From The President

Taking Our Mission On The Road

By Brent Kemp, AgGateway President and CEO

We’re still a month away from wrapping up the first quarter of 2023, and we’ve already logged significant frequent flyer miles in support of the AgGateway mission. AgGateway member volunteers, staff, and I have travelled across the country in an effort to extend and secure partnerships, educate the industry on the value and benefits of connectivity, and invite prospective members to make the commitment to join our cause.

The most compelling travel I’ve done so far has been to support our three AgGateway Connectivity Roadshows in Altoona, Iowa, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Kearney, Nebraska, which kicked off on January 11 and concluded on February 22. The Roadshow idea sprang from discussions at the 2022 Mid-Year Meeting with Ann Vande Lune of Key Cooperative. She wanted to find a way to bring retailers and trading partners together so that she could share her experiences with digital connectivity and express the benefits she gained from participation in AgGateway.

Ann dedicated significant time to coordinating a program with input from other volunteers. She presented at all the events, along with support from others from member organizations Co-Alliance, Corteva, Key Cooperative, and Syngenta. She did an outstanding job demonstrating the benefits of digital connectivity for creating efficiency, better inventory control, and improved profitability. Attendees at all three events responded favorably to the value of implementation, and were interested in finding out more about what AgGateway currently offers – and how they might be able to engage these resources.

A number of top-notch retailers joined us for the events, providing new perspectives on our existing and evolving work. Other industry associations, start-up generators, and crop insurance companies lent their ears – and their thoughts – as well. We listened, learned, gained new insights, and we are very pleased with the results! So much so that we are exploring hosting a similar event or session as a part of the upcoming Mid-Year meeting in June.

As we all know, digital connectivity in agriculture is a journey more than a destination, and the Roadshow events were designed to be both a starting point for organizations to think about their internal challenges, and a roadmap for moving forward. To this end, we’ve invited attendees from all of the Roadshow events to attend the Mid-Year Meeting to continue that journey this summer. We hope to see a lot of those new faces in the crowd in Altoona this June!

The industry journey to a digital future doesn’t stop with supply chain, though. We’ll be with our Agricultural Electronic Foundation (AEF) partner in March and offer perspectives on the value of label data at the AAPCO conference. We have meet ups scheduled in Europe and member meeting planning happening in Brazil. Our working groups focusing on field boundaries, advancing ADAPT, and laying the foundations for traceability APIs, all help move members, and agriculture, to a future where data enables better decision making, more efficient processes, and faster responses to the challenges we face. I look forward to traveling this road with you, and working together to build relationships and resources that transform our industry for the better.