ARA Board: ARA meets in Washington and visits Capitol Hill
Smith provided some key statistics related to geography, education and employees retiring in the current workforce and how those factors play a role in the current unemployment rate. He also provided a number of ideas for how companies can weatherproof their business through reducing turnover, relocation and training programs, and succession planning. The topic of attracting and retaining quality employees is also likely to be an issue covered during a session at the 2013 ARA Conference, Dec. 3-5 in Miami, Fla. For more information on Ag 1 Source, visit www.ag1source.com.
At the full meeting of the board of directors, presentations were also made by Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America and Andy LaVigne, president and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). Vroom gave an update on pollinator health news, the Endangered Species Act and CLA’s recent communications outreach activities. Andy Lavigne from ASTA discussed the Bowman v. Monsanto suit, patent expiration issues and seed treatment concerns.
REP. JOHN MICA AND SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR NAMED 2012 ARA LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR
ARA also named Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) the association’s Legislators of the Year during the board meeting. This award is given annually to a member, or members, of Congress who work closely with ARA in helping to champion legislation important to the agricultural retail industry.
ARA Legislator of the Year Award Winner Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) (center) poses for a photo with ARA member Doug Busdeker with The Andersons (left) and Richard Gupton, ARA’s senior vice president of public policy and counsel (right). The efforts of Mica and Klobuchar help to address many key transportation and infrastructure issues that have a direct impact on the competitiveness and economic well-being of the agriculture industry.
“It is an honor to recognize Congressman Mica and Senator Klobuchar with ARA’s Legislator of the Year award,” said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “Their leadership resulted in the passage of critical legislation on several issues important to ag retailers, including the Hours of Service exemption for agriculture. We appreciate their dedication and continued support for the agriculture industry.”
As an outcome of Rep. Mica’s term as chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in the 112th Congress, and Sen. Klobuchar’s work in the Senate, a two-year reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Bill was passed last summer that covered many key transportation needs for the industry, including clarification to the Hours of Service exemption. This critical exemption now applies to the transportation of all farm supplies, including the movements from distribution point to retailers, as well as across state lines where both states have already adopted the exemption.
“Working with ARA, we have made progress with transportation reforms to aid movement of products, commodities and meeting modern industry needs,” said Rep. Mica. “It has been my honor to assist ARA and its membership on these successes, and now we must roll up our sleeves to make ARA members and their industry prosperous.”
Sen. Klobuchar was not available to attend the ARA board meeting. The Legislator of the Year Award was presented to her later.
Additional photos from the ARA Board Meeting are available on ARA’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/AgriculturalRetailersAssociation. For more information on current legislative and regulatory issues impacting agricultural retailers, visit www.aradc.org.