From The President

Staff Changes and New Opportunities

By Brent Kemp, AgGateway President and CEO

It’s observed that farmers get 40 or so chances to grow a crop over their lifetimes. Maybe the fact that we have farm backgrounds, work directly for farmers, or otherwise value the long-term perspective of a farmer explains the longevity of many of our careers. When I started at Southern States Cooperative it wasn’t unusual for me to meet other employees with 25, 30, 40, or even 50 years of service with the company. And so, when a long-time co-worker departs, it feels like a family member has left us.

Josh Wall, longtime AGIIS Product Manager for AgGateway, has left DXC and taken a new opportunity with an ag retailer in his home community. Josh has been one of those fixtures with AGIIS. Even before there was an AGIIS, he was a volunteer and was one of the co-chairs of the original Product Directory Oversight Committee. Over the past 20 he’s been not only a source of technical expertise but also a valued advocate for standards and reference data served by the platform. He’s trained many of us on how to best use and manage the data within AGIIS, and led working groups that enhanced the service from its beginnings in 2003 to today. Josh has left his mark on AgGateway and the industry, and we look forward to the days when our paths cross again.

Fortunately, the resilience of agriculture is also present in our organization. Chris Crutchfield is stepping up to take on the AGIIS Product Manager role. Chris brings excellent skills soliciting and documenting service enhancements and holds strong relationships with many of our member companies’ volunteers.

Also shifting roles is Nikki Marshall, who will be assuming Chris’ former position as Member Services Program Manager, contributing her talents to the tradition of outstanding member service and engagement. We’ll be working with DXC to backfill Nikki’s position over the next few months. I look forward to working with Chris and Nikki as they assume their new roles and hope you’ll join me in congratulating them both.

Rapidly getting the staff whole again is critical – we have a lot on our collective plates as we dive into the second half of 2023! We’re ready to release version 1.0 of a new ADAPT standard that builds on the existing ADAPT Data Model and will allow more opportunities to exchange and process field operations data. We’re kicking off a working group to evaluate how existing Ag eStandards messages can support emerging business needs. We’re revisiting the already implemented Crop Nutrient messages to identify any modifications needed for retailers to make use of them. Climate data collection and exchange standards are under consideration by a LATAM-led team. Europe continues to harmonize local messages with the ADAPT data model. New resources emerge from our working groups, and existing ones evolve to support current and future needs. More such working groups are on the way.

As many of our members gear up for harvest time – whether the crops or the associated data harvest that comes with it – I encourage you to look around your organizations and think about next year’s planting. Think about who you want to bring in to AgGateway working group teams or committees to ensure that your knowledge and experience carries forward, and that the value your company receives from membership grows. A farmer may only have a limited number of crops in him or her, but the farm itself has many, many more. We all, together, will keep planting and tending and harvesting the standards, resources, and data that help those farms thrive. Thanks to those who have lent a hand, and to those that you invite to move us forward.