AgGateway 2020

How We Work in 2020

By AgGateway Communications Director Susan Ruland

As reported in last month’s newsletter, AgGateway is currently implementing its new digital resource development process aspart of the transition to AgGateway 2020. We’ve talked quite a bit about what the new structure for AgGateway looks like beginning on January 1. In this article we’ll look more closely at how members and staff will work together and move ideas and projects forward within that structure. AgGateway’s objective: To speed the process of creating and implementing new digital resources, which will promote and enable the transition to digital agriculture.

As a reminder, AgGateway’s digital resource development process will be managed through two coordinating oversight groups that are part of the AgGateway 2020 structure. The new process will be operating in a transitional phase until January 2020:

  • The Portfolio Management Center (PMC) provides a centralized point to track AgGateway’s current, planned and potential project work, increasing efficiency and the ability to better share information about AgGateway’s portfolio with members and the industry. The PMC will manage a dashboard of Working Group activities and provide budget oversight as needed. The PMC will consist of a group of volunteer leaders supported by staff; during the transition leading up to January 1, staff will act in the role of the PMC.
  • The Digital Resource Center (DRC) will publish and maintain AgGateway’s digital resources, in close coordination with the PMC. Committees such as ADAPT Oversight, Architecture, Directory Oversight (AGIIS), and Standards & Guidelines will all report into the DRC. The DRC will be comprised of the leads from those committees and supported by staff; during the transition leading up to January 1, the Standards & Guidelines Committee will act as the DRC.

Work Flow and Structures

Working Groups: This is where members produce digital resources, which is intended to occur within a short period of time. The goal is for members to propose work that can be broken down into sections of manageable scope and complete the deliverables within a few weeks.

  • Take a look! AgGateway Standards Director Jim Wilson has set up a detailed section on the AgGateway wiki that explains how to establish and run a Working Group, including helpful videos that explain each step. Members are encouraged to review the section!
  • Staff Support: Beginning in January, staff will help schedule and promote Working Group meetings. Because the meetings themselves are focused on work product, the Working Group members will document their work and take meeting minutes.

Meet-Ups: When members want to meet to discuss a pain point or idea, or just to brainstorm on a topic or set of topics, they can ask Member Services to schedule a “Meet-Up”. A Meet-Up can be a conference call or face-to-face meeting to bring together AgGateway members who are interested in a specific topic, or to discuss pain points in a particular sector (e.g., crop protection).

  • Staff support: Staff will work with a member volunteer lead to schedule the Meet-Up, promote the Meet-Up to the entire membership to encourage participation, help facilitate the meeting, take minutes on key points, and assist with follow-up of action items.
  • Result of Meet-Ups: Action items from a Meet-Up might include proposing a Working Group, scheduling a follow-up Meet-Up, or no action at all.

Communities: This is a temporary structure designed to aid in the 2020 transition as Councils are drawn down and their activities moved to more productive groups and processes. As such, a Community is a group of members that share common business interests and goals, which meets to determine how to move activities within Councils forward during the transition to AgGateway 2020. (The last Council meetings will be at the November 2019 Annual Conference.)

  • In practice in 2020, any group of members will be able to get together to discuss pain points, generate ideas or just network, using Meet-Ups. Members are welcome to schedule Meet-Ups as often as they like.

Task Force: This is a group of limited duration whose purpose is to complete a specified task other than producing digital resources. Examples of current Task Forces include the AGIIS Modernization Task Force, which will deliver recommended steps for improving the Ag Industry Identification System; and the Quick Connect Task Force, which is planning for an upcoming meeting where industry partners will discuss next steps in making connections.

Committees: Committees in 2020 will be structured much as they are today, but with additional staff support. A Committee is comprised of member volunteers. A Committee supports AgGateway operations or digital resources. It does not create digital resources; this is done by Working Groups.

  • Current Committees: Some current Committees will fall under the new Digital Resource Center, including ADAPT Oversight, the Ag Industry Identification System (AGIIS) Directory Oversight, and Standards & Guidelines. Other Committees operational in January 2020 include Communications, Conference, and Executive.
  • Staff Support: Beginning in January, staff will assist in setting Committee meeting times, taking and posting minutes, and follow-up on action items.

Transition Plan

The current plan is for all Councils to conduct their final meeting at the November 2019 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The focus of those meetings in November will be:

  • Review a listing of current and proposed Working Groups across the organization (including in their own Council)
  • Encourage members to join Working Groups
  • Continue to discuss pain points and ideas for future Working Groups
  • Determine if the group would like to schedule a Meet-Up in the first quarter of 2020 to continue discussing pain points or Working Group ideas, to network, or for other reasons.

Questions? Contact Member Services at or +1 (866) 251-8618.