met on April 9 in Washington, DC to discuss a number of key sector initiatives such as Commodity Classic and the Celebration of Agriculture on the National Mall. The agenda also featured updates from AEM staff regarding AEM’s Ag Technology Leadership Group and the association’s service areas, including advocacy and regulatory. The meeting concluded with a discussion around ag trade with U.S. Trade Ambassador Doug McKalip.     

Ag Sector Board Chair Bill Hurley, Vice President of Global Government Affairs for AGCO, called the meeting to order and welcomed Directors to the first meeting of 2024.  Hurley shared several updates on key ag sector initiatives aimed at achieving the board’s 2024-2025 goals. These updates included:  

  • Membership 
  • Ag Regulatory Outreach 
  • Ag Leadership Groups 
  • Commodity Classic 

Commodity Classic 

AEM Senior Director of Joint Sector Initiatives John Rozum provided an update on the latest Commodity Classic that was held in Houston this past February. The show was the largest yet from an attendee and square footage perspective, and it received glowing reviews from both attendees and exhibitors alike. It was also an opportunity for several different engagements with groups like USDA NASS, CISA, Ag Gateway, and several of AEM’s ag leadership groups.  

The AEF Plugfest was also held in conjunction with the show and saw the same success. 

AEM Ag Technology Leadership Group 

AEM Director of Agriculture Austin Gellings updated the Board on the priorities and expanding scope of the Ag Technology Leadership Group to include dairy, irrigation, startups, and specialty crops. The Ag Sector Board then discussed the work occurring within Ag Gateway and AEF, calling out the joint work happening between both those groups and AEM. 

Data Use 

AEM Senior Vice President of Membership, Business Development and Data Sara Truesdale Mooney discussed a proposal to use data in support of AEM’s regulatory and legislative priorities. The Ag Sector Board recommended the proposal for AEM Board approval. Please see the upcoming AEM Board of Directors recap for more details. 

Advocacy 

AEM Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations Kip Eideberg and Vice President of Federal Affairs Kate Fox Wood reviewed recent legislative accomplishments and discussed the ongoing efforts happening at the federal level. Looking towards the remainder of 2024 they highlighted continued efforts surrounding the hopeful passage of a Farm Bill at some point in 2024 along with legislation focusing on tax reform, immigration, and workforce development. 

AEM Director of State Affairs Nick Rudowich then provided an overview of engagements and accomplishments with state level lawmakers, specifically highlighting AEM’s work in states like Wisconsin and California.  

Eideberg also thanked Directors for their engagement with The AEM Manufacturing Express, the association's most ambitious advocacy initiative to date.

The next meetings of the AEM, Ag, and CE Sector Boards are scheduled for July 31-Aug. 1 in Chicago. For more information about the AEM Ag Sector Board, contact Curt Blades at cblades@aem.org.

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