At the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), we know every dollar spent by a retailer is important. That’s why we have a lean but mighty team in Washington, D.C., working on issues every day so you don’t have to. ARA works to ensure ag retailers have the tools and information to be the trusted adviser to their customers and in their communities. As the only national association dedicated exclusively to ag retail, ARA is proud to serve a diverse range of businesses across the U.S. from small family-held operations to large independent retailers to large farmer-owned cooperatives.
ARA’s strength in Washington as an advocate of ag retailers depends on the sustained investment by our members. We’ve compiled these tips to make the most of your membership dollars.
Access To Experts
Your ARA membership instantly grants you access to a team of experts. Through that team, ARA gives its members access to the most valuable and economical representation in D.C. ARA works on putting together programming, informative materials and resources as well as educating and lobbying Congress and the administration each and every day. By being an ARA member, you help the association to better represent your business interests while giving your company a competitive edge over those who are not plugged in on the national level.
The ARA DC Help Desk is a direct line to timely answers from the ARA policy team in an ever-changing regulatory and legislative environment. Through the DC Help Desk, you can ask questions and receive an answer within a day or two. Need a more interactive approach? ARA hosts regular webinars to provide a platform for its members to ask subject matter experts questions and receive answers on the spot related to current events, industry trends and more.
Current Events & Networking— Website, News, Conference
News travels fast, and in this ever-changing environment, access to current, accurate information is critical. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, ARA immediately created a landing page for its members to access up-to-date resources specific to ag retailers. Members also received urgent email updates as information became available. We helped keep retailers on the road in the middle of planting season by ensuring ag retailers were deemed essential —allowing retailers to do what they do best and provide certainty to their customers. In the midst of the pandemic, ARA was also able to respond to the sudden and poorly timed dicamba vacatur while still keeping up with issues in transportation, labor, infrastructure and more.
We know personal relationships are important in our own communities, and networking nationally with colleagues in the ag retail industry will continue to enhance the work that we all do. ARA events continue to provide the venue for networking among the best in the business. We are preparing to host the 2020 ARA Conference & Expo in person Dec. 1-3 in Las Vegas, and we hope that you will make plans to join us.
Employee development is not only a benefit to the individual but also an excellent strategy for overall employee satisfaction and retention at your company. ARA is regularly fine-tuning its Professional Development Pathway to offer a clear path of continuous learning through the best, efficient and most relevant programs for its members at an affordable rate. Current offerings include in-person and virtual formats to meet the needs of each individual at various career stages.
Of course, ARA is driven by its membership. All members have the opportunity to participate in the association through committee work where the policies and work of ARA are truly shaped. ARA committee participation is not limited to the singular main contact at any member company. We welcome participation from different departments to ensure we have the right people engaging where necessary. Committee work includes public policy, membership and member services, conference planning and more focused task forces as the need may arise. Getting involved in ARA committees not only ensures the ag retailer is the focus of all that the association does, but it also enhances participants’ skill sets with new experiences outside of their everyday roles.