AgGateway 2020

Delivering on Our Mission

By AgGateway Chair Tim McArdle, AgGateway Vice-Chair Jeremy Wilson and AgGateway President & CEO Wendy Smith

[The following is excerpted from the General Session presentation at Mid-Year Meeting on June 11.]

The Strategic Board began looking at the AgGateway structure in 2018. We were asking ourselves, what does this organization need to look like in 2020 for AgGateway to address the dynamic needs of the industry in transitioning to digital agriculture? And how do we remain the “go-to” resource for industry collaboration and transformation?

The board and staff had some very helpful discussions and work sessions with the leaders of the AgGateway councils and committees. And we also invited input from the membership on a dedicated wiki page, and got some helpful comments there, as well. What we heard is that AgGateway needs to:

  • Foster cross-sector initiatives – in other words, don’t work in silos
  • Facilitate better use of time and resources
  • Create solutions more quickly
  • Effectively enable the industry transition to digital agriculture.

As we make changes, we want to ensure that we keep what is really working well at AgGateway – the networking, the collaboration, the problem-solving and the focus on implementation. The industry will continue to need assistance in the adoption of digital practices. And members want a “safe space” to identify and solve pre-competitive business problems.

But we decided we could create a structure that promotes even more of those positive results. At the same time, we knew we needed a stronger staffing model to shore up those areas where volunteers simply don’t have the time to carry a project over the finish line.

Global in Scope

The first change is that starting January 1, 2020, we expect to be global in scope. That’s because we’re working on a consolidation plan with AgGateway Global Network, which we announced to the membership in May. The two groups have agreed in principle to move forward, which will create one global organization that currently includes North America, Latin America and Europe, with interest from companies in Australia/New Zealand and Asia. The timing is really right for this consolidation and we’re very excited about how it will present AgGateway as an international resource in digital agriculture.

Focus on Solutions and Resource Development

In addition to that global change, we’re putting increased focus on our project work. Think about it: the value AgGateway provides to you and to the industry has to do with the solutions and resources we create. So we’re putting a big focus on Working Groups. We already have examples today of these working groups in action – such as the Traceability Working Group. These Working Groups will be guided by a Portfolio Management Center and Digital Resource Center. We’ll be transitioning away from the Council structure. We’ll still have a number of active committees. And with the global consolidation, we’ll have global regions are part of our structure.

Our Volunteer Members are Key!

One thing we want to make very clear is that our volunteer leaders – the people who have been running the Councils and doing all of the other leadership roles here at AgGateway – those things will continue to be a critical part of this organization. As always, your leadership as members will drive the priorities and project work. We need you more than ever – and I think you’ll be pleased with how much you can accomplish within this new structure.

Key Messages

We’ve created a 4-page brochure that gives a good overview of the changes ahead for AgGateway. Take a few moments to have a look, and make a point to be an active participant as we make this critical transition.

Below are three key messages you can use within your company and within the industry to discuss the AgGateway transition. Also, feel free to show the flyer to colleagues and trading partners.

  • AgGateway is modifying and strengthening its organizational structure to better deliver on its mission to promote and enable the industry’s transition to digital agriculture.
  • Beginning in January, AgGateway will approach its global project work in a more agile, cross-sector manner, addressing critical areas in agriculture and ag-related industries such as traceability, sustainability, interoperability in field operations, supply chain efficiencies, and more.
  • The new organization is expected to increase participation across industry sectors from business and technical executives focused on data challenges and opportunities in the industry.

This really is an exciting time for AgGateway and we look forward to the constructive work that we’ll be doing together in the months ahead, for the benefit of our members and the industry.