Rural Matters

Rural Matters Partnership Spotlight: Agricultural Retailers Association

Rural Matters Website 032624

Rural Matters Partnership Spotlight: Ag Retailers Association (ARA)

We are focused on advocating for our farmers and the future of their businesses. This includes engaging directly with lawmakers and collaborating with various industry organizations and associations to enhance our collective impact. Recently, I had the honor of representing Landus at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) winter board meeting and DC fly-in. 

The ARA represents a wide-ranging cross section of the ag industry, include leading cooperative and independent retailers and distributors of crop inputs, production tools and services; suppliers of seed, equipment, fertilizer, pesticide, technology and capital; and affiliated organizations such as universities, government agencies or associations. Landus has been an active member of the ARA, including members of leadership serving on their board of directors, and our very own Tyler Schultes who was recognized with the 2023 ARA Rising Star award.

As a member of ARA, Landus farmers have a stronger voice in critical issues each and every day in Washington D.C. Below is a recap of the policy priorities finalized by the ARA members for 2024, and the issues that we discussed with congressional offices and staffers during the recent fly-in: 

  1. Reauthorizing the Farm Bill – Ag retailers and distributors play a vital role in providing farmers with the right crop inputs at the right time despite a short planting time frame--all while offering crop consulting services and custom pesticide and fertilizer application services. ARA is working to protect the tools farmers need to deliver a secure and affordable food supply chain by advocating for the inclusion of the Plant Biostimulant Act of 2023, Increased Technical Service Providers Access Act of 2023, the preservation of the crop insurance program and more in the 2024 farm bill.
  2. Protecting Modern Ag Technologies – Because farmers need reliable access to crop input supplies and precision ag technologies, ARA and its members support codifying oversight of pesticide registrations and regulations at the EPA and state agencies to ensure the federal government makes decisions based on sound science, peer-reviewed data and a risk-based approach. More investment in research and development is critical to further enhance crop yields and plant health.
  3. Relieving Transportation & Supply Chain Challenges – Transportation and supply chain disruptions continue to top the list of concerns in ag retail. ARA is advocating for modernizing the nation's freight rail, trucking and inland waterway systems by supporting:
    1. Reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Board to include provisions addressing rising demurrage and detention costs to shippers and increased competition.
    2. Reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes waterway projects to improve the nation's ports, harbors and inland waterways.
    3. Expansion of the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program by allowing more 18- to 20-year-old drivers to participate.
    4. Reform hours of service to eliminate the planting and harvesting seasonal provisions, and authorize a pilot program for farm supply transporters to operate up to a 200-air-mile radius.
    5. Reform the additional farm-related restricted CDL program.
  4. Ensuring an All-of-the-Above Energy Approach – ARA works with industry coalitions to advocate for federal energy policies that increase domestic natural gas production, reduce U.S. manufacturing costs for crop input materials and develop and use renewable fuels to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources. Any cuts to the renewable fuel standard will take a devastating toll on rural economies and stifle investment in ethanol plants.

At Landus we are committed to working on the topics and issues most important to YOU, our farmers, our customers, our employees, and our communities where we call home. Help us carry your voice and your priorities forward by taking a few minutes to let us know your thoughts in our survey, or send me an email anytime at