NAEDA Newsletter
Thursday, July 31, 2014 Helping Dealers Succeed!

DEALERS...Your input requested

NAEDA’s Industry Relations Taskforce (IRTF) has upcoming meetings scheduled with AGCO- July 29, New Holland- September 9 and Kubota- September 24. If you are a dealer of one of these manufacturers, please feel free to contact Joe Dykes at NAEDA with any strategic, industry-wide or manufacturer specific issues you would like to be addressed at these meetings. The issues you submit will be coordinated with those of other dealers across North America.  Your input and direction helps insure that NAEDA effectively advocates on behalf of our dealer members and that your voice is being heard. Thank you in advance for your input!


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Industry & Manufacturing News
New manual shows growers how to share machinery, cut costs

Labor remains one of the key challenges for fruit and vegetable growers who want to scale up their operations to serve increasing consumer demand for local produce. A new manual from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture offers one possible solution: sharing machinery.

A new 50-page publication, "Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers," discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing specialized farm machinery for fruit and vegetable production. The manual has real-life case studies of growers who shared equipment, sample sharing agreements and worksheets for allocating costs fairly.

“Scaling up production for the retail and wholesale markets requires more land, more labor and often specialized machinery,” said Linda Naeve, Value Added Agriculture Extension program specialist who worked on the project. “To remain profitable, growers need to find innovative ways to improve labor efficiency through mechanization and other labor-saving strategies. But equipment costs can be prohibitive for small-scale growers and often they need several pieces of specialized equipment designed for different crops.” 

Source: Iowa State University

OPEI announces new officers

Alexandria, Va. - July 17, 2014 - The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) today announced its 2014-2015 Officers and Board of Directors, which was unveiled during the OPEI Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., June 17-19, 2014.

Officers for the 2014-2015 year include: OPEI Chairman Paul Mullet, President, Excel Industries; OPEI Vice Chair Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products at Techtronic Industries, N.A., Incorporated; and OPEI Secretary/Treasurer Tim Merrett, Vice President of A & T Global Platform and Turf & Utility, Deere & Company. Immediate past chair is Todd Teske, Chairman, President& CEO at Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

“OPEI is entering a new era of growth and engagement because of the ground work laid for many years by our Board of Directors,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “As the voice of outdoor power equipment, utility vehicle, and small engine manufacturers, we are doing more to support manufacturers, advocate on their behalf, educate dealers, and share safety standards and best practices within the industry and with consumers.”

“A hundred million plus consumers use our products and our industry is continuing to expand and grow,” said OPEI Chairman, Paul Mullet. “OPEI is championing the highest standards of safety and excellence during this phase of growth and innovation.”

Continuing their service on the OPEI Board are: Daniel T. Ariens, President & CEO, Ariens Company; Earl Bennett, Vice President and General Counsel, N/A and L/A - Husqvarna Professional Products; Steven M. Bly, Executive Vice President, Echo Incorporated; Edward B. Cohen, Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, American Honda Motor Company Inc.; Tom Cromwell, President, Kohler Engines, Kohler Company; John Cunningham, President, Consumer Products Group, Stanley Black & Decker; Marc  J. Dufour, President & CEO, Club Car LLC; Peter Hampton, President - Active Exhaust Corporation; Jean Hlay, President and Chief Operating Officer, MTD Products Inc; and Michael J. Hoffman, Chairman & CEO, the Toro Company.

Source: OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety and performance standards. For more information, visit

AEM elects three new directors

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has elected three new directors, to fill unexpired terms.

Joining the AEM Board of Directors is Jerry Johnson, President Farm, Ranch & Agriculture Division of Blount International, Oregon, Illinois.

Joining the AEM AG Sector Board are Brian McKown, Chief Operating Officer of Kinze Manufacturing, Williamsburg, Iowa, and Gene Fraser, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing of MacDon Industries, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

 AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business-development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide.

AEM directors and officers work on behalf of all AEM member companies to provide strategic direction and guidance for Association services, activities and programs, in areas including public policy; equipment statistics and market information; trade shows; technical, safety and regulatory; global business development; and education/training.

AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

Source: AEM


Legislative & Regulatory News
Business groups alarmed by rise of ‘micro-unions’ in workplace

Business groups are sounding the alarm over decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that they say would make it easier for small groups of people to create “micro-unions” in the workplace.

