From the President

Mid-Year Meetings Demonstrate the Value of Face-To-Face

By Brent Kemp, President and CEO

As I write this article, AgGateway members have successfully completed mid-year meetings in North America and Europe. (LATAM held their most recent membership meeting in April of this year.) Volunteers came together to share successes, work on new challenges, identify emerging problems, and above all, to network. Hallway conversations and in-meeting discussions resulted in shared awareness of business needs and expectations and renewed personal connections.

Thank you to all who presented, and to first time session facilitators like Julie Mathey with GROWMARK for stepping up to lead the vital conversations that result in working groups and development of AgGateway resources.

Everyone I spoke with agreed on the importance of these in-person meetings to get work done. In fact, when asked whether to go to a once-per-year meeting cadence, the Europe group was unanimous in their desire to maintain two meetings. They even indicated they’d like to leverage AgGateway’s communications and support team more in order to build awareness, promote participation, and include working sessions.

I’d like to share a couple of highlights from my perspective. The meetings clearly prioritized education. In Europe, Agrotech Valley Forum, a cross-industry partnership in our host region of Lower Saxony, shared how they are building out awareness and implementation in aggrotech in their region. They are working with researchers to build out roadmaps for technology implementation through trials and pilots in the field, with a particular focus on AI and robotics.

In North America, our keynote speaker, Bill Schmarzo, enlightened attendees on his views of how organizations can implement artificial intelligence, combined with nanoeconomics and individual level profiles, to deliver increased efficiency and productivity. He further challenged the group to think about that increased value as a benefit to “stakeholders” – a group more widely inclusive than we may normally imagine. This provocative talk resulted in many conversations over lunch, receptions, and in the following days and weeks.

Our meetings also promoted work that AgGateway has completed: ADAPT Standard and Traceability API, specifically. These resources, and the tool set that enables easy comprehension and use by developers, are poised to support environmental reporting initiatives, enable cloud-to-cloud interoperability projects, and offer existing ADAPT implementers additional ways to connect with partners.

For those interested in the statistics, both North America and Europe meeting attendance were consistent with 2023 registrations. Late planting, competing meetings, and other scheduling conflicts didn’t result in steep attendance declines. Thank you to all our sponsors and participants for your support and engagement in these meetings. As always, we host these meetings for the members, but cannot do it without you!

As we head into the back half of 2024 there is still much to do. Our Entity Identification Rules working group kicked off with a workshop that has only just started some deep and deeply needed conversations. Field Boundaries work continues to dig into geospatial use cases. And the Dairy Feed Data working group has generated interest from new parties in France who are ready to share some of the work they’ve done in the segment. While in The Netherlands, Jim Wilson and I had a chance to meet with Leon Ham, Business Team and Digital Farming professional with Lely, to talk a little about data in dairy as well.

Conference surveys are one way you can offer your opinions on what went well and where we can improve. Please take a moment to fill those out when you receive them. And as always, feel free to contact me directly with your comments!