By J. Nolfo, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions
How long have you been involved with AgGateway, and what are your current activities with AgGateway?
I’ve been involved since the first meeting I attended, the Mid-Year Meeting in 2014. Since then, I have been progressively more involved with the Allied Providers Council and the Precision Ag Council. Today, I am a representative on the Operational Board for the Allied Providers Council, and I collaborate with the council on updating the Allied Providers Capability Matrix. I also participate on the ADAPT project and, during that, have become increasingly engaged in the PAIL (precision ag irrigation), Remote Sensing and Reference Data API working groups.
Give us a quick synopsis of your career path - where did you start, and where are you now?
I started with John Deere in 2009 as a product safety engineer after completing my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University, where I studied bio-renewable energy generation. After a few role changes, I tested telematics software with John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale, Iowa. Over the next several years, I earned an MBA in global business and progressed through several additional roles to my current position as a product manager for the John Deere Operations Center data platform, which ultimately led me to get more involved with AgGateway.
Tell us about one or two accomplishments within AgGateway that you’re particularly proud of, as well as how your company benefited/what was the benefit.
John Deere plays a unique role as both a global OEM provider of agriculture equipment and technology, as well as an allied provider in the API platform enablement space. It has been a very rewarding opportunity to work with the many groups within AgGateway as a representative of the company. I am particularly proud to be the Allied Provider Council representative on the newly formed Operational Board to help drive its success. I am also very proud to have been a part of the ADAPT project group to create and promote a common data standard for the ag industry. This was no easy task – it continues to require the whole community of participants to accomplish – and it is a very big win for AgGateway. It continues to be a very positive experience to work with all the teams on its development. As technology at John Deere and elsewhere are able to match up with this standard, it is fascinating to learn of all the various use cases and interactions that are in need of basic standardization.
What, for you, is the most important thing AgGateway is working on now, and why?
I would say promoting collaboration and facilitating key discussions through the entire agriculture value chain around enabling technology to simplify business workflows; that will remain an important goal for agriculture for a long time to come. From more of a precision ag perspective, the core documents that resulted from the SPADE Project are key process steps. They continue to be very important items requiring more specific standards being delivered by the consortium such as ADAPT and PAIL. We all have the grand opportunity to reduce many of the barriers that exist with business integration today.
What do you think are some of the most significant ways eConnectivity will impact agriculture in the years ahead?
The world is ready for broad technology integration and adoption in almost every sector. The role eConnectivity will have in improving agriculture to the betterment of all society is no different. The ability to gain faster and more accurate insights improves every day. Applying more informed algorithms and improving processes are initiatives that have the capability to step-change the productivity of the entire industry in a relatively short time horizon.
How has being involved in AgGateway benefited you?
Being involved with AgGateway has really helped me both meet great thought-leaders in the industry as well as gain perspective on the grander industry concerns that face companies and farmers alike. The insightful networking and standard development skills obviously have great professional benefits to any career but also many personal benefits by making new friends and connections from all over the world.
Tell us a little about your personal life - family, outside interests, etc.
I live in Waukee, Iowa, with my wife Jill, two daughters Quinn (7) and Ruby (1) and my son Wes (5). We stay very busy with activities and visiting with family and friends. I try to coach youth sports when I have the time, and we all have a lot of fun with that. I grew up on a row-crop and livestock farm in western Iowa and have always enjoyed the scientific aspects of agriculture while in engineering school. My hobbies include reading, studying soil health, and environmental sustainability. I play around with growing biomass energy crops on my family farm and stay informed on emerging renewable energy generation. I grew up on a very do-it-yourself farm, and from that, I always have a never-ending supply of projects going on around the house.
What would you tell someone else who’s thinking about getting involved with AgGateway?
There are many things to consider when looking to join AgGateway, but the most important action is to get involved in something. There are many enjoyable ways to fulfill professional needs, such as participating in meeting discussions or helping with use case design, as well as outlets for personal passions to volunteer in activities like the Conference Committee, training, project management, or council and committee leadership. I thought a quote would be a good way to sum it up and found this gem: “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” AgGateway provides a collection of great people and great minds in the industry at a time when collaboration is needed to achieve success.
Thank you for your leadership, Randy!
April Newsletter Home
eConnectivity Matters: Easy Steps to Boost the Value of Your AgGateway Membership
2017 Mid-Year Meeting: Register Today
New Member: Ag Data Coalition
Leadership Profile: Randy Kasparbauer, John Deere, and Operational Board Member
AgGateway on the Move: Postcards from Andres Ferreyra
AIDC: Curtain Call for Windows CE and Windows Embedded Handheld
AGIIS: Spring Cleaning: Time To Review Your Company Roster
Precision Ag: Coalition to Advance Precision Ag Launches New Website
Technology: Drone Technology for Ag Retailers
Gateway to Ag Careers: In Search of Nominees
AgGateway News: AgGateway in the News