Last week the Equipment Dealers Association’s Vice President of Government Relations, Natalie Higgins and Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association’s Director of Government Affairs, Will Rogers, teamed up with Nick Tindal, Senior Director of Government and Industry Relations, of the Association of Equipment Manufactures to lobby Farm Bill Conference Members and encourage them to preserve crop insurance and support the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act. “Lobbying on behalf of dealers and the agriculture industry is one of the most important things we do here at EDA. I was pleased to work with my industry colleagues to provide a united voice on the Hill.”
The team conveyed to Conference Committee Members that crop insurance is critical to the rural economies which equipment dealers and manufacturers operate in. Without crop insurance, most producers simply cannot qualify for the operating loans needed to put a crop in the ground. Higgins, Rogers and Tindall also urged Conference Committee members to ensure that the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act is passed as part of the Farm Bill or, alternatively, as a separate bill. The Act would ensure that the federal government evolves along with the technology that has revolutionized modern agriculture. Equipment maintenance and repairs can be performed using remote technology but that technology requires internet connectivity. Higgins, Rogers and Tindall explained that agricultural equipment dealers and manufacturers have made a commitment to end users to provide a host of diagnostic and repair information by 2021 but that internet connectivity is at the heart of all of this innovative technology.
The 2012 Farm Bill expired over the weekend. “We are disappointed that legislators have allowed the Farm Bill to expire. We hope that our meaningful conversations with Conference Committee Members last week will encourage them to push forward with a minimum of a one year extension of the 2012 legislation,” said Tindall. “There are many distractions on Capitol Hill right now. Nevertheless, additional uncertainty for farmers who are already facing a tumultuous environment with respect to commodity prices and trade is unacceptable. The Farm Conference Members need to get serious about passing the Farm Bill before the end of the year because our farmers deserve better,” added Rogers.