From The President

Our Ability to Implement is Setting AgGateway Apart

By Brent Kemp, AgGateway President and CEO

I recently recorded a presentation for GS1’s 2022 Connect conference. Their keyword this year, perhaps appropriately, is Adapt. For those of you who know GS1 as a supply chain-oriented organization with a footprint in the healthcare, consumer retail, grocery, and food service segments, perhaps it’s a surprise that AgGateway would be invited to present. We’ve partnered with GS1 since 2008, and our B2B message implementation leverages GLNs for entity enumeration, and GTINs for product identification.

This alone is not what prompted the invitation to present. Implementation – both in our supply chain messaging and the potential for linking that supply chain data to as-planted data through the In-Field Product Identification pilot – got us the presenter slot.

A key theme of my presentation was implementation, and the hard work AgGateway members put in to synchronize master data, agree on message syntax, semantics, and implementation guidelines, and to connect systems. I stressed the practical, pragmatic approach we take – our job isn’t to add complexity (and cost) but to streamline for business efficiency. I highlighted the importance of having both business and technical implementers at the table defining the standards because a pragmatic approach isn’t possible without them – that is, without you. GS1 offered AgGateway a forum to promote data standards and implementation in agriculture because of your successes.

We recognize that we aren’t in the interoperability business alone. Our pragmatic approach means that we partner with others who have overlapping or aligned interests so we can quickly implement those standards that are most applicable to our industry, adapt them where needed, and create them from scratch only as a last resort. Our partnerships with standards bodies like OAGi, ASABE, AEF, ISO, and of course GS1, inform the work we do for production agriculture and lay the groundwork for the next generation of data use.

Here’s an example: The In Field Product ID proof of concept, and the Phase Two pilot going on right now, ties the seed that a farmer plants to the retail purchase. There’s value in the automation that keeps a grower from having to manually enter product information into the planter controller.

But think about what else that enables. The B2B messaging and associated history – from booking to delivery at the field – is now connected to the planter, and to the as-planted record. That as-planted data can be transformed and loaded into the farmer’s management system of choice. Identifiers that are globally unique and globally accepted travel with or alongside that data at each step. We now have the first layer of provenance in the crop leaving the field.

Combine that with the SPADE core documents for work orders, work records, and harvesting, as well as weather layers and farm practice data, and you have a history of that crop, ready for pass-through to feed ingredient suppliers or food processors.

Whether the data need is carbon, sustainability, regulatory reporting, or crop insurance claims, AgGateway B2B messaging standards, ADAPT, and implementation guidelines all come together to enable that hand off. Production agriculture is ready to be a partner in all those areas, and because of the work you’ve done, we’re prepared to move quickly.

Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on implementation.