The NLRB first recognized the so-called micro-unions in 2011 at Specialty Healthcare, a rehabilitation center, where a group of nursing assistants wanted to organize. Then this week, the labor board endorsed another micro-union, giving a small group of employees at Macy's permission to organize.
Industry groups fear the arrangements could create havoc by forcing companies to bargain with multiple unions at the same work site.

“We are very concerned, because the Specialty Healthcare case, in our view, was just the tip of the iceberg,” said Eric Oppenheim, who owns 18 franchise restaurants throughout Maryland and D.C. “Now, they're going to target industries that traditionally were very difficult to unionize.”

Source: The Hill

Senators renew Internet sales tax push

Senators seeking to give states broader latitude to charge sales taxes on Internet purchases are preparing a last-ditch effort to pass legislation through Congress before the midterm elections.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been pushing such a fix for years, insisting it would level the playing field between brick-and-mortar and online retailers.

Now, Senate supporters believe they have a perfect vehicle: the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a relatively uncontroversial measure, which sailed through the House on Tuesday, that would extend a long-standing ban on state and local taxes on Internet access.

“Why wouldn’t we?” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), a longtime supporter of online sales tax legislation, said when asked if he planned to attach the Marketplace Fairness Act to the bill. “They’re a perfect fit.”

Enzi and several other senators released their new bill on Tuesday, which would attach the online sales tax measure to a 10-year extension of the Internet freedom bill. The House passed a permanent version of the online access bill on Tuesday.

Source: The Hill

Senate to act on highway fund

Senators next week are expected to take up a bill to extend the Highway Trust Fund, approving transportation funding until next spring and avoiding a critical shortfall.

House lawmakers passed a nearly $11 billion short-term measure for infrastructure funding on Tuesday, which would keep the fund, scheduled to run out of money in August, afloat until next spring.

The Obama administration has pressed lawmakers to act on the highway fund, warning that allowing it to run out could cost 700,000 construction jobs and delay critical projects during the busy summer travel season.

Democratic senators had balked at the House proposal, preferring a long-term measure, but the Obama administration’s endorsement of that bill earlier this week paved the way for a deal.

Source: The Hill

EPA keeps burning bridges

The EPA's waters of the U.S. rule continues to raise red flags for agriculture.

EPA continues to be a bit of a dirty word in the countryside. Despite Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy’s best attempts to clean up the agency’s act and build a bridge with the agricultural community, she keeps finding herself burning bridges.

The agency already had many in agriculture in an uproar over its proposed lower Renewable Fuels Standards for biofuels last fall. National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson explained that EPA’s reputation was “very severely damaged in farm country” with the proposal to scale-back the Renewable Fuels Standard and this likely led to the “surliness with which the WOTUS proposal rule was received.”

Source: Farm Futures

CBO says US deficit levels are unsustainable

Washington’s failure to contain entitlement spending is biting into the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook, the Congressional Budget Office warned in a Tuesday report that found the nation’s debt would jump to 106 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2039.

The CBO said the rising costs of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security as the U.S. population continues to age are the drivers of U.S. debt.

“Debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely,” the report said.

The nonpartisan watchdog said federal debt now held by the public stands at 74 percent of GDP.

Both that figure and the 25-year debt projection are slight increases from the CBO’s previous estimate, first released in September. The CBO found that U.S. debt was 73 percent of GDP in 2013 and predicted that would rise to 102 percent in 2039.

Source: The Hill

Know the facts about EPA's Clean Water Act Proposal

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act. EPA and the Corps are bringing clarity and consistency to the process.

The proposal:

  • DOES NOT regulate new types of ditches
  • DOES NOT regulate activities on land
  • DOES NOT apply to groundwater 
  • DOES NOT change the exemption for stock ponds
  • DOES NOT require permits for normal farming activities, like moving cattle
  • DOES NOT regulate puddles

To address misconceptions about the rule, EPA is providing the facts on how the proposed rule cuts through red tape to make normal farming practices easier while also ensuring that waters are clean for human health, communities, and the economy. Read the facts about the proposal here.

Read EPA Administrator McCarthy's recent remarks to the Kansas City Agribusiness Council here.

