History of the Southern Equipment Dealers Association
On November 1, 1998 the Alabama Equipment Dealers Association and Southeastern Equipment Dealers Association were unified to form the Southern Equipment Dealers Association (SEDA).
Following 54 years of service by each Association, the Board of Directors of the Alabama Association and the Southeastern Association concluded that unification of the two would strengthen the dealer organization and provide better representation, service and benefits to the members. Consequently, members of the two Associations voted unanimously to form one unified Association to serve farm, industrial, irrigation, outdoor power and turf equipment dealers in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
Following is a brief history of the Alabama and Southeastern Associations:
Alabama Equipment Dealers Association
On February 19, 1944, in Montgomery, Alabama, a meeting was held “for the purpose of forming the Alabama Implement Association.” W.R. Taylor, Sr. was named President and J.B. Wilson was named Secretary.
In 1954, Dr. Fred Kummer, Head of the Department of Ag Engineering,Auburn University, was named Executive Secretary and became a part-time Association employee.
On September 11, 1958, the organization changed its’ name to Alabama Farm Equipment Dealers Association, Inc. Kummer organized the annual Pre-Convention tours that were so successful and the Alabama Association consistently had the highest percent of membership present at National Conventions. Under his leadership, the Association prospered in membership, net worth, fellowship, and comradeship and was the envy of most small Associations.
In 1962, the National Association’s name was changed to the National Farm and Power Equipment Dealers Association (NFPEDA). To be consistent, the Alabama Association’s name was changed to the Alabama Farm and Power Equipment Dealers Association. This name was used by the Association for 35 years until the change in January 1997 when it became the Alabama Equipment Dealers Association, Inc to maintain consistency with other affiliate Associations.
Mr. Edward L. Turner, Jr., a former Ford and John Deere dealer in Luverne, Alabama, succeeded Dr. Kummer in 1980.
In the fall of 1992, the Association employed James S. Collins, V, an agricultural graduate of Auburn University, as a Field Representative. Upon Mr. Turner’s retirement, Collins was appointed Executive Vice President and the office was moved back (from Luverne) to Auburn, Alabama. He served in this position until June 1997. Joni Brady served as office manager until February 1998 and then Interim Executive Director until the unification on November 1, 1998.
Southeastern Equipment Dealers Association
Many years ago, a group of farm equipment dealers decided that they needed to work together on issues that concern their industry and to obtain benefits and services available only through group participation. Thus, the Georgia Farm Equipment Association was formed.
It was on March 2, 1944 that a group of 29 dealers met in the Ansley Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the formation of an Association. After discussion and the decision to form an Association, an election of Officers and Directors was held. The newly organized Association immediately became affiliated with the National Farm Equipment Association. Joe F. Pruett accepted the job as part time secretary and the Association headquarters was established in Macon, Georgia.
Membership reached 101 by the end of the Association’s first year. The first state convention was held at the Dempsey Hotel in Macon on December 4-5 with 132 men attending.
Membership continued to grow and peaked with 377 in 1954. Pruett served as the Association’s Executive Secretary until his retirement in 1978. When Billy Adams replaced Pruett as Executive Director and became the Association’s first full time employee, the Association office was moved to Dublin, Georgia.
In 1985, the dealers proudly changed the name of the organization to Southeastern Farm & Power Equipment Association to acknowledge Georgia and Florida dealer members.
In 1996, the Association’s name was changed again; this time to Southeastern Equipment Dealers Association which more accurately encompassed its wide range of dealer members who retailed farm, industrial, irrigation, outdoor power and turf equipment and remained known as Southeastern Association until the unification in 1998.