June 5, 2018

Strategies for Success in a Labor Shortage

Mark Core and Whitney Wilkinson, Vermeer Corporation

Vermeer’s Mark Core and Whitney Wilkinson will provide a thought-provoking presentation on the shortage of skilled talent, what lies ahead in workforce development, and most importantly, what can be done in our industry to alleviate the pain. Core and Wilkinson are passionate about the human-capital component in successful manufacturing. They have been a part of innovative solutions to fill the gap for both Vermeer and dealers. They will share successes–and failures–around apprenticeships, teacher intern programs, Vo/AG FFA alignment, internships, effective millennial recruiting, university collaborations, tech school alignment, and leveraging social media such as LinkedIn.

Core is Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Vermeer Corporation. He oversees the company’s forage and lifecycle business units and guides all marketing and brand activities. Core joined Vermeer in 1996 as a manager of external training and dealer development and has since held several market-facing leadership positions. Core is actively involved in mentoring the next generation of marketing leaders in the agriculture and heavy equipment industries.

Whitney Wilkinson is talent acquisition manager at Vermeer Corporation. She is passionate about attracting, acquiring and onboarding top talent at every level of the organization and has been doing so for almost eight years. She has expanded corporate recruiting efforts to support Vermeer independently owned dealerships in the core areas of their business. 

Mark Core and Whitney Wilkinson will speak on Wednesday at 1:15 pm.

Raise Your Profile in the Digital Marketplace

Nat Meiergerd, TractorHouse and Jamie Meier, Landoll Corporation

Get tips for using online tools to grow your business, even if the bulk of what you sell moves though a dealership. Nate Meiergerd, manager at TractorHouse, and Jamie Meier, agriculture sales manager at Landoll Corp., will talk with attendees about strategies to increase the likelihood your end-users will seek your products on dealers’ lots and that dealers will be ready to close the deal. 

Meiergerd has been with TractorHouse since 2005 and works closely with manufacturers. In addition to setting up online platforms for dealers and end-users that drive sales for manufacturers, TractorHouse also builds online equipment showrooms for manufacturers, used-equipment websites, certified pre-owned approval processes, dealer-to-dealer wholesale networks, and more.

Meier, a regular at Association meetings, will offer insights into Landoll’s strategies to expand online services to dealers and strengthen its customer base through social media channels such as YouTube and Twitter.

Nate Meiergerd and Jamie Meier will speak on Thursday at 9:00 am.

Tillage Council

Rye DeGarmo, Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.

Rye DeGarmo is vice president of engineering at Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc. Before joining Great Plains in 2017, DeGarmo served in several key engineering positions at AGCO. DeGarmo will offer a global perspective on the tillage equipment marketplace.

The Tillage Council  meets from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Fun is Good – Finding Your Joy & Passion

Mike Veech, Fun Is Good

The EMDA and Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Joint Opening Session is designed to bring the members together to “kick-off” their conventions with a dynamic presentation that will set the tone for an intensive week of appointments and meetings. This year’s Joint Opening Session features Mike Veeck presenting “Fun is Good – Finding Your Joy & Passion”. Mike Veeck is a nationally renowned speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing, promotions and advertising expert as well as an owner of several successful minor-league baseball clubs and the business consulting firm, Fun Is Good. His name is synonymous with fun and creativity and he continues to blaze new trails each year. He believes anything is possible and that passion drives performance! Through stories of his successes and failures, Mike demonstrates that every good idea starts with innovative, creative and many times totally outrageous suggestions. Mike will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and into an environment where unique partnerships, promotions, and engaged employees equal increased profits and success for any organization.

Mike Veech will speak on Wednesday at 8:00 am.