Leadership Profile

Leadership Profile: Natasha Lilly

By J Nolfo, BASF, and Communications Committee Chair

How long have you been involved with AgGateway, and what are your current activities with AgGateway?

I have been involved in AgGateway since 2014. I found it extremely easy to become active and get involved right away. For 2018, I am the Ag Retail Council Chair. We have some exciting projects starting up in that council. I am also a liaison for several of the councils.

Give us a quick synopsis of your career path – where did you start, and where are you now?

I started my career in 2011 as a software trainer for The Equity. We were in the middle of implementing a new ag software and I was hired to learn and train on this software. We found out shortly after implementation that our new software, Agvance (SSI), had a large presence in AgGateway and felt that it was very important to get involved. Today, I am the Information Services Director for The Equity.

Tell us about one or two accomplishments within AgGateway that you’re particularly proud of, as well as how your company benefited.

Our breakthrough first message at The Equity was the Electronic Ship Notice. This was a new concept to our company and was a big change to the way seed was being brought in previously. I am most proud of this message because this was our first step. There was a huge amount of efficiency and accuracy gains with this message. We were able to gain a lot of momentum around the idea of eConnectivity just by implementing this one message. At the 2017 Mid-Year meeting in Altoona, I had the opportunity to be on the panel at the Ag Retail Connectivity Seminar. I also took part in the eConnectivity video. The Equity has benefited from each message but also from the relationships that are built through the unparalleled networking at AgGateway. If I have an issue today I am able to reach out to a wide pool of my peers and work through it.

What, for you, is the most important thing AgGateway is working on now, and why?

Adoption. There has been a great amount of work done to get things standardized and completing proof-of-concept, but the benefits will increase two-fold when all of our trading partners are connected. Adoption across the industry is huge.

What do you think are some of the most significant ways eConnectivity will impact agriculture in the years ahead?

We have been collecting data for many years now and we will soon be able to have real time decision-making information at our fingertips. After we are able to establish full adoption of eConnectivity, we will be able to harness all the data, analytics and efficiency right to the end user, the grower. At that time we will be able to become more customer-focused – a very personalized, informed interaction.

How has being involved in AgGateway benefited you?

It has been a huge benefit to my career to step outside of my organization and to network with my peers. I attend many industry conferences throughout the year and AgGateway is by far the most beneficial for me. I have also became a stronger communicator in my organization. Speaking in large forums of people that I do not work with on a day-to-day basis has been huge for me. I have been able to put my passion behind eConnectivity and show the value of implementation as well as the value of myself as a leader.

Tell us a little about your personal life - family, outside interests, etc.

I have three children and they pretty much consume all of my time outside of work. We are a very outdoors-oriented family and enjoy going everywhere. We plan a big camping and canoeing trip each year and always try to make it to a national park that we have not visited before. I love to cook and hope that one day those are the memories they will look back on. Food, scenery and my three beautiful children – I couldn’t ask for more.

What would you tell someone else who’s thinking about getting involved with AgGateway?

Membership is very important to the industry, your organization, but also to yourself. AgGateway makes it very simple to get started, to get informed, and to be heard. Everyone has a voice and by working together huge feats can be accomplished. If you ever wondered how other people are making things work or got past a big change in their organizations, then come and sit at the table.