December 27, 2005
Secretary Mike Johanns
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-3355
Re: Farm Bill Comments
Dear Secretary Johanns:
The North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) represents over 4,800 retail
agricultural, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealerships in the U.S. and Canada.
Collectively, these dealerships employ nearly 100,000 people. NAEDA is an association that works
with 15 affiliated associations in the U.S. and three in Canada. It’s on their behalf – and the
dealerships we serve – that I am writing to you about the 2007 farm bill.
NAEDA’s present farm bill policy reads as follows:
“For the 2007 farm bill, NAEDA supports legislation that provides for planting flexibility,
provides a safety net for producers that also considers extreme weather conditions and trade
related issues, balances the needs of conservation and the needs for active producing lands,
considers trade issues, supports education and research efforts and provides for rural
development activities that includes agricultural credit, beginning farmer programs and value-
added programs for a renewable bio-economy.”
To clarify that policy, we offer the following comments for your consideration.
As an association that represents equipment dealerships, which, for the most part, are located in
rural areas, we have identified a rural development need. That is to retain and hire quality
employees to work in this industry. A recent survey of dealerships conducted this past summer in
Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan found that every dealership had at least one immediate
technician vacancy but, more importantly, was looking to hire an additional two to three technicians
in the next three to five years. While the survey only targeted technicians, we know its equaling
challenging for dealers to recruit people to mange dealerships or work in sales or parts positions.
If we use our total member