The U.S.-based Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) has elected Cor Lodder to its Board of Directors.

"I was humbled and honoured that they invited me to participate, and I look forward to being able to contribute," said Lodder, who is currently the Corporate Director and Chief Quality Officer of Walinga's Machining Division in Carman.

The Manitoba resident has been involved with the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada (AMC) for a number of years, both as a member and on the executive level. 

He says the two organizations have maintained a strong connection through affiliation and conferences.

"I've always had an interest in how we can work together as Canadian and American manufacturers in improving the opportunities for the ag manufacturing sector. It was an opportunity to connect with the organization there and to network both of our Canadian and American organizations so that we could consider working on some projects together that serve the interests of both Canadian and American manufacturers across the borders as well as in our efforts to market our products globally."

Lodder will be relinquishing his role as AMC board chair at the organizations upcoming convention, giving him time to collaborate with both groups on mutually beneficial projects.

"It's quite important in relation to how we deal with cross-border issues, how we deal with tariffs, with industry standards, with engineering standards, that type of thing, Different trade issues sometimes come into play. We generally have a good working relationship back and forth across both of our borders. But there’s always things that we can do to make it easier and to make it easier to help with global regulations and standards that make it more efficient for our manufacturers to market their products globally."

Lodder has worked in all areas of Walinga over the past 46 years, from welding and fabricating, machining, high tech manufacturing, and automation, through purchasing and materials management.

Walinga may be situated in a small ag town in the middle of the prairies, but the company is part of a sprawling organization that's headquartered in Guelph, Ontario.

"[There's] another plant in Ferguson, Ontario, and then manufacturing facility and operations in Michigan, as well as a service center in Iowa and another facility in Queensland, Australia," explains Lodder. "We're very much interested in ag manufacturing as a whole, to improve operations for ourselves as well as for our colleagues in the industry. The strength of any association is the engagement of individual members. Our ability to participate in something like this is always beneficial not only to us as a company, but to the industry and the association as a whole."

Their American colleagues felt FEMA would benefit from having some Canadian representation said Lodder.

"Any industry association board's strength is based on having a diverse set of skills and experiences and areas of expertise around the table."

The newest member of FEMA becomes part of a 16-person governing board for the association that serves as a voice, advocate, and resource for companies in the ag implement industry.

With files from Candace Derksen

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