From The President

Getting it Done, One-on-One

By Brent Kemp, AgGateway President and CEO

The early months of 2023 have served as a reminder that, while AgGateway is a very productive fully remote organization, there’s nothing like getting out to interact one-on-one with our members and Regional Directors around the world to understand their challenges and celebrate their successes.

Case in point: I recently returned from visiting and representing AgGateway’s members in Brazil and celebrating their 5th anniversary. It was a real pleasure sitting in on their day-long member meeting, filled with education as well as planning and preparation for an upcoming climate data working group effort. It was exactly what an AgGateway meeting should be, developing both resources and relationships to drive digital agriculture. Venturus’ meeting space was ideal for networking – thank you to Marcelo and the Venturus team for hosting.

Loyola and I also spent three days at Brazil’s Agrishow, connecting with longtime friends like Adriano Becker, Bruno Lucio, Bruna Passalaqua, and Warsis Slywitch. The trip allowed me to meet new friends in person as well: Vitor Mondo and Stanley Oliveira, with Embrapa; Jose Tonon, with Cygni/Orion; Miro Lima, with Meteoblue; Guilherme Panes, with Jacto; Antonio Neto and Fernando Peres, with ANDAV; and many, many more.

Digital agriculture in LATAM is ready to take off, and AgGateway and its members are prepared to lead with tools like Modus and ADAPT, and widely adopted eBusiness message standards. I can’t wait to see how we grow.

The trip really renewed my appreciation for the interaction opportunities AgGateway offers members. Whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person, participants get work done that brings value to their organizations and is recognized in a global context. For example, the PAIL specifications are working their way through ISO committees on their way to becoming global standards, and we’ll be sharing the Modus work with a global audience in June’s Improving Global Agricultural Data (IGAD) Community of Practice Annual Virtual Meeting.

As Loyola and I met with Brazilian retail cooperatives like Coopercitrus and Coplacana, we identified needs that can be met with resources like electronic price sheets, and the messages and choreographies developed for Crop Protection, Crop Nutrition, and Seed segments. Daren Coppock, President of ARA, shared that he heard similar conversations on digital agriculture and interoperability needs at a recent Argentinian retail congress. In the back half of 2023 and into 2024, we’ll be working on opportunities for members to share their knowledge, and to learn from others, particularly in LATAM, where the digital transformation is in some ways just getting started.

Meanwhile in Europe, members will meet at the end of the month for a day-long session covering these and other topics such as animal nutrition data standards. I got to spend time with our European colleagues late last year, and I’m pleased with the contributions they are making, in particular in the effort to move ADAPT toward becoming a global standard. In North America, we will gather for the annual Mid-Year Meeting in Altoona, IA beginning on June 12 to renew networks, approve guidelines, and work on new resources supporting field boundary definitions, traceability data, weather data, and more.

In addition, we’ll offer a series of business skills workshops on facilitating meetings, led by Marilyn Hunter. We’re excited to welcome her back and hope that you will take advantage of this chance to learn how to facilitate like a master from an expert with agricultural industry experience. Facilitation, collaboration, and implementation are all part of the value you receive in AgGateway meetings whether your business is regional or global.

Take some time to learn from and about your peers this month. I bet you’ll come away with at least one insight that you can take back to your organization, and you’ll have shared at least one with them.