ADC Forms Farmer Advisory Board

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Staying true to its core principle that farmers should be in control of the data collected on their operations, the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) today announced the formation of a farmer advisory board.

The advisory board, which currently consists of 10 men and women, will help guide ADC as it develops a data management repository to house agricultural information.

“The full potential of our agricultural data is not currently being realized because of management, storage, portability and delivery challenges,” said Joe Luck, Assistant Professor and Precision Agriculture Engineer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a founding member of the ADC.

“The mission of the ADC is to build a farmer-friendly product that will aid farmers in getting the most out of the vast amounts of data they collect every day, and the expertise this group of producers brings to the coalition will prove to be essential to that mission’s success,” he added.

Advisory board members farm in seven states and raise crops ranging from corn and soybeans to cotton, sorghum, wheat and potatoes. This kind of diversity will help ensure that ADC is meeting the needs of all, explained Dr. Keith Coble of Mississippi State, another ADC founding member.

“As we go across the country and see different production systems for different commodities, we want to create tools that can be utilized for a broad set of needs,” said Coble, who is a W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at the school. “We are excited to have a diverse group of producers from across the Midwest, the Plains, the West and the South to provide invaluable insight into the unique needs of these different regions and their various crops.”

ADC’s mission is to create a neutral, independent warehouse where farmers can securely store and control the data generated by their tractors, harvesters, aerial imaging and other devices. Over time, that information can be scrubbed, synchronized and transmitted in an efficient and uniform way to third parties — whether they be researchers, insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers or anyone else the farmer chooses.

Matt Bechdol, ADC’s interim executive director, said the ADC is entering a pilot phase and that many advisory board members will be among the first to work with ADC to drive short and long-term user needs.

“Producers are excited about the era of data-driven agriculture, but they have significant short-term data management burdens and concerns about controlling the data that represents their ‘trade secrets,'” he said. “Henry Ford is famously quoted that his customers could have ‘any color car they wanted, so long as it was black.’ Getting feedback from farmer leaders is key to building functionality and control that growers will use while making sure it’s the ‘color’ they need.”

ADC Founding Members include: The American Farm Bureau Federation, AGCO, Auburn University, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, Ice Miller LLP, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, Raven Industries, and Topcon Positioning Group.

A list of advisory board members, along with quotes about why they are part of the ADC movement, can be found below. More information on the ADC is available at www.AgDataCoalition.org.

What They’re Saying: ADC Farmer Advisory Board

Larry Dahlsten, sorghum farmer, Lindsborg, Kansas
Board of Directors, National Sorghum Producers

“Agricultural data represents a new frontier in agriculture and it is going to continue to expand and become more important. Farmers have to start thinking of it as an asset. The ADC is in a position to help farmers best manage this asset by bringing a cross-section of perspectives to the table.”

Blake Hurst, corn, soybean farmer and greenhouse farmer, Tarkio, Missouri
President, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation

“The ADC offers a great opportunity for farmers to add value to the data they create on their farms. Decisions farmers make in the next few months will shape the Ag data business for years. The ADC will help farmers make the right decisions.”

Kerry and Angela Knuth, corn, wheat and soybean farmers, Mead, Nebraska

“Many farmers might not know what their data is worth. The ADC is an organization that stands up for the producer and will help farmers capitalize on the new technology that is being created.”

Larkin Martin, cotton, corn, wheat and soybean farmer, Courtland, Alabama

“The explosion of data availability and uses is changing the farming industry.  Farmers face hardware, software and service choices that are confusing and sometimes tied to a loss of data control or ownership.  The ADC will help farmers manage, control and preserve access to the data generated on their farms so that it will be safe and available for uses now and into the future. “

Britt Raybould, potato farmer, St. Anthony, Idaho
Executive Committee, National Potato Council

“Today’s farming technology generates more data in a day than some farmers used to collect in a year. To make the most of that data, we need a framework that lets us collect and manage this valuable resource in one place. Through the ADC, we have the opportunity to analyze and share our data safely while ensuring that it remains an asset that belongs to the farmer and the grower.”

David Schemm, wheat, sorghum and sunflower farmer, Sharon Springs, Kansas
Vice President, National Association of Wheat Growers

“Being in control of our agricultural data is critical to helping us manage our crops. We rely on our crops to make a living, so we also need to know that this data is secure. The ADC will give us the confidence to move forward because it is farmer-centric and understands our concerns, but also understands the value that our data has and how we can better utilize it.”

Carl Sousek, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa farmer, Prague, Nebraska

“I believe that as producers we must pursue and protect the information we collect from our operations in order to capitalize on its incredible value. The ADC is providing users with the ability to safely store the data we gather in the field, and ensure that the data is owned and controlled by us. This will allow farmers to best determine how their data is utilized, and shared with the parties of their choosing. Along with the benefits of managing our own operations, there is also great value in the fact that we can show to the world our ability to improve our agricultural operations in a consistent, sustainable and forward-thinking manner.”

Davie Stephens, soybean, corn and poultry farmer, Wingo, Kentucky
Treasurer, American Soybean Association

“The ADC provides a very powerful tool for our region’s farmers, and for the agricultural community as a whole. The vast amount of data we collect is critical to maximizing the potential of our fields, which in turn can increase our crop yields and decrease cost in both monetary and time consumption. In storing this information in a one-stop-shop like the ADC repository, farmers now have a safe and secure resource that allows them to retain control their own data, and determine how that data can best be utilized according to their interests.”

Brian Watkins, corn, soybean and swine farmer, Kenton, Ohio

“The ability for farmers to generate data has grown tremendously as technology has improved. This data could become knowledge that helps us be more efficient, productive and better stewards of the environment. The ADC will provide a structure through which the farmer will get the most value out of their data and leverage their role in the marketplace.”