View From the President

Marking Our Progress and Sharing Our Accomplishments

By Brent Kemp, President and CEO

We are only three months into the new year, and AgGateway has already made great progress. As we ride what we hope will be the final downslide of the pandemic curve, we're seeing increased in-person activity happening alongside the virtual work that we've done so well for so long.

Staff and volunteers continue to push hard under the core focus areas of Create, Engage, and Grow. New working groups are spinning up. Europe-based members developed a charter for a potato provenance deliverable, with a first task to document field boundaries as understood and documented in the region. We recognize this particular subject has global visibility, and our COO, Jeremy Wilson, has special responsibility to align North American and European work in this area.

Meanwhile, Latin American efforts to harmonize soil testing formats to other widely accepted standards are coming to a close, and we look forward to publishing the result of that work.

Finally, we welcome those members who've joined in 2022 to help develop and implement new and existing digital resources, extending the pipes through which data flows to our stakeholders.

AgGateway In the Beltway. We’ve all experienced the new challenges in supply chains and field operations facing our industry, and the need to address these issues was reinforced through conversations we had on National Mall in Washington, D.C. during National Ag Week observances. The most often asked questions for us were, "how is agriculture responding to sustainability needs?" and "why do standards matter in sustainability discussions?" We talked with USDA staffers and agency administrators about the good work you, our members and volunteers, are doing to document process, to define required data, to determine how that data maps across businesses and segments, and to implement common data exchange practices in order to improve business efficiency and profitability – especially as this ultimately impacts farmers' ability to use data. Your accomplishments are recognized and valued.

Challenging Work Ahead. AgGateway members understand the need for accurate, timely, and relevant data for all aspects of agriculture, as evidenced by the recent In-Field Product Identification pilot and discussions on how that can be leveraged beyond the initial seed planting use case. As you identify new issues that can best be addressed by collaborative efforts, I encourage you to schedule a meet up with other members and kick off that next working group.

AgGateway's Board of Directors documented several emerging strategic issues impacting or likely to impact agriculture in the next decade. Topics such as data ethics, climate response, and provenance and traceability needs supporting animal and human nutrition all figure in the matrix. Regional steering committees provide input into priorities, and we recognize there are more issues waiting to make the list. One company or industry segment cannot answer all the questions each of these issues pose. Together, AgGateway's members bring the experience, expertise, and scope to tackle these critical problems. Addressing the data requirements in a pre-competitive environment allows members freedom to use that data to develop solutions and deliver value to your customers.

As we prepare for regional presentations in June, and working sessions at our Mid-Year Meeting in Iowa, the need to engage in collaborative discussion and implementation has never before been more evident. Whether your business needs visibility into logistics, product location, in-field agronomic data, or something altogether different, AgGateway is the place to come for reusable resources and extensible processes and standards. 2022 isn't backing off on challenges - we look forward to solving them together.

Reach out to me anytime with questions, concerns, or big ideas. Thank you for your work!