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Saturday, April 19, 2014 Helping Dealers Succeed!
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Industry & Manufacturing News
US corn exports to China dry up

China's tougher stance on imports of genetically engineered corn is roiling U.S. agribusiness, largely halting trade in the biggest U.S. crop in its fastest growing market. By one industry estimate, exports are down by 85% compared with last year.

Since mid-November, China repeatedly has refused shipments of U.S. corn, saying officials detected that some contained an engineered gene developed by Syngenta AG that Beijing hasn't approved.

The rejections have hurt grain-trading companies such as Cargill Inc. and fueled frustration with what some U.S. executives say is Beijing's opaque regulatory process when its clout as an importer is growing. China is the world's fastest-growing market for corn.

Some U.S. industry observers suspect China is using concerns over the Syngenta product to cover commercial motives.

Read more...
Source: DTN Progressive Farmer

 
NAEDA Industry Relations Taskforce meeting

NAEDA’s Industry Relations Task Force will meet with John Deere on May 29. Dealers are encouraged to contact a member of the IRTF or their affiliate association with any issues they might have prior to that meeting.   

NAEDA's IRTF members can be found on our Web site at: http://www.naeda.com/ManufacturerRelations/Overview.aspx

 
Creating a New and Improved NAEDA
Volunteers Wanted

In September 2013, NAEDA’s leadership amended the association’s bylaws as the first step in creating a new structure/brand that will enhance the value proposition for NAEDA members. The ensuing changes are intended to provide:

  • Greater visibility for the association and industry;
  • A stronger, united voice for the dealers;
  • Increased focus on the three most important issues facing the industry - manufacturer relations, government relations, and regulatory compliance;
  • Enhanced communications;
  • Transparent processes and procedures; and
  • A leaner governance structure capable of reacting more quickly to the ever-changing needs and opportunities within the industry.

In early March 2014, a group of members and staff gathered in Phoenix, AZ to discuss the necessary changes and processes for implementation.

Everyone agreed that eight priorities or focus areas will need to be specifically addressed as NAEDA transitions to a new model:

1.       Governance/Structure
2.       Membership
3.       Communications
4.       Manufacturer Relations
5.       Government Relations
6.       Regulatory Compliance
7.       Member Services
8.       Branding/Marketing

We are currently in the process of forming task groups to address each of these priorities. The groups, comprised of members and staff, will study and discuss each of the focus areas to develop specific recommendations for implementing the necessary changes. If you would like to serve on a task group, please contact NAEDA at naeda@naeda.com or 636.349.5000. The greater the participation, the more likely we will arrive at the desired outcomes. Thank you for being a valued member of NAEDA.

 
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This tip is brought to you by PartnerShip®, the company that manages the NAEDA Shipping Program. For more information or to enroll, email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902.

 

Legislative & Regulatory News
Record number of federal regulations on the books
As reported in the Wall Street Journal

Anyone wondering why the U.S. economy can't seem to grow at its usual pace should examine one product category where production is booming: federal regulation.  Washington set a new record in 2013 by issuing final rules consuming 26,417 pages in the Federal Register.


While plenty of government employees deserve credit for this milestone, leadership matters. And by this measure President Obama has never been surpassed in the Oval Office.

Congress may be mired in gridlock, but the federal bureaucracy is busier than ever. In 2013 the Federal Register contained 3,659 "final" rules, which means they now must be obeyed, and 2,594 proposed rules on their way to becoming orders from political headquarters.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest total in history. That didn't match President Obama's 2010 all-time record of 81,405 pages. But Mr. Obama can console himself by noting that of the five highest Federal Register page counts, four have occurred on his watch. The other was 79,435 pages under President George W. Bush in 2008.

And the feds aren't letting up. Mr. Crews reports that there are another 3,305 regulations moving through the pipeline on their way to being imposed. One hundred and ninety-one of those are "economically significant" rules, which are defined as having costs of at least $100 million a year. Keep in mind that the feds routinely low-ball their cost estimates so the public will continue to think regulation is free.

Drawing largely on government statistics, Mr. Crews estimates that the overall cost of regulatory compliance and its economic impact is about $1.9 trillion annually. This means that the burden of complying with federal rules costs roughly the annual GDP of Australia, Canada or Italy.

