Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and Election Night
Here we are Election Night 2006 in Minneapolis, MN. during the FEMA Fall Conference. Pictured is (L-R) Greg Haukaas, Rhonda Haukaas (Haukaas Manufacturing, Mortiach, SK. Canada) and incoming president of FEMA Richard Heiniger (Hemisphere GPS, Kansas City, MO)
Fiercely independent and trending to the conservative, the members at the final evening of the FEMA annual meeting here in Minneapolis sensed a bit of a pall over the festivities. Regular and Associate Members gathered in the main ballroom. Two hours before the polls closed in the east, the Republicans were quiet, while Democratic members ( a rare commodity) seemed upbeat. But nobody was celebrating politics they were celebrating the future of corn and soybeans.
The FEMA three day event heard from a number of individuals who spoke to the future of agriculture and many of those presentations made the members uneasy. David Goldsmith, a feature presenter, came out during his presentation and said he would welcome a change in the White House. Later in the second day of the event Charlie Rentschler, an admitted Republican from Indiana, listed a host of Democratic concerns including global warming, the increasing deficit, a lack of a thoughtful foreign policies and lack of an energy policy shocked the group by suggesting that ethanol is not the full answer and said, "The president was misinformed regarding ethanol being created with switch grass." And then added, "I do not believe that ethanol is the answer to the future." It was not a good week for Republicans.
It may have been a foreshadowing of what was to come later in the evening as Democrats rolled over many local , state and national races. However, the mood of the group was centered on the opportunities presented by increased prices for commodities and how the manufacturers might sell more steel into the farming community.
Time will tell, but it was an interesting evening during a highly charged election night.