Leadership Profile

Doug Mills, CIO at Mosaic and Chair, AgGateway Strategic Board

By J. Nolfo, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions and Communications Committee Chair

How long have you been involved with AgGateway, and what are your current activities with AgGateway?

I’ve been involved with AgGateway since the organization’s inception in 2005 and have served on the board of directors for several years. Currently, I am the Chair of the AgGateway Strategic Board.

Give us a quick synopsis of your career path – where did you start, and where are you now?

I have been involved in agriculture since growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan. After college, I began work as a systems designer for Dow Chemical in Alberta. After a couple of years, I relocated to Saskatchewan for an IT role at one of our potash mines and have remained in the information technology field ever since. I transferred to Chicago during the late ‘90s to work on an ERP project and was subsequently promoted to Chief Information Officer.  I moved to Minnesota as Mosaic’s CIO when our company was formed in 2004.

Tell us about one or two accomplishments within AgGateway that you’re particularly proud of, as well as how your company benefited.

I am most proud of the rapid growth of the organization through membership recruitment, council formation, and organizing outstanding conferences. This growth has provided a critical mass of organizations to participate in standards creation and connectivity projects, which has benefited Mosaic.

What, for you, is the most important thing AgGateway is working on now, and why?

I believe the most important priority for AgGateway is to continue to add value for our members. Value can be delivered by facilitating effective collaboration across the industry, addressing new industry challenges, and influencing other organizations, such as encouraging state agencies to embrace paperless tonnage reporting.

What do you think are some of the most significant ways eConnectivity will impact agriculture in the years ahead?

I believe agriculture will drive change in eConnectivity. Clearly, growers have become extremely proficient in their use of data to manage their business. In the years ahead, the industry will be challenged by growers to enable access to data wherever and whenever the data resides. This same challenge could also come from government regulators. These demands will require the industry to expand our capabilities to seamlessly integrate data, and innovation will be an imperative.  

How has being involved in AgGateway benefited you?

From a personal perspective, I have had a chance to meet so many interesting people through AgGateway meetings and conferences. I’ve also learned much about the challenges other segments within the agriculture industry face. The personal contacts established have enabled me to be more effective in my role as I always know someone I can consult to solve a problem.   

Tell us a little about your personal life - family, outside interests, etc.

My wife and I have twin girls who are now 14 years old. Yes, that explains the grey hair!  Being proud Minnesotans, we love spending every summer weekend enjoying boating, skiing and fishing at our cabin outside of Minneapolis.

What would you tell someone else who’s thinking about getting involved with AgGateway?

I would invite them to attend an AgGateway conference to observe the organization in action first hand! By talking to our members, they will be able to understand how AgGateway can help them achieve their objectives and improve their business performance. The collaboration and enthusiasm of our members can be very contagious!