Washington, D.C. — Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement in response to the 2018 Farm Bill vote today by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“Sound agricultural policy promotes a strong farm economy and a strong U.S. manufacturing sector. This includes 320,000 agricultural equipment manufacturing jobs across America. That’s why we are glad to see the House of Representatives pass a Farm Bill that recognizes the importance of crop insurance to our overall economy. We also applaud the inclusion of the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 as it will help prepare our farms and ranches for the 21st century. AEM encourages the Senate to act swiftly by passing their own version of the Farm Bill so we can provide America’s farmers and ranchers with a robust safety net.”
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 includes policies that support production agriculture, crop insurance, conservation programs, research, and expansion of foreign markets critical to providing farmers with consistent policy for the next five years. Crop insurance helps protect up to 298 million acres of farmland a year.
320,000 U.S. jobs are supported by agriculture equipment manufacturers and up to $102 billion in sales activity a year is generated by the industry to the U.S. economy. The agricultural equipment sector has been hit hard by a continuing slump in farm income. According to a 2012 IHS Global Insights study, 375,000 Americans were employed in the agricultural equipment industry. In 2017, an updated study showed a loss of 55,000 jobs.