From Products to Politics

The diversity of my work continually motivates and amazes me. After 20 years in this industry, one would think that I’d be used to the span of my assignments. Nope!

I started my week, with eight hours in the Yukon, traveling with three Co-workers: our newly-hired Tech Services Reps, Brandon; Product Manager, Anthony; and our VP of Engineering, Rob. Is there a better way to bond personally and professionally than a road trip? Perhaps a 4:00 am hotel evacuation for a fire alarm (false, thankfully).Tuesday morning, our crew joined up with the rest of Woods Team staffing our display at Ohio Farm Science Review. I loved that everyone responded immediately when our show manager, Jenn, handed out rags and squeegees and put us to work wiping the dew off equipment. A love of shiny orange metal and pride in our equipment unites us. In fact, perhaps the only thing that trumps “product pride” is the people that sell and use them. And, that’s the magic of trade shows: connecting our products with people who have a job to do and want to get it done right.

The capstone on the day was dinner at Villa Nova (order the gnocchi!) with dealer friend Howard Violet and two of his team members to celebrate the birthday of our District Manager, Super Dave. How much do our dealers love our DMs? Enough to make four stops to find a last-minute birthday cake!

Wednesday started with a flight to Washington DC to join the Association of Equipment Manufactures (AEM) annual fly-in. I arrived in DC, just as an Honor Flight was disembarking. God bless America!

Thursday’s schedule was stacked with seven meetings with elected officials to share AEM’s positions on agriculture (pass USMCA), infrastructure (shore up the Highway Trust Fund), trade (end tariffs) and workforce development (support training for trades and technical workers). Trekking through the hallways of Capitol Hill and having candid conversations with our officials reminded me of the importance of free speech and an accessible government. There’s a lot to hate about “the swamp,” but we do have a voice. God bless America!

We wrapped up our advocacy efforts at the White House, meeting with Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in the Roosevelt Room. He seemed as interested to hear what we had heard from our Wednesday meetings as he was to share the Administrations perspective on our issues — and why they struggle to get things done in Washington.

All-in-all, I’m logging this week with five hearts on the scale of how much I love my job. I’m grateful for the support of my team, co-workers, boss, and AEM — the makers of a five-heart week.

AKL 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