Ag Data Coalition Adds Agri-AFC as Founding Member

(SPRINGFIELD, Ohio) – Alabama-based Agri-AFC, LLC, added its name today to the list of founding members of the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), becoming the 14th organization to join the group since its formation this spring.

ADC’s mission is to build a secure repository where farmers can manage the volumes of production information generated by their farms. ADC expects Agri-AFC – a farm input retailer with locations in Alabama, Georgia, southern Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle – to provide valuable insights to help improve its technology and increase availability and adoption in key areas.

“Agri-AFC has a proven track record of helping growers maximize efficiency and profitability. And as a data-driven organization with a focus on innovation, constant improvement, and putting growers first, they are a perfect fit for ADC,” explained Matt Bechdol, the group’s interim executive director. “We’re proud to have Agri-AFC as a member and look forward to working with them as we enter the next phase of the effort and prepare to come to market.”

Bechdol noted that the ADC is currently conducting a pilot program of its data management system and hopes to publicly launch its technology before the year’s end.

“Understanding and managing the multitude of technology offerings and the flood of data that is now generated on-farm are the biggest challenges we encounter with our producers,” said Amy Winstead, Agri-AFC’s director of ag technologies. “Partnering with the ADC will enable us to continue working with our growers to manage and catalog their data while aligning with our goal to provide a seamless and transparent approach to ‘Big Data’ for our customers.”

She also explained that, to date, farmers have been unable to tap their farm data’s full potential because of hurdles to housing and transmitting information in a centralized and flexible way.

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Iowa AgSTATE Joins ADC as Founding Member

(SPRINGFIELD, OH) – The Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) continues to expand its leadership diversity, as it announced today the addition of Iowa AgSTATE to its group of founding members. Iowa AgSTATE has been actively involved in digital agriculture strategy and education and summarized its work in a 2014 report on the Digital Transformation of Row Crop Agriculture.

“Independent, farmer-controlled solutions for data management is a key enabler for digital agriculture benefits to reach all producers,” said Matt Darr, member of the Iowa AgSTATE Digital Agriculture Task Force. “We look forward to contributing to the mission of the ADC and collaborating on national solutions for ag data management.”

Formed in 1997, Iowa AgSTATE (Agricultural Strategic Thinkers Acting Together Effectively) involves leadership of all segments of Iowa agriculture to develop a proactive, futuristic vision for Iowa agriculture and action plan to help make that vision a reality. Members include Agribusiness Association of Iowa; Iowa State Dairy Association; Iowa Cattlemen’s Association; Iowa Corn Growers Association; Iowa Corn Promotion Board; Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; Iowa Institute for Cooperatives; Iowa Pork Producers Association; Iowa Poultry Association; Iowa Soybean Association; Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Iowa Turkey Federation.

“We are proud to welcome Iowa AgSTATE to our roster of founding members,” said ADC interim executive director Matt Bechdol. “Our goal is to help farmers harness the full potential of the data they collect every day in the field in order to increase efficiencies, and fuel future growth and innovation. The Iowa AgSTATE group has been ahead of many in this area and the insight they bring to our coalition will help ensure we continue our focus on a diverse market, and create a product that meets the needs of all.”

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ADC Enters Pilot Phase for Farm Data Repository

(SPRINGFIELD, OH) – The development of a secure, online repository where farmers can store, manage and control the information generated on their farms took a major step forward as the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) initiated its pilot to demonstrate how a neutral repository of data would work to connect data among growers, service providers, and machines.

A group of growers, service providers, and university researchers from different parts of the country, representing numerous commodities, are participating in the testing phase to offer feedback on pace and direction for ADC’s data bank before it is officially offered to the entire farming community.

“This is an exciting phase for ADC, and underlines that a focused approach to solving key basic data challenges in appreciated” explained Matt Bechdol, the ADC’s interim executive director.

Bechdol described the new repository like a bank. Farmers deposit, or upload, data to a secure cloud where they can organize, manage, and share it. When farmers want to share information – with service providers, insurance agents, researchers, input providers or farm managers, for example – they authorize ADC to transmit it with the click of a button. Service providers can also make deposits with the grower’s permission.

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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.”

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ADC Adds Security, Legal Advisors to Founding Members

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) today announced its second new member this month, welcoming Ice Miller LLP as a founding member.

Ice Miller, a law firm with offices throughout the Midwest, boasts a large agricultural practice that represents equipment dealers, ag lenders, farmer-owned cooperatives, input providers, grain processors and more. In addition, the firm’s data security and privacy practice has extensive legal and real-world technological experience in dealing with cybersecurity issues and protecting user-data – a tenet of the ADC’s mission.

“Unlocking the potential of farm data is critical to future improvements in production agriculture,” explained Anthony Aaron, a partner at Ice Miller’s Indianapolis office and lead on Ice Miller’s ADC membership. “With that in mind, it will be important to ensure that ADC is structured to provide a safe and secure platform to store, analyze and make data available to farmers and their trusted research partners.”

Another Indiana organization, Purdue University, joined the ADC just prior to Ice Miller, adding to the diverse perspectives and vision of Founding Members. Officially launched in March at the Commodity Classic, the ADC is currently building a secure data storage repository that will enable farmers to easily control, manage and maximize the value of the information collected on their farms.

Purdue Joins ADC to Help Indiana Farmers Manage On-Farm Data

(WEST LAFAYETTE, IN) – Purdue University announced today that it has joined the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), a group recently formed to build a national repository where farmers can safely store and manage their farm’s production information.

Farmers collect valuable statistics every time they pass through their fields, and that data will be key to fueling future innovation and helping growers drive efficiency on their own farms. But its full potential has not been realized because of hurdles to housing and transmitting information in a uniform and usable way.

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New Farm Data Coalition Puts Farmers in the Driver’s Seat

(NEW ORLEANS)—Thanks to precision agriculture and advancements in equipment and computing technology, America’s farmers are building a treasure trove of production information that will help fuel future innovation. A new organization announced today, the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), plans to help farmers better control, manage and maximize the value of their data.

The ADC is the result of years of planning and coordination by AGCO, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Auburn University, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, The Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Raven Industries, and Topcon Positioning Group.

Its goal is to build a data repository where farmers can securely store and oversee the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, aerial drones and other devices. Over time, that data can then be scrubbed, synced and transmitted in an efficient and uniform way to third parties — whether they be researchers, crop insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers or any trusted advisor the farmer chooses.

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Opinion: Data Farming is Agriculture’s Future

by Matt Bechdol for Agripulse

One of the most valuable commodities cultivated by farmers today is the information their tractors, harvesters and aerial drones collect.

For farmers, this data can be used to improve efficiency, simplify paperwork and potentially generate additional dollars to help supplement farm income. It will also enable continued food safety and affordability, innovative land and water stewardship and responsiveness to ever-changing consumer demands.

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