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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.
Source: DTN Progressive Farmer
NAEDA Stock Index: Volatile markets end mixed
Wall Street see-sawed this month, with geo-political pressures weighing on markets and economic data - in general - trending upwards. As our trading session ended April 15, 2014, retail sales numbers and earnings results boosted all sectors except tech into positive terrain. The Commerce Department reported that permits to build new homes - an indicator of future housing health - rose to the highest level in four months. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell to 80.0 in March, down from 81.6 the month before. The Commerce Department reported that factory orders improved 1.6 percent in February, the strongest in five months. Read more...
CNH Industrial announces management changes
CNH Industrial N.V. today announced certain management changes. Effective immediately, Richard Tobin, in addition to his position as Chief Executive Officer, assumes added responsibility as Brand President. He replaces Mario Gasparri, who has served as president of CNH Construction Equipment since April 2012.
Tobin, who is also a member of the Industrial Executive Council (IEC) of Fiat Industrial, began his career with GTE Corporation in Stamford, CT, as Vice President of International Marketing. In 1995, he joined Alusuisse-Lonza SA in Zurich, Switzerland, as General Manager and Vice President, where he remained until 2001, when he joined Alcan Aluminum of Montreal, Canada, with a general management role. In 2002, Tobin joined SGS Group of Geneva, Switzerland, where he became the Chief Operating Officer for North America. In 2004 he became SGS Group’s Chief Finance Officer & Information Technology, a position he retained for six years before joining CNH in March 2010.
Prior to the integration of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. and CNH into CNH Industrial, Tobin served as Group Chief Operating Officer of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. and President and Chief Executive Officer of CNH, a role he assumed in January 2012 after two years as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for CNH.
Tobin holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Norwich University and Drexel University, respectively. He currently sits on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Source: For Construction Pros
Nebraska Farm Equipment Haulers May Act as Dealer Reps
A recent change in Nebraska law allows equipment haulers in that state to act as farm equipment dealers’ representatives when hauling equipment to or from the dealer’s place of business. The equipment haulers must carry in the vehicle hauling the farm equipment a signed, dated statement from the dealer asserting that they are acting as the dealer’s representatives for complying with width, height and length limitations.
Labor shortage threatens to bust the shale boom
How high is demand for welders to work in the shale boom on the U.S. Gulf Coast?
So high that “you can take every citizen in the region of Lake Charles between the ages of 5 and 85 and teach them all how to weld and you’re not going to have enough welders,” said Peter Huntsman, chief executive officer of chemical maker Huntsman Corp.
So high that San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, offers a four-hour welding class in the middle of the night.
So high that local employers say they’re worried there won’t be adequate supply of workers of all kinds. Just for construction, Gulf Coast oil, gas and chemical companies will have to find 36,000 new qualified workers by 2016, according to Industrial Info Resources Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas. Regional estimates call for even more new hires once those projects are built.
The processing and refining industries need so many workers to build new facilities in Texas and Louisiana because of the unprecedented rise over the last three years in U.S. oil and gas production, much of it due to shale. Labor shortages, causing delays in construction, threaten to slow the boom and push back the date when the country can meet its own energy needs, estimated by BP Plc to be in 2035.
Worker scarcities are already evident in the unemployment rates of Texas (5.7 percent) and Louisiana (4.5 percent), both below the national average of 6.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest jobless rate of any area in the U.S. in February was 2.8 percent in Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana, because of offshore-oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
Equipment dealers can benefit from relationships with propane retailers
The growing number of landscape contractors adopting clean, American-made propane provides a competitive advantage for outdoor power equipment dealers who sell and service propane-powered equipment. Aside from the obvious benefit of increasing sales and building relationships with customers, dealers also have the opportunity to connect with propane retailers. Leveraging a relationship with a local retailer results in benefits and support that equipment dealers often overlook.
According to Mark Linkletter, mower fuel sales manager for Ferrellgas, retailers aim to make the propane aspect of a dealer’s job easier. “Our job is to support dealers just as much as it is to support end-users,” he explains.
Linkletter acknowledges a dealer’s multi-faceted role. Dealers provide landscapers with support before, during, and after the equipment sale, becoming a one-stop shop for landscapers who need service, rental or loaner equipment, parts and industry news. As a result, they’re often the first source of information about propane.
“Dealers are a key component in ensuring a contractor’s propane operation works smoothly and seamlessly,” Linkletter says. “And they don’t have to do it alone. Propane retailers can offer a lot of support dealers don’t always think about.”
Source: Green Industry Pros
Legislative & Regulatory News
"Waters of the U.S." definition proposed by EPA and Army Corps of Engineers
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted their proposed definition for waters of the U.S. protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the Federal Register on April 21st. That posting now triggers a 90 day public comment period.
Republican lawmakers and a few Senate Democrats criticized the proposal as another example of regulatory overreach when it was unveiled last month. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman said the proposal “poses a serious threat to farmers, ranchers and other landowners.” In a statement, he said the exemptions for agriculture included in the proposal “do not protect farmers from federal veto power over pest and weed control, fertilizer application, and other essential farming activities.”
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that current exemptions for CWA permits for “normal farming, ranching and agricultural practices” are kept intact in the proposal. “If a farmer was not legally required to have a permit before, this rule does not change that status,” she said. The proposal “does not add to or expand the scope of waters protected under the CWA, McCarthy said.
NAEDA is studying the notice and will be making comments prior to the public comment deadline.
Hawaii emerges as battleground of debate over genetically engineered crops
WAIALUA, Hawaii - You can trace the genetic makeup of most corn grown in the United States, and in many other places around the world, to Hawaii.
