From the President

Adapting to an Ever-Changing Business Climate

By Brent Kemp, President and CEO

I was talking with a staff member earlier this week about the weather. It’s nearly 75 degrees, they said, and tomorrow we expect snow. And then it will be a slow rise back to warm spring temperatures. That sounds a lot like the business we’re in these days: actively addressing a problem or a customer, followed by an unexpected change in business conditions, and then a period of evaluating whether the latest change is something to focus on or if the prior work is still a priority. It could be a merger or acquisition, leadership change, or regulatory ruling that’s caused the reflection. Regardless, it’s something to deal with.

AgGateway’s staff and processes aren’t changing, so you don’t need to worry that this column is an announcement of anything of the sort. I did want to observe though that we do periodically look around for those processes, resources, and tools that have served us well but that may need to be tweaked or revised in order to continue adding value.

For instance, we’ve been working with AGIIS stakeholders to document needs and evolving business practices that may warrant changing business rules or technical capabilities of that service. We’ll be wrapping up preliminary meetings in February and March and will be publishing recommendations to move the service forward in the coming months. Be on the lookout for more information from the AGIIS Directory Oversight Committee.

AgGateway is also launching a working group focused on dairy feeding data standards. This is of note for many reasons, but I want to point out two. First, this is our first animal-ag specific working group and while it is scoped to dairy feeding the output should apply more broadly. Second, the fact that this is slightly beyond our traditional row crop/field operations core illustrates the value that AgGateway has to the industry as a convener.

The work we intend to do in this group may not be immediately applicable to all members, but it certainly fills in a blank in the larger agriculture standards landscape. And we as an industry need to be informed and engaged in developing the map of data from input supply channels to and through the field and, ultimately, to food production.

As we think about that data landscape more broadly, we recognize that our members have interests in ensuring the work they do in AgGateway can be leveraged for other purposes and is recognized as valuable by other stakeholders. Accordingly, AgGateway staff and member volunteers continue to engage in regional and international efforts by ISO and its member nations to document and support standards related to data-driven agri-food systems. We do this to ensure that resources are aligned to international standards (for example, Topcon’s generous contribution of an ISO-11783 to ADAPT plugin), and to promote AgGateway work where applicable, just as we have done with PAIL.

These are just three examples of fast-moving trends in agriculture and AgGateway. Look for communications from us on these and more topics, and if you have any questions or want to know more, contact Member Services. We’ll help you determine how you can get engaged.