This regulatory tax makes U.S. businesses less competitive, but it also burdens every American because it is embedded in the prices of all goods and services. Mr. Crews estimates that "U.S. households 'pay' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax," or 23% of the average income of $65,596.

All of this is the fruit of ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and the manifold other expansions of government that have marked the Obama years. By far their greatest and most tragic cost has been slower economic growth, which has meant fewer jobs, lower incomes and diminished economic possibilities for tens of millions of Americans.

 
Union threatens retribution for House Dems opposing Keystone

A top building trades union is launching a midterm-election assault on House Democrats who oppose construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

A letter distributed Friday by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) to the districts of 27 House Democrats calls for union members to make sure their representative "feels the power and the fury of LIUNA this November."

Their crime: signing a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last month urging him to reject Keystone, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

"Your member of Congress is trying to destroy job opportunities for our LIUNA brothers and sisters," said the letter signed by Terry O'Sullivan, the general president of LIUNA.

Read more...
Source: The Hill

 
GOP confident about Paul Ryan’s budget

Passing Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget? No sweat.

House Republican leaders said they believe they turned a corner by the end of last week, quashing opposition to the Wisconsin Republican’s 2015 budget proposal and laying the groundwork to clear one of the last major pieces of legislation before the midterm election.

After weeks of whipping, multiple senior Republican lawmakers and aides say they are in as good shape as they have ever been and believe they are close to the requisite votes for passage.

“Yeah, we’re good,” said Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, while walking into the House chamber Friday.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said his “only problem” is that three House Republicans from Georgia are battling one another in a Senate primary and will not vote for the budget.

Read more...
Source: Politico

 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces progress on 2014 Farm Bill implementation

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced significant progress on implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), which President Obama signed into law on February 7. The 2014 Farm Bill reforms agricultural policy, reduces the deficit, and helps grow the economy.

“We are making tremendous progress implementing the new Farm Bill,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This law is critically important to America’s farmers and ranchers and to our nation’s economy. Every USDA agency is working diligently to implement the Farm Bill’s new provisions quickly and effectively.”

With 12 titles and over 450 provisions, the Farm Bill drives food, farm, conservation, trade, research, energy policies and more. Implementing such a large piece of legislation within the mandated timeline requires a coordinated effort across all areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Immediately after enactment, USDA established a farm bill implementation team composed of key sub-cabinet officials and experts from every mission area of the Department to put new programs in place and make mandated reforms to existing programs. 

USDA also launched a website that provides details on Farm Bill implementation in one convenient location and the Economic Research Service launched a website highlighting some of the economic implications of the new programs and provisions.

Read more...
Source: USDA

 
EPA and Army Corps of Engineers clarify protection for Nation’s streams and wetlands

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) today jointly 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. The agencies are launching a robust outreach effort over the next 90 days, holding discussions around the country and gathering input needed to shape a final rule.

Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. For nearly a decade, members of Congress, state and local officials, industry, agriculture, environmental groups, and the public asked for a rulemaking to provide clarity.

The proposed rule clarifies protection for streams and wetlands. The proposed definitions of waters will apply to all Clean Water Act programs. It does not protect any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act and is consistent with the Supreme Court’s more narrow reading of Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

“We are clarifying protection for the upstream waters that are absolutely vital to downstream communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Clean water is essential to every single American, from families who rely on safe places to swim and healthy fish to eat, to farmers who need abundant and reliable sources of water to grow their crops, to hunters and fishermen who depend on healthy waters for recreation and their work, and to businesses that need a steady supply of water for operations.”

Read more...
Source: USAEPA

 
Canadian News
NAEDA, Association & Program Partner News
The AED Foundation Financial Symposium May 8-9, 2014 - Burr Ridge, Ill.

NAEDA members are invited to send their CFOs to a conference designed justs for the financial professionals of equipment distribution companies.  The AED Foundation Financial Symposium will be held on May 8-9 in Burr Ridge, Ill.  AED is pleased to offer you its reduced AED-member tuition of $895; a $400 discount.

The Financial Symposium has many benefits for ag equipment distributors, including 401(k) strategies for dealers, hiring and retaining the right employees, a tax update with Christian Klein and renowned tax expert Steve Pierson, best practices in parts and service, and much more. 

Program details are at www.aednet.org/cfo

To take advantage of the member discount, you can register by calling Rebecca Rakers at our office: 630-468-5113. Discount not available on the website for non-AED members.