The tiny island state 2,500 miles from the nearest continent is so critical to the nation’s modern corn-growing business that the industry’s leading companies all have farms here, growing new varieties genetically engineered for desirable traits such as resistance to insects and drought.
But these same farms have become a flash point in a spreading debate over genetic engineering in agriculture.
Kauai and Hawaii counties have moved in the past several months to regulate genetically modified organisms and the pesticides the farms use. In Maui County, a group is collecting signatures for a potential ballot measure that would impose a temporary ban on the crops.
Source: The Washington Post
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.
Source: The Hill
Canada’s climate warms to corn
The snow is piled waist-deep outside the Southern Manitoba Convention Centre as more than 400 farmers gather to consider the once-unthinkable: growing corn on the Canadian prairie.
Source: AG Web
Call in the undertaker: Quebec separatism is dead
Quebec’s election campaign – and what a volatile, nasty, mud-splattered affair it has been – is all but over. But the sense of impending national doom that animated the first days has passed.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Flaherty’s death inspires overwhelming sentiment of loss in House of Commons
Jim Flaherty had only political foes facing him across the green-carpeted floor of the House of Commons, but his sudden and unexpected death on Thursday inspired an overwhelming sentiment of loss and posthumous praise even among those who once fiercely decried the Conservative budgets he tabled in his eight years as Canada’s federal finance minister.
Source: The Hill Times
Business leaders mourn Flaherty's passing
In the days before delivering what would be his last federal budget, Jim Flaherty spent a few hours at Mellow Walk, a Toronto-based shoe manufacturer. He was there to select a pair of new shoes to be worn on budget day, a long-standing tradition of federal finance ministers.
Source: The Star
Ritz heads to South Korea following trade deal
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is off to South Korea to reaffirm Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. He’s leading a 30-person delegation of agricultural stakeholders, including representatives from the beef, pork, grains, pulses, horticulture, and foods sectors.
Once mocked for lack of worldliness, Stephen Harper now a Cold War Warrior
It has been a long, eight-year journey for a man who came to office mocked for his lack of international curiosity, but Stephen Harper has become the Cold Warrior of the G7. The essence of Harper’s view of the world has been on display for four days, from Kyiv to the Dutch capital, as an uncharacteristically animated prime minister has unleashed a blunt litany of vitriol against a man he has likely never trusted, Vladimir Putin.
Source: The Star
Bank of Canada keeps interest rate at 1%
The Bank of Canada kept its trendsetting overnight interest rate at one per cent today, the same place it's been for the last 29 policy meetings. Known as the target for the overnight rate, the central bank's main rate dictates the rate that banks pay to each other for short-term loans. But it impacts the rates that banks offer to borrowers and savers in the real economy, for things like mortgages and savings accounts.
Source: CBC News
Conservatives push controversial changes to Elections Act
It is coarse to imagine the Conservatives are conspiring to fix the next election, in plain sight of everyone. If you were bent on suppressing the opposition vote, evading spending limits, and otherwise participating in electoral fraud, presumably you would not take the trouble to advertise this in legislation.
Source: National Post
NAEDA, Association & Program Partner News
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.”
KPA Webinar: Top 5 Dealership Compliance Myths
Thursday April 24, 2014
Are you really compliant?
Top 5 Dealership Compliance Myths
Thursday April 24, 2014
Are you really compliant?
How often are you told something that seems too good to be true? Whether in your personal or professional life, there are always those things that you hear that don’t seem right. One person says it, another person tells someone else and then everybody starts to believe the “myth.” In today’s overly sensitive regulatory landscape it happens quite often. Whether or not the myth started innocently or with malicious intent doesn’t really matter. One thing is for certain, it makes your life much harder as you try to do the right thing and comply with OSHA, EPA or DOT standards. In this webinar we will take a look at the most commonly heard myths that find their way into dealerships. With topics ranging from OSHA compliance through waste disposal and to loss control, we will make sure that you leave this webinar with the truth.
Can't attend at this time? Register anyway!
If you are unable to attend the webinar at this time, please register anyway and you will be sent a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides.
||Thursday April 24, 2014
||9:00am - 10:00am Pacific
||10:00am - 11:00am Mountain
||11:00am - 12:00pm Central
||12:00pm - 1:00pm Eastern
If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at email@example.com, (866) 356-1735
District Manager, KPA
For over 10 years, Nick has been assisting dealers in determining their level of regulatory and safety compliance with KPA. Nick currently resides over KPA’s North Central District, as well as overseeing new engineer training and multiple national accounts. His emphasis has been on working with dealers to not only obtain, but also maintain their compliance programs.
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.
• An economic outlook from MB Financial
• Details of the tax law updates and what it means for your business
• Legal rental issues - specifically for dealers
• Protect yourself from 401k's evil Siamese twin: Uncle Sam
• Discover creative dealer retirement plans
• Gain hiring and retention strategies that work
• Engage with our industry panel covering best practices in product support, risk management, ROI on rental and managing manufacturer expectations
Choosing the right payment terminal
Today, you have a choice of terminals that offer advances in performance, functionality and ease of use. While your terminal may still perform basic authorization and settlement functions, newer, more secure models can keep your practice current with the latest card association and security requirements - and save you time and money. Maybe it’s time to consider upgrading your terminal.
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.
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.
Tip of the Month
Twitter posts have a particularly short lifespan of only 18 minutes. Consider this: approximately 9,100 tweets are posted per second on twitter. To combat this short life span, many individuals simply post tweets very close together, scheduling out their tweets less than an hour apart. This is a mistake! Give your tweets time to mature. The longer you wait in between tweets, the longer each tweet has at the top of your page.
Do you need help creating content for your sites? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Free KPA Webinars
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:
4. Manufacturer Relations
5. Government Relations
6. Regulatory Compliance
7. Member Services
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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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