The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) issued the following statement praising the Iowa State Legislature’s creation of the Dairy Innovation Fund after Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law:
“This is a great day for Iowa’s dairy farmers, who are always finding ways to do more with less. The creation of the Dairy Innovation Fund provides a much-needed boost to dairy farmers and ensures that they can continue to invest in the technologies that will keep the state’s dairy industry competitive,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM senior vice president of government and industry relations. “AEM would like to thank Senator Dan Zumbach and Representative Norlin Mommsen for shepherding this bill through the legislative process as well as the Iowa House and Senate leaders for their tireless work in securing passage of this important legislation.”
The FY2024 budget, which included the funding to create the Dairy Innovation Fund, was signed by Governor Reynolds on June 1. The program will make available new technologies and equipment to Iowa’s dairy farmers through low interest loans and grants. With the help of the Dairy Innovation Fund, dairy farmers will be able to access critical financial resources that can lead to cost improvements and increased efficiency through the usage of modern dairy technology. AEM helped secure passage of the legislation through a comprehensive advocacy campaign, including meetings with lawmakers and an earned media campaign. Chad Huyser, president of Lely North America and member of AEM’s Dairy Leadership Group, authored an op-ed in the Oskaloosa Herald calling for the bill’s passage.
“Iowa’s dairy farmers are twelfth in the nation for dairy production, and the establishment of the Dairy Innovation Fund will ensure our farmers remain competitive and at the cutting edge of dairy equipment and technology,” said Pat Weiler, AEM Government and Public Affairs Committee Chair and president and CEO of Iowa-based equipment manufacturer Weiler. “This will benefit the local economy and support the equipment manufacturing industry, which continues to revolutionize the way farmers approach operations. Precision agriculture is a game-changer for both dairy farmers and the equipment manufacturing industry, paving the way for a more sustainable future.”