This informative event – which awards 11 CPE credits for financial professionals - is just three weeks away. Call and register this week. Free hotel shuttle from Chicago's Midway Airport.

 
FMLA: How and when you can use it

Most often, when your employees are sick or life takes its toll, taking paid time off is adequate; however, there are times when  employees needs to take extensive time off for more serious issues. This is when the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) comes into play. FMLA took effect in 1993, in an effort to balance work and life with medical needs.  FMLA includes many regulations and provisions, which can make it hard to understand. The following simple information can help you begin to understand FMLA.

Employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks off of unpaid leave during a 12-month period if they have been working for the company for at least 12 months prior to requesting the leave, and if they have worked at least 1,250 hours over that period. Employees may take this leave for their own serious medical condition, or to take care of an immediate family member who has a serious health condition. According to federal law, immediate family members are parents, spouses, and children. Some states offer additional coverage for domestic partners, parent-in-laws, siblings, and grandparents. Additionally, FMLA may also be used for “birth and bonding:” extended parental leave for the birth or adoption, or bonding with a new foster child.

Read more...

Source: KPA

 
SouthWestern Association CEO honored at OSUIT
 A plaque honoring retiring SouthWestern Association CEO Jeff Flora was unveiled Saturday, April 12 during a dedication ceremony on the OSU Institute of Technology campus.

The plaque, now part of OSUIT’s Walk of Fame, is in recognition and appreciation for Flora’s longstanding commitment to the university’s SouthWestern Association Industrial and Farm Equipment program, which he helped establish on the Okmulgee campus in 2003.


“We’re honoring today the person who really made the SouthWestern Association program a reality here on campus,” said OSUIT President Bill R. Path during the ceremony. 

The inscription on the plaque honors Flora’s 32 years of service and his vision and energy for serving association members and their businesses.

“He had the vision of a program that would assist Association members in finding and training skilled technicians to fill the increasing number of vacancies in the equipment industry,” the plaque reads.

Path said Flora often refers to the establishment of the technician program at OSUIT as the crowning achievement of his career and the accomplishment that gives him the most satisfaction.

“Mr. Flora brings out the best in others and displays a generosity of spirit mentoring staff and volunteers,” Path said. “His legacy has resulted in opportunities for many students who otherwise could not pursue the dream of a college education.”

During the ceremony Flora thanked Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute Division Chair Roy Achemire, SWA program instructors David Martin and John Hoover, OSU Foundation Assistant Director of Development Glen Zanotti and SWA Regional Manager Tag Webb. “This is the best thing we’ve ever done with the association, partnering with OSUIT. It works because it feels like everyone is winning,” he said.

Flora is the second Walk of Fame inductee and his plaque now joins the one honoring Tom Payne, who was instrumental in creating the automotive programs at the institution.

“Seeing who was first last year and here I am No. 2, I can’t tell you how excited I am,” Flora said during the dedication. “This is an honor I’ll never forget.”

Source: OSUIT

 
How does safety culture affect your dealership?

Without a successful safety culture, it is difficult for dealerships to be profitable. Accidents and injuries increase costs dealership wide, affecting insurance rates, employee retention, and more. But before you can implement a successful safety culture, you have to know what it is.

In simple terms, safety culture refers to groups that prioritize safety through consistent beliefs and patterns of behavior.
The best safety cultures focus upon good communication, consistent activities surrounding safety, and effective and steady training. A true safety culture exists when all of a dealership’s employees work as a team to:

  • Maintain awareness of safety and health issues
  • Quickly report any incidents
  • Anticipate risks in order to prevent accidents before they occur

Do you know if you have a safety culture at your dealership? If you’re asking yourself that now, then you probably don’t. If that is the case, contact KPA at info@kpaonline.com to get started immediately. To confirm if your safety culture is adequate, consider the following checklist:

  • Safety is top-of-mind for everyone
  • Employees at all levels in the dealership feel responsible for safety
  • There’s open communication about safety issues
  • Safety is valued – employees and management believe it supports profitability and morale
  • Efforts to maintain safety are organized and consistent
  • Effective programs ensure that everyone “walks the talk”

Do you have questions? Do you want to strengthen your safety culture? Don’t be afraid to call your KPA Environment and Safety engineer. If you’re not a client, call 866-356-1735 to find out how we can help.