Source: EPA

Canadian News
Harper embarks on strategy to win back Quebec voters

Stephen Harper is planning a cabinet meeting in Quebec City as part of celebrations surrounding Confederation, hoping to boost his party’s profile in a former Conservative stronghold that was swept up by the NDP in the last election.

Source: The Globe and Mail

PM Stephen Harper tours flooded regions in Manitoba

Prime Minister Stephen Harper got a bird’s-eye view of Manitoba’s flooded farm fields, washed out roads and dikes holding back a raging Assiniboine River fuelled by floodwater pouring in from the west. Harper took a 20-minute helicopter tour of the southwestern Manitoba region on Sunday before thanking volunteers and emergency officials in Brandon for working around the clock on the flood effort.

Source: The Star

New indicators point to a better second half of 2014 for Canadian economy

A fresh manufacturing report in Canada and surprisingly strong employment numbers from the United States offer a hint of encouragement to Canada's economic prospects entering the second half of 2014. While not all the data is in, the first half of the year produced a hiccup for the economy -- although bad weather was an extenuating factor -- after a strong finish to 2013.

Source: CTV News

Canadian manufacturers poised to grow, repatriate production, jobs: KPMG

Canada's manufacturing sector is finally poised for a true recovery after spending the last eight years in survival mode, according to a new report from consulting firm KPMG.  In the report, KPMG says many of the headwinds that worked against the sector during and since the 2008-09 recession are poised to reverse.

Source: The Record

Unemployment edged up to 7.1 per cent in June

The Canadian economy's capacity to generate meaningful job growth continued to fall short of expectations last month -- particularly in Ontario -- as employment surprisingly fell by 9,400 nationally in June and by 33,900 in the country's most populous province.

Source: CTV News

Stephen Harper under pressure to fill Senate vacancies

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may soon be grappling with a whole new problem inside the Senate. He has already endured a Senate expenses scandal that cost him his chief of staff and suffered another setback in his attempts to reform the upper chamber thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision.

Source: CBC News

Mike Duffy, suspended Senator, facing 31 charges

The RCMP has charged Senator Mike Duffy with bribery, frauds on the government and 29 other charges related to Senate expenses, the awarding of consultant contracts and the acceptance of a $90,000 payment by the prime minister's former chief of staff.

Source: CBC News

New centre to boost profile of Canadian beef

A new Centre of Excellence is going to do for beef what Cigi has done for grains and oilseeds, says the president of Canada Beef. “I’ve always been high on Cigi — the folks there have done a tremendous job of ensuring Canadian grains have strong international recognition,” said Rob Meijer.

Source: Alberta Farm Express

FPT Agriculture Ministers focus on emerging opportunities for a growing sector of Canada's economy

Canada's federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture concluded their annual meeting after focused discussions on creating opportunities for a dynamic agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada. Ministers continue to plan for long-term success, while taking necessary actions to further strengthen the sector, which contributed $106.9 billion to Canada's GDP in 2013.

Source: Insurance News Net

NAEDA, Association & Program Partner News
9 Ways to Diversify Your Social Content

Content is king, but it can be difficult to continue to come up with new and exciting content ideas for you website, blog, and social media. Utilize the following concepts to refresh your social media strategy:

1. Post an interview 
Interview someone influential at your dealership. Highlight anything that is current at your dealership, including how‐to videos explaining and demonstrating new car features, upcoming sale details, or the inner workings of the dealership. The interview can be videoed, recorded, or written.
2. Make it visual
Social media visuals don’t have to be professionally made infographics. Take any clean, well demonstrated visual, even a picture of a whiteboard at your dealership, and post it with a meaningful message.
3. Tell a customer story
Take the last fantastic sale you had and tell your followers about it. Make sure to include how you went above and beyond to provide your customer with exactly what they needed. In this case, a picture of a happy customer can make the story real, as well as make it worth a 1,000 words.
4. Shoot a quick video
Have something important to say? Create a short and sweet video and post it on your social media sites. Videos can be just as powerful as words.
5. Broadcast a review
Did you get a good dealership review? Or maybe one of your brand vehicles is getting rave reviews from buyers everywhere. Tell the world about it! Good news can convince a potential buyer to check out your dealership or inventory.
6. Answer popular questions
Do you get the same questions over and over about new car features or the buying process? Create an article about it, post the question on your social media, and answer it with a link to your article. You’re providing valuable information to your customers and creating valuable content at the same time.
7. Provide need‐to‐know information
Create a post about the top things buyers need to know about car purchasing. Providing valuable information will answer their questions and complete their research before they even walk into your dealership.
8. Highlight your inventory
Every time you get a new vehicle in, or if you’re just focusing upon a specific car, highlight it on your social pages. Post VDPs to get as much mileage out of your inventory as possible.
9. Respond to a comment
Sometimes a customer may post valuable comments or an important question on your social sites. Post and respond to them in a blog. Many people may have similar questions; publically responding to them allows your other customers and potential buyers quick and easy access to the information.

