This Story is by Greg Frenzel, Product Specialist – Tractors, CLAAS of America, Inc.
You never know when your first meeting with an elected official will be. It just so happens that my first time was last week in the cab of a tractor with the Governor of Nebraska.
Last week, just seven days before the 2018 election, Gov. Pete Ricketts visited my employer, CLAAS of America, Inc., in Omaha, Nebraska. The governor’s stopover came officially as part of Manufacturing Month and a business roundtable CLAAS was hosting later in the afternoon with the Nebraska U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and U.S. Rep. Don Bacon.
After taking time to tour our facility and answer questions from my fellow colleagues who work on the shop floor, I got the opportunity to show him how one of our finished products – a XERION 5000 tractor – operates at our onsite test course.
Throughout the drive we discussed the features of the tractor that he drove and the applications for which it is used. I found that he was very friendly and a down-to-earth guy who was genuinely interested in the products that we make and sell. When we were done, I thanked him for all that he has worked on up to this point and for what I hope he will continue to do for this state and industry.
As a product specialist for tractors with CLAAS, I perform demos in the field, train dealer and internal salesmen, and provide support at farm shows all around North America. That doesn’t typically involve hanging out with the Governor, but that’s just one reason why the day’s events were so great.
The afternoon roundtable with Sen. Fischer, Rep. Bacon, and several of our industry’s executives, gave me and my co-workers a lot of information we otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to learn about. I don’t think we would’ve fully understood where Sen. Fischer and Rep. Bacon stood on the important issues impacting manufacturing and agriculture – both industries important to the CLAAS business.
It was nice to learn that both Sen. Fischer and Rep. Bacon are working together and share the same viewpoints on current issues that will help manufacturing and agriculture going forward.
As someone who grew up farming in a city with a population of just over 1,000, I’ve seen firsthand how important equipment is to keeping our agricultural economy strong. In my hometown of Weeping Water, Nebraska, and in rural communities all across the country, the more income we pull in each year, the more we can invest in upgrading the equipment we rely on to help feed the nation.
That’s why it’s important for our industry to continue to hold events like these, to connect workers like myself to our elected officials so they know about the direct impact of the decisions they make.
I look forward to attending more events like it in the future and I encourage any of our industry’s other workers to do the same.