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In the Oct. 13 issue of AEM’s Advisor News, Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president and ag sector lead, discussed “10 reasons not to panic about the current drop in farm equipment sales.” While I do agree with many of his observations and reasons, I feel a need to respond from the dealer’s point of view.
At its recent meeting in St. Louis, the NAEDA Board of Directors approved sweeping changes to the structure of the association’s committees and councils. The changes are intended to encourage greater participation at the national level and offer enhanced opportunity for members to provide input on policies, strategies and key issues fundamental to their success.
For the past several months, eight task groups have been working behind the scenes to address the priorities or focus areas for transitioning NAEDA to a new governance model. Later this month, the task groups will present their findings and recommendations to the NAEDA Board of Directors for consideration. The meeting promises to be an exciting opportunity to plot the course for significant change within the association - change that will enhance service to the members and better position NAEDA for continued success.
Last month, I promised an update on the progress of the Governance/Structure Task Group. However, this month, I need to briefly change the focus of this column in order to provide timely information on a couple of upcoming opportunities.
It is rare to have an opportunity to reshape an organization - especially, one that has more than 100 years of service to its members. Change is hard. It is controversial, politically sensitive and challenging, while status quo is comfortable and uncomplicated. However, change can also be invigorating, motivating and rewarding. It can offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assume a leadership role in positioning an organization for continued success - strengthening its foundation, refocusing its priorities, enhancing its value proposition and enabling its volunteer and staff leaders to focus on the goals and objectives of the organization.
If you don't like change, your’re going to like irrelevance even less.” This 2003 quote from General EricShinseki, chief of staff, U.S. Army, exemplifies the spirit of NAEDA’s leadership when they amended the association’s bylaws in September 2013. Let’s work together to embrace and initiate change within the association rather than wait and react to external changes.
As more progressive farming operations have grasped new technologies to make producing the nation’s and world’s food supply more efficient, progressive equipment dealers and the companies they represent have strived to keep pace with the advancements in agricultural technology. GPS, precision agriculture and more recently, coordination by telematics, comprise the current generations of technological applications that most dealers are and have been assisting customers with for years.
In December 2013, NAEDA conducted a readership survey for our monthly publication, Equipment Dealer. The purpose of the survey was to identify whether our current editorial content was in line with readers’ needs, as well as solicit additional topic content for the future.
WOW! Congress adjourned in December with a two-year budget deal. Who would have thought that was possible, given the fact that they are even more unpopular than the president who is going to sign this deal. Just remember Congress will be back in Washington in January to discuss a host of unfinished business after their return and the elections next fall.
The NAEDA Board of Directors has named Richard E. “Rick” Lawhun president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Lawhun has more than 30 years of experience with demonstrated leadership in strategic planning, program development, membership growth and financial management.