Leadership Profile

Eric Hoefing, Manager of Applications Development Team at ACS, and Ag Retail Council Chair

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 started interacting with AgGateway in 2011 at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Shortly after that, the Seed Connectivity II Project went into full force, and that is where most of my initial relationships were created. While I officially work for ACS, an Allied Provider, I also proudly represent Key Cooperative and the retailer community in most of my interactions within AgGateway. I currently chair the Ag Retail Council. I have also participated in the Seed Council, Allied Providers Council, Grain & Feed Council and the Architecture Committee.

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

I am a farm kid that graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an MIS degree. My degree led to working for a consulting company in Des Moines, Iowa, for over four years before joining a small agricultural data processing company. For more than four years, I developed and maintained their web and data warehouse environments. My next opportunity was back in the consulting business with ACS, where I have been for over eight years. My current role for ACS is manager for the Application Development team. Shortly after starting with ACS, a relationship was created with Key Cooperative doing Application Development and data warehousing, which allowed me the opportunity to be involved with AgGateway.

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

From the Seed Connectivity II Project, I was able to help design and connect business partners that Key Cooperative interacts with through the AgGateway standards. Once we connected on the basic messages, we were able to participate and help develop the Seed Ordering messages that have become crucial in Key Cooperative’s environment. The efficiencies, accuracy, timeliness and insight that have been gained using these Seed Ordering messages have really been rewarding. Anyone involved with the connectivity between business partners should be proud of what they have accomplished.

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

My focus for this coming year is being the chair of Ag Retail and continuing to move forward with that council. We have several working groups that are tackling pain points. It also has become apparent that other councils are working on similar topics, so trying to make sure we are interacting and moving forward together is a huge focus.

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

Accurate and timely information is crucial in moving forward in this industry. Being connected with your business partners is a must to be able to stay on the right path and have the information you need to continue to be successful with your customers.

How has being involved in AgGateway benefited you?

The opportunity to interact with so many member companies in the agricultural industry has really been productive and fun. The success that we have had is certainly built on the foundation of the relationships with the other contributing members.

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

My wife and I have three daughters and one son that we enjoy spending time with. They are involved in many sporting and school activities that we also help facilitate and coach. When there are a few spare moments from the different activities, we enjoy heading back to the family farm to help where we can.

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

The AgGateway organization is a wealth of knowledge, both in the resources of people and technology that is moving the agricultural industry forward. Interested companies can come to one organization and have the opportunity to interact with other members that share their same successful aspirations.

Thanks for your leadership, Eric!