Furthering eConnectivity

AgGateway Mission in Motion

By Josh Wall, AgGateway

The Mid-Year Meeting was a good chance to catch up with people I have not seen for several months and discuss trending topics within the agriculture industry. The week was very productive and filled with insightful sessions and work that furthered AgGateway’s mission, “To promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture.”

There were three instances that stood out to me that truly encapsulated the spirit of AgGateway. The first occurred in the opening session during the fireside chat between Matt Carstens, Director of SUSTAIN for WinField, and Teddy Bekele, CIO of Land O’Lakes. They had a candid discussion regarding the explosion of data that is available to growers and the industry and the ways in which that data can be converted into useful, actionable information for business value. The “gotcha” moment for me was when they reminded the audience that the agriculture industry needs to do our part in sculpting and forming consumers’ image of agriculture practices and products, not leaving it up to chance, so the right message will be conveyed. One of the major methods of creating that message to consumers is through data, and to have good data, you need standards. This is one big reason why the work we do at AgGateway is so critical.

The second instance occurred the following day during the Ag Retail Connectivity Seminar. This seminar was from the perspective of an ag retailer on why eConnectivity matters. The testimonials provided by the participants on how eConnectivity streamlined their business transactions, improved overall efficiency and added to their bottom line was a powerful message. The presentation really hit home as the presenters not only were talking the talk but they had walked the walk. One presenter revealed the cost it took for his organization to get started in eConnectivity using AgGateway standards and resources and then showed the savings they received as a result.

The final instance was during a presentation I was giving on “AGIIS Data Synchronization” for the Seed Council. The session was well attended, and there was representation from all levels of the supply chain. The first thing I explained to the group was that the Ag Industry Identification System (AGIIS) is a subscriber-driven directory, which means any additions/updates to AGIIS come from subscribers and are shared with subscribers. So truly, to have data synchronization on unique identifiers for entities, products and seed licenses in the industry, subscribers need to be sending updates to and applying updates from the AGIIS directory. These unique identifiers are the basic building blocks that enable connectivity within our industry. As I looked across the room, I saw the lightbulb go off for many in attendance. They were processing the information I was providing and applying it to their own connectivity projects within their organization. In some cases, that was Grower Point of Sale Reporting. In other cases, that was sending Purchase Orders to their trading partners or other messages that were being implemented to drive efficiency. Bottom line: the individuals in the room that day were living out the mission of AgGateway.

As you can see with each encounter I described above, AgGateway’s mission is being lived out through our members. The question is, “What are you doing to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture?” Are you pioneering new standards within our industry? Are you connecting with trading partners? Are you using unique identifiers and synchronizing with AGIIS? Wherever you find yourself in this digital world we live, I encourage your organization to continue to find ways to move the AgGateway mission forward.

If your organization does not know where to get started or needs assistance on the next step, contact AgGateway’s Member Services at Member.Services@AgGateway.org or at (+1) 866.251.8618 to learn more about AgGateway’s standards, resources, data synchronization, eConnectivity projects and AGIIS.