Industry organizations are asking governments to consider members of the sector essential to state economies
By Diego Flammini
The U.S. farm equipment sector is calling on state and federal governments to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) asks departments of the Trump administration to ensure the ag equipment sector can provide necessary services to farmers.
Among the suggestions, the ARA requests the Department of Transportation to renew a waiver that allows non-commercial drivers to help with ag retail deliveries. The ARA also asks that the Department of Homeland Security designate ag retailers as critical infrastructure, a March 19 letter to President Trump says.
The letter also includes suggestions for the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Food supply won’t happen without food production,” Daren Coppock, president and CEO of ARA, wrote in the letter. “It is vital that this supply chain continue to operate and move essential products for delivery to farmers during any mandatory shutdowns.”
Other equipment organizations are asking state representatives to act during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Associated Equipment Distributors and the Equipment Dealers Association sent letters to the governors of all 50 U.S. states asking these politicians to designate manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and service technicians as essential to the economic continuity of the individual states.
With planting season approaching, the industry “has an obligation to ensure that (farmers) have access to the equipment and parts, as well as the repair and maintenance services they need,” the letter says.
Farms.com has reached out to members of the farm equipment industry for comment.