Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada visited equipment makers across the country
By Diego Flammini
An industry organization crossed the country this summer and fall to visit with Canadian ag equipment manufacturers.
Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada (AMC) kicked off its Made in Canada Tour in July in Alberta. The tour also includes visits to AMC member facilities in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
The tour came about after AMC had to cancel a second scheduled in-person event, said Donna Boyd, president of AMC.
“We really wanted to get on the road, to meet members firsthand, hear their concerns and have the opportunity to meet the incredible people in our industry,” she told Farms.com.
Boyd has noticed common threads throughout the tour.
Automation is becoming a major component of modern ag equipment.
But finding employees to assemble the machinery remains a challenge.
“No matter where we went, it’s clear that automation and technology is advancing so quickly,” she said. “But a shortage of talent across this country continues to be an issue. We want to strategize with our members and academic partners to figure out how to bridge that shortcoming.”
The labour challenge is a result of increased demand.
More farmers want Canadian products, leading to upscaled production.
“We’ve seen incredible growth in our industry,” Boyd said. “There’s lots of demand for our product and we had to ramp up production. That correlates with ramping up human resources. And that doesn’t just mean on the assembly floor. Manufacturers are expanding in finance, communications, engineering and other departments which all have positions that need to be filled.”
Supply chain issues continue to be a hurdle for equipment manufacturers too.
These include container ships unable to unload at ports and the strike at the Port of Montreal earlier in the year delaying deliveries of parts and raw materials.
“We’re a global economy and we’re sourcing parts from different parts of the world,” Boyd said. “Depending on shutdowns in those countries and issues here, it has been difficult at times.”
Despite the challenges, Boyd wants Canadian farmers to know the equipment manufacturers are ready to support the ag industry.
“Our farmers can be confident they’ll have everything they need,” she said. “Our members have increased communication with dealers across the country to make sure there’s enough equipment for the upcoming seeding and harvest seasons.”
Anyone interested in seeing where AMC stopped along the Made in Canada Tour can use the hashtag #MadeinCanadaTour on Twitter.