Do you have further questions about how to diversify and leverage your content on social media? Contact

This article is provided by DigiGo, a KPA Company providing Digital Marketing services for over 5,100 dealerships and service companies. If you have additional questions or interest in our service, please contact KPA at or 800.853.9659.

NAEDA Compensation and Benefits Survey

One of the most important areas of an association's function is the collection, publishing and dissemination of important industry information to help members in the operation of their business.

We are in final process of building NAEDA’s most comprehensive Compensation and Benefits Survey to date.  Dealers ask NAEDA and the regional affiliate associations’ questions regarding compensation levels and incentive methods as well as benefit details on a regular basis.  It’s time to update the survey and we need your participation to make the information valid and useful for your dealership.  

The survey will incorporate many new elements to account for the various new dealership staff positions as well as corporate staff positions and structure.  The benefits section has also been enhanced to account for changes in health care laws and other areas. These additions were specifically requested by dealers along with other suggestions from association staff and industry experts.

With a comprehensive survey comes a need for comprehensive commitment from dealers to participate and provide the data.  The results will only be as good as the data going in.

The survey should be distributed to NAEDA members via email in August with the results compiled and published this fall.

We’ll keep you posted!

Consider a contribution to NAEDA's Equipment Dealers Foundation

NAEDA’s Equipment Dealers Foundation (EDF) was created to provide grants to meet the industry’s need for training resources, career advancements and scholarships.  Through the years, the EDF has expanded its efforts to help dealership employees affected by natural disasters.  Moving forward, your support is needed for research, grants and scholarships to continue to enhance our industry.

When faced with a disaster, the EDF has been able to step in and help.  The EDF has financially aided a number of dealers and dealer employees, thanks to the generous support of dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and affiliated associations.

The purpose is not to replace insurance coverage or the entire business economics; rather, the efforts through “bridge grants” of up to $2,500 help put food on the table, replace toothbrushes and toothpaste, put gas in the vehicle and generally help individuals get their everyday routine back as quickly as possible.  To date, the EDF has provided more than $200,000 to assist disaster victims.

In 2012 and 2013, EDF has offered a matching scholarship program in conjunction with dealers and affiliate associations, with the goal of helping dealers train the next generation of employees.  These scholarships, coupled with the other matching grants of the sponsoring dealer and affiliate associations, were used to help students interested in the equipment industry attend schools and receive training so they can be a part of our industry after graduation.  To date, 145 matching scholarships have been awarded to students.

Now is where you can help.  In order for EDF to assist when disaster strikes again—and it will—and to help do research and provide important industry data and education, and provide scholarships to students excited about our industry, we need your continued support.  Please consider a generous donation to the NAEDA EDF as we close out the year.
Please visit our website at to contribute online.

Thank you.

Tip of the Month


Tip of the Month: Optimizing your Emails for Mobile 

Are your emails optimized for mobile sites? Of the 70 Million mobile users, 43% check their email on it 4 or more times a day. This means that if you aren’t optimizing your emails, you are missing out on a huge group of consumers. To optimize emails for mobile, implement the following:
  • Reduce image file sizes.
  • Increase the size of links and the CTA for easy viewing.
  • Invest in responsive email templates.
Do you want to learn more about optimizing your emails for mobile? Contact
From the NAEDA Office
A Brief Respite From Task Group Updates
Legislative and educational opportunities within the coming months.

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.

