ARA Recognizes Efforts to Support Ag Retailers

Jamie Johansen

ARA Vice Chairman Troy Johnson with Wilbur-Ellis, Immediate Past Chairman Tim McArdle with Brandt Consolidated and Chairman John Oster with Morral Companies, present award to Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).

The Agricultural Retailers Association recognized two legislators who led efforts to defend the industry’s freedom to operate: Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas). Both were named ARA’s 2017 Legislator of the Year.

ARA recognized the congressmen for leading legislative relief on regulatory issues such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s illegal Process Safety Management retail exemption enforcement memo and the Department of Transportation’s new Electronic Logging Device requirements.

“It is an honor to present Sen. Lankford and Rep. Babin with ARA’s Legislator of the Year award,” said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “The work they did to help block PSM enforcement, as well as the fight against DOT’s ELD mandate is greatly appreciated by ag retailers. We are grateful for their dedication and continued support of the agriculture industry.”

ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock presents award to Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas).

ARA presents its Legislator of the Year award annually to a member, or members, of Congress who champion legislation important to the agricultural retail industry. The awards were presented during the ARA Board of Directors and Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Agricultural Retailers Association,” Lankford said. “Farmers and ranchers respect the land, their neighbors, and the rules. But they want the rules to be fair, and they want their voices to be heard. Regulators that live their lives on concrete should listen to the insight of families who live on the soil before they make policy decisions about agriculture. Our Oklahoma farm communities rely on their local agricultural retailers to meet their farm business needs. In this never-ending work, agribusinesses should not have to battle their federal government over-burdensome regulatory guidance.”

“Every day in Washington brings another story about hacking by domestic, foreign and non-state actors bent on theft or terrorism,” Babin said. “Creating a digital footprint from an ELD, most of which are ‘self-certified’ and assembled from Chinese components, on a truck carrying potentially hazardous materials such as anhydrous ammonia or ammonium nitrate fertilizer is the last thing we should allow.”

Ag Groups, ARA