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Newsletter, Industry & Manufacturing News

STIHL Inc. is pleased to welcome Stephen Ballenger as the new vice president of operations in the U.S. Ballenger will be responsible for all production operations at the more than one million square foot corporate headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA where the company produces more than 275 models of handheld outdoor power equipment. His role will include directing manufacturing, engineering, materials and procurement, logistics, buildings, maintenance and quality assurance activities.

Ballenger brings more than 30 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise and leadership experience to STIHL, most recently serving as president of Light Vehicles USA for Metalsa in Elizabethtown, Ky. Previous leadership experience includes positions at Carl Zeiss, Hella and a 15-year career with Bosch North America. Ballenger has a Master of Science in industrial management and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Clemson University. Source: STIHL Press Release Read More...

Newsletter, Legislative & Regulatory News

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee member, Erik Paulsen (R-MN) recently introduced the Health Savings Act of 2016 (H.R. 4469 & S. 2499), which seeks to simplify and expand HSAs and FSAs. Created to give Americans control over their personal health care spending, these plans have grown in popularity despite needing critical updates to match our changing health care system.

For example, when HSAs were first made available back in 2003, these plans only covered 454,000 lives. Today, 19.7 million individuals are covered under a health plan that is HSA-eligible. Among other things, the comprehensive legislation clarifies that individual employees’ contributions to HSAs and FSAs should not be counted toward the calculation of the Cadillac Excise Tax. Source: TASC Provider News (EDA endorsed provider.) Read More...

Newsletter, NAEDA & Association News, Dealer News

The Equipment Dealers Association is again publishing its annual Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey in 2016.  We are putting the final touches on the 72-page report which will be released to only EDA dealer-members and the 55 manufacturers which received the minimum responses to be included in the report.  This year we will be releasing the report via a link to our new, redesigned EDA website for download which should be ready in a couple of weeks.  At that time we will send you the link to the report on the EDA website for you to download.

EDA is proud to report that due to extensive promotion by our organization along with the promotion and support of several manufacturers we experienced significant increases in dealer participation across the board. A total of 9,180 individual company ratings were provided by over 2,300 dealerships, increases of 35% and 25% respectively.  Also 55 companies will be included in the report compared to 50 last year. Read More...

Legislative & Regulatory News

The Senate has approved the first comprehensive energy bill (S. 2012) since 2007, producing a long-awaited victory for Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. The measure, which was approved 85-12, must now be reconciled with a more partisan House bill that has drawn a veto threat from the White House.

That bill passed on a 240-174 vote in December with support from only nine Democrats. But Murkowski said the biggest challenge in writing a compromise version with the House will be the short amount of time Congress will be in session rather than the issues themselves. She has said she's hoping to send a final bill to President Obama before the August congressional recess. EDA is continuing to monitor legislation as it moves forward. Read More...

NAEDA & Association News

Tom Nobbe, of Wm Nobbe & Company, Inc in Waterloo, IL and member of Equipment Dealers Association and Midwest Equipment Dealers Association was among the eighteen business executives who gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona, on February 18-20 to participate in the 2016 Federated Insurance Advisory Council. In its 27th consecutive year, the Advisory Council gave business leaders an opportunity to discuss challenges facing their industries with a receptive insurance partner.

This year’s agenda focused on how businesses can continue a successful trajectory when faced with an evolving economy, changing workforce, and emerging hazards. During the meeting, Nobbe shared his thoughts on workplace safety, distracted driving, cyber security, employee health benefits, hiring and retaining employees, business succession planning, and employment law and human resources issues.

EDA wants to thank Tom for his service on the Advisory Council and his past service to EDA as a director and board chairman. Read More...

Industry & Manufacturing News

To recognize evolving roles and expanding growth opportunities within the company, Kinze Manufacturing has announced several leadership role changes. Company founder Jon Kinzenbaw has assumed the role of CEO and Chairman of the Board. Susie Kinzenbaw Veatch, Jon's daughter, has been named President and Chief Marketing Officer. Brian McKown has been named Executive Vice President and COO.

Along with the realignment, the company announced several additional Vice President and Director-level title changes. A copy of the press release can be found here. Read More...

Legislative & Regulatory News

Senators Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, want to take some of the tax burden off of young agriculture students. Together they introduced this week the Agriculture Students Earn Act (S. 2774) that would exclude the first $5,000 of gross agricultural income from being taxed by the IRS.

“For agriculture and our rural way of life to thrive, it is essential for a new generation of young people to return to rural America to live, work and raise their families,” Moran said. “Our policies, including the tax code, should encourage this goal by fostering student interest in pursuing a career in agriculture, and I’m proud to have Senator Ernst join me in introducing the Agriculture Students Earn Act.” EDA is monitoring this legislation for for future action by the Senate. Read More...

Legislative & Regulatory News

In a new report published yesterday by The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, they have identified regulatory barriers as the biggest threat to international trade.

The report, entitled Canada’s Next Top Trade Barrier: Taking International Regulatory Cooperation Seriously, sheds a harsh light on current issues surrounding regulatory cooperation between Canada and its trading partners and provides the federal government with a series of recommendations for improving Canada’s regulatory regime. Read More...

Industry & Manufacturing News

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has agreed to acquire 35 percent equity stake in Finland-based farm equipment firm Sampo Rosenlew. Through this strategic partnership with Sampo Rosenlew, a combine harvester company, M&M has forayed into the global combine harvester business. Under the transaction, which is expected to close by June 30, 2016, the two companies will work in tandem to grow their combine harvester business globally.

Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director, M&M Ltd, has said, “Mahindra is the world’s leading tractor company by volume, with an on ground presence in India, USA, China and Japan, besides many other export markets. We are now putting in place a strategy to build a full product line of farm equipment that goes beyond tractors and with this we will compete globally in both advanced and developing markets.” Source: Business Standard Read More...

Industry & Manufacturing News

Since its inception on April 1, 1976, Great Plains Mfg. has evolved from modest beginnings to become one of the largest family-owned farm equipment manufacturers in the U.S. Forty years ago, Great Plains founder Roy Applequist set out to develop a new grain drill for the Central Plains. After months of interviewing area farmers about their grain drill needs, Applequist responded with a 30-foot folding press drill. The new unit offered high capacity, excellent field flexibility, and could be folded quickly for road transport, with boxes full of seed. Applequist aptly named the new drill, and subsequent company, Great Plains.

Today, Great Plains Mfg. encompasses 5 divisions: Great Plains Ag Division, Great Plains International, Land Pride, Great Plains Acceptance Corp. and Great Plains Trucking. With a continued focus on innovation and quality, Great Plains employs over 1,400 people and has plants in 8 Kansas communities plus Sleaford, England. Altogether, Great Plains operates approximately 1.7 million square feet of factory and office space. Read more. Source: Farm Equipment Read More...

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