Matt Rice, of Godfrey, the former director of projects and grants for Congressman John Shimkus, has joined the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association as membership director.
“His work on behalf of the residents of the congressman’s district gave him a unique understanding of the farm equipment industry, agriculture, and the rural Midwest,” said Vernon Schmidt, the association’s executive vice president. “Matt has a great respect and appreciation for the companies this Association represents, and we are thrilled he has joined us.”
Rice spent many years on the local political scene, before joining the office of Shimkus in 2018. Shimkus, R-Collinsville, is not running for re-election this November.
Previously, Rice was a district director for Congressman Mike Bost; public affairs manager for Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka; Madison County recorder of deeds; and Wood River Township clerk.
His new role was announced this week.
The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, which is headquartered in St. Louis, represents about 700 companies from throughout North America that manufacture shortline equipment, a segment of the farm machine industry that designs and produces equipment to complement mass-produced lines—sprayers, for example, or tillage equipment. The Association serves as the collective voice and resource for companies in each link of the shortline supply chain.
“I’ve always been curious about how things are made and have enjoyed visiting manufacturing plants to meet constituents,” Rice said. “I look forward to getting to know the people who are developing innovative, time-saving tools for farmers and working with them to provide Association services to support them as they thrive.”