Before we move on to this month’s topics, I want to point out that beginning with this issue of the magazine, you will see a number of design changes intended to make the magazine more attractive, user-friendly and in tune with the needs of its audience. Redesigning the magazine is one of many recommendations by the Communications Task Group. Over the coming months, we will introduce additional changes as we seek to enhance our communication efforts and better serve you, our member.
By the time you receive this magazine, Congress will be on its August recess. Our representatives and senators will be on the campaign trail until well after Labor Day, probably in a town near you. If you have an opportunity to visit with your members of Congress or the Senate, tell them about our key legislative priorities, which can be found in the NAEDA Update on page 34. Be certain to ask your representative or senator for a commitment to support these crucial legislative issues. We need your help to ensure a positive legislative environment for our industry!
The second item for your consideration is the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO 2014), Oct. 22–24, in Louisville, Ky. Everyone loves a great deal, and I believe this is one of the best bargains around—$15 for early-bird pre-registration. Here are just a few of the show’s highlights, which are included in the early-bird registration fee:

▶ Exclusive dealer preview of the trade show exhibits, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m.
▶ Seminars for owners and managers from national dealership consultant Bob Clements
▶ New Products Showcase
▶ Dealer Resource Pavilion
▶ New products in 750 indoor and outdoor exhibits
▶ Hands-on product comparisons in the Outdoor Demo Area, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 23–24
▶ Show specials and giveaways, including a drawing for $5,000 from STIHL on Wednesday, Oct. 22
▶ Access to industry trends, best practices and competitive intelligence
▶ Free concerts and networking after-hours

Valuable Add-Ons

Tech training and certification through EET C will be offered on Oct. 22, with tracks in basic skills ($30 each class) and advanced skills ($45 each class), plus discounted certification testing.
New this year, the Dealer Day Keynote Lunch, sponsored by Gravely and ST IHL, will kick off the show.

Wednesday, Oct. 22
1:00–2:30 p.m., Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example. $25 (includes a box lunch). In this interactive presentation, New York Times bestselling author Steve McClatchy will teach participants how to perform at their personal best on a daily basis. Attendees will learn to focus on results and the true drivers of performance; regain critical planning and personal time; and dramatically increase work/life engagement.
The Dealer Summit, presented by NAEDA and GIE Media, has been expanded to three sessions this year at the Kentucky Expo Center.

Thursday, Oct. 23

8:00–9:30 a.m., Dealer Summit Breakfast: The Crystal Ball Manufacturers’ Panel. $25 (includes a light breakfast). This includes a Q&A with leading outdoor power equipment manufacturers.
10:00–10:55 a.m., Dealer Summit Special Report: Contractor Buying and Attitude Trends. $15. Research results that will help dealers be more effective in marketing to landscape and lawn care contractors will be reported.

Friday, Oct. 24
8:00–9:30 a.m., Dealer Summit Breakfast: Dealer “Best Practices” Panel. $25 (includes a light breakfast). Top dealers will address issues related to sales, marketing, regulatory compliance, employee benefits/compensation and key areas of running a successful OPE dealership.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend GIE+EXPO 2014, and bring your team! I will be there along with the NAEDA OPE Dealer Council and staff to listen and learn about your dealerships and issues affecting your operation. The education and training sessions, new-product demonstrations and networking opportunities are well worth the investment. The deadline for the early-bird discount is Sept. 11, so register today at I hope to see you in Louisville!
As always, your ideas, issues and suggestions are welcome, so please feel free to contact me at or 636-349-6221.

Thank you for being a valued member of NAEDA.

RICHARD “Rick” LAWHUN is president/CEO of North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA). The association provides educational, legal, legislative and financial services to approximately 5,500 retail agricultural, construction, large property/rural lifestyle and outdoor power equipment dealers in the United States and Canada. Rick can be contacted at 636-349-6221 or via e-mail at

To read this article in full, click here.


About NAEDA Update

North American Equipment
Dealers Association

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Phone: 636/349-5000 
Fax:  636/349-5443

NAEDA Update is provided as a service to members of the North American Equipment Dealers Association. This information may not be reprinted without permission from NAEDA.

The North American Equipment Dealers Association provides educational, legal, legislative, and financial services to approximately 5,000 retail agricultural, construction, large property/rural lifestyle, and outdoor power equipment dealers in the United States and Canada.

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