Ag Data Transparency Evaluator

Mike Hirschi, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASABE
Senior Sustainability Advisor

The Ag Data Transparency Evaluator (ADTE) was developed several years ago to provide clarity to the data use agreements tied to agriculture.  Agrible was one of the earliest companies to submit its Terms and Conditions and its Privacy Policy for review and certification by ADTE.  To date, nine ag technology provider (ATP) companies have completed the process and are listed on the ADTE website (http://www.agdatatransparent.com/).  Only those companies who have completed the process are allowed to display the ADTE seal.
 
The website was created by “a non-profit corporation backed by a consortium of farm industry groups, commodity organizations and ag technology providers to bring transparency, simplicity, and trust into the contracts that govern precision agricultural technologies.” – http://www.agdatatransparent.com/about-us/
 
Agrible served on the interim Board of ADTE while the organization developed and now serves on the operational Board of ADTE, helping manage the organization. One of the items we revisit and discuss now and then are the questions and required answers within the evaluation process.
 
The questions are simple and straightforward, but the answers, and in some cases, the explanation attached to that answer, the layout just how transparent and simple the provisions are.  Here is what the ADTE website states about the questions:
 
“How does it work?  Companies that abide by the Data Principles can use the "Ag Data Transparent" seal in their marketing materials if they truthfully answer ten questions about how they use farm data.  These ten questions are based on the Data Principles (http://www.agdatatransparent.com/the-privacy-and-security-principles-for-farm-data/).  Question 1 asks what "types" of data the product or service collects from the farmer.  Questions 2-10 ask what happens to this data after it is uploaded to an ATP.”
 
Agrible believes that being transparent about our processes and trustworthy with our clients’ data is the only way we can do business.  We need our client growers to provide the most accurate data about their enterprise that they can, so we, in turn, need to safeguard it and be clear about how it is handled so the grower can be comfortable in providing it.  Clear data ownership is important to Agrible's grower-customers, so it is important to Agrible too. After all, many of Agrible’s employees are also growers.