This article is provided by KPA, a recommended partner of your Association providing Environment & Safety services for Auto, Agricultural /Heavy Equipment, Motorcycle, RV, and Truck Dealers. If you have additional questions, please contact KPA at info@kpaonline.com or 800.853.9659.

 
Federated Insurance Designated Risk Manager Training Seminar

Companies most successful at controlling losses have designated a key person as their risk manager.  This person is supported by top management and is both responsible and accountable for identifying loss exposures and implementing risk management solutions.

 
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  https://www.naeda.com/SupportEDF/EDFFoundationOnlinePayment.aspx to contribute online.

Thank you.

 
Tip of the Month

KPA Tip

Tip of the Month: How to Create More Content

Sometimes, coming up with new content every day, week, or month can be difficult. To start the wheels turning, consider brainstorming with your colleagues.

You may have already addressed every question and topic that your customers have thrown at you, but what have your colleagues experienced? Ask them what their customers are interested in and inquiring about and document it on your blog. These ideas will create new content for you, and may lead to inspiration for other topics.

Do you need help creating content for your sites? Contact info@digigo.com.

Free KPA Webinars

KPA On Demand Webinar Recordings

From the NAEDA Office
Creating a New and Improved NAEDA
Phoenix workshop identifies priorities as NAEDA moves toward a new structure and brand

     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.

     Since January 1 of this year, I have spent more than half my time on the road visiting with members, affiliate boards and affiliate executives, delivering this message and discussing NAEDA’s future. There hasn’t always been agreement on every aspect of the process or the desired outcome, but there has been agreement on the two most important prerequisites for a successful transition: open communication and broad participation.

     With these prerequisites as the guiding principles, a Committee of the Whole workshop was held on March 5 in Phoenix, Ariz. Nearly 40 board members, affiliate executives and alumni gathered for a lively two-hour discussion led by Mark Levin of BAI, Inc., in Columbia, Md. As the newest member of NAEDA’s staff, I was impressed by the positive atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation that filled the room. Everyone seemed to recognize the need for change and the value the new structure/brand can provide NAEDA members, including:
▶ Greater visibility for the association and industry.
▶ A stronger, united voice for the dealers.
▶ Increased focus on the three most important issues facing the industry - manufacturer     relations, government relations and regulatory compliance.
▶ Enhanced communications.
▶ Transparent processes and procedures.
▶ A leaner governance structure capable of reacting more quickly to the ever-changing needs     and opportunities within the industry.

     As the group continued its discussion, it became apparent that eight priorities or focus areas will need to be specifically addressed as we transition to a new model:

1. Governance/Structure
2. Membership
3. Communications
4. Manufacturer Relations
5. Government Relations
6. Regulatory Compliance
7. Member Services
8. Branding/Marketing

     The group ended the afternoon discussing various options for identifying and implementing the desired outcomes.

     The next day’s board meeting ended much earlier than anticipated, so the group gathered once again on the afternoon of March 6 to continue the previous day’s discussion. About a third of the attendees were unable to participate the second day due to travel arrangements and other obligations, but the impromptu session proved to be equally positive and productive.

     The group drilled a little deeper into each of the focus areas, identifying opportunities to create new committees and councils, expand membership, deliver more focused communications, enhance the relationship with manufacturers, ensure a positive legislative environment and increase the member’s value proposition. It was an incredibly constructive use of the “free time” we unexpectedly discovered, and probably jumped us several weeks ahead of where we would otherwise be at this point in the process.

     The past few weeks have been spent forming task groups to address each of the priorities. The groups, composed of members and affiliate executives, will thoroughly study and discuss each of the focus areas to develop specific recommendations for implementing the necessary changes. If you would like to serve on a task group, please contact me at lawhunr@naeda.com or 636-349-6221. The greater the participation, the more likely we will arrive at the desired outcomes.

     In the coming months, I will be providing regular updates on our progress in addressing each of the focus areas. Your ideas, issues and suggestions are always welcome, so please feel free to contact me at any time. This is your association and it must provide the programs, services and benefits you want and need!

     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 lawhunr@naeda.com.


To read this article in full, click here.

 

About NAEDA Update

North American Equipment
Dealers Association

1195 Smizer Mill Road
Fenton, MO  63026-3480
Phone: 636/349-5000 
Fax:  636/349-5443
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E-mail:  naeda@naeda.com

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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