The Move to Avoid Dueling or Duplicate Data Standards

March 17, 2014 04:27 AM

 Earlier this week, the agricultural industry saw the launch of the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), an open standards software project created to ensure farmers have full data access, security and privacy. Read more about this announcement here.

The announcement left many wondering how OADA will affect AgGateway, a business consortium of more than 180 member companies with "the mission to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture." Several current AgGateway projects, including the Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE), are already working on data standards. In a letter to AgGateway members, Rod Conner, president and CEO, addressed those concerns of potential duplicated efforts and the possibility that OADA would develop competitive standards.

"I have been assured that OADA wishes to neither duplicate nor compete with AgGateway," Conner says. "So collaboration – which is at the heart of all AgGateway’s efforts – certainly seems to be a possibility."

Conner says AgGateway has a good track record of working with other standards organizations to develop open standards that all of the agricultural industry can use.

"AgGateway has always been focused on building community and consensus to accomplish its mission to promote, enable and expand the use of information and communication technologies in agriculture," he says.

Because implementation is the goal, AgGateway prefers to implement standards that have been developed by technical standards organizations, rather than developing the standards themselves. AgGateway often leans on other industries where standards already exist and are successful, Conner says.

Collaboration – not competition – with these other standards development groups – has been critical to the group’s success, he says. With that in mind, Wendy Smith, executive vice president, is leading a group to conduct additional discussions with OADA to resolve any areas of concern.

"OADA has been invited to associate with AgGateway in the same way that the other standards groups [we have worked with] have done," Conner says.

For more information on AgGateway’s current goals and projects, visit

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