The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) hosted an Ag Executive Outlook panel during the opening day of the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. AEM’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Nick Yaksich, sat on the panel and hit on key policy issues impacting the ag equipment industry.
Yaksich mention the Renewable Fuel Standard first and its role in building demand. “There are great opportunities with corn ethanol and beyond,” he said. “There is a push from the oil industry to fight back and repeal that. On the top of our list is to maintain what the government has put into law.”
Another major policy issue for AEM is government regulations. “The fear of whether it’s Waters of the United States or emissions, there has to be an understanding and balance without harming the economy with regulations,” said Yaksich.
Industry executives on the panel included Todd Stucke with Kubota, Leif Magnusson of CLAAS Global Sales Americas, Jim Walker with Case IH NAFTA, and Great Plains Manufacturing president Linda Salem who each gave their perspectives on industry issues.
When it comes to policy, Yaksich made it clear that the results of this year’s presidential election will be significant. “It is critical for people to be involved early so when whoever is elected, the agricultural community is well represented on day one,” he said.
AEM stresses industry involvement in policy issues with the I Make America campaign, which is dedicated to advocating for policies that strengthen their industry and economic vitality. “The key is grassroots involvement by voting members,” said Yaksich. “We started the I Make America campaign to reach beyond the corporate CEOs.” The campaign is in its fourth year and is equipped with a mobile marketing tour featuring a video game component to reach different groups within companies.
Listen to my complete interview with Nick here: Interview with Nick Yaksich, AEM