2020-07-07 Communications Committee Meeting


All Members List
(present or not present)
Members Present
Non-Members Present

Jason Stevenson (Corteva)

Jeremy W Wilson

(*Voting companies/** alternates)

Time10:30 - 11:30 CT (Chicago)
Web (Screen Sharing)

Provided as part of Virtual Mid-Year Meeting

Audio (VOIP/Phone)

Access Code




Topic / Leader

Desired Outcome

Pre-Meeting Notes and Links to Supporting Resources

Meeting Minutes



Introduce any new participants on the call.

Susan Ruland (Unlicensed) is the acting chair. If you are interested in becoming the chair or co-chair, please speak up or feel free to contact Susan anytime.



Everybody agrees to the Antitrust Guidelines.

AgGateway Antitrust Guidelines

Everyone agreed.

Minutes Taker 

Nikki Marshall
Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes / Susan Ruland (Unlicensed)

Minutes from June: 2020-06-04 Communications Committee Meeting

Motion to second: Jessica

Second: Jeremy

Minutes approved

Digital Ag in the Time of Covid 19Discussion to inform communications in the months ahead. Consider comments by various members, discussion of the group.

(Review slides)

Company experiences:

Jessica: A challenge found is people are used to meeting face to face with farm service county office/risk management agency. There are fewer staff, appointments have to be scheduled; timing became a challenge in having to shift requirements and policy allowances to give people that extra time. Also having to allow for different ways of taking signatures/what can count as a signature. As this continues we will run into losses, which is another challenge for crop insurance - how do you do it if you're in the field by yourself/with others and stay compliant with regulations, meeting needs, and keeping everyone safe?

Jeremy: There are struggles because of ag retailers not opening their doors. There are probably ways we could be better in implementing existing standards that would make his life as a grower immensely better. Echo what Jessica said in struggles dealing with government agencies - ended up having to download his forms and email them to FSA and crop insurance. Work of SPADE and ADAPT fits there somewhere, maybe more education rather than trying to move the needle. Opportunity for AgGateway to communicate this - what is the message to this c-level suite? How do we engage the c-suite to read the content and the stuff we put together? Is it taking what we have and condensing it down to one to four line piece (attention grabber) that gets them to open it?

Susan: We've had a recurring discussion saying we have a lot of great stuff/resources, but how are we getting it out/implementing? Very worthwhile to try to work on some more. 

Considerations: not being face to face, outlets not being open, how do you process purchases, relationships without being face to face/physically signing off on papers - really interesting to keep pursuing. We are presented with a moment where other people see the problem, not just technical - more exposure of importance of trying to fix these issues.

Marketing Plan / Susan Ruland (Unlicensed)
  • July and August newsletters
  • Annual Conference and sponsorships
  • Strategic Planning - Mission/Vision, organizational values
  • Website navigation/content tweaks
  • Europe and Latin American media lists, materials (translations)

Newsletter: July going out next week, will have highlights from this meeting and info about the rest of the year, including annual conference.

Social Media: Five people taking turns posting to social media, reminder to check calendar.

Strategic Planning: Great brainstorming going on, talking about the next five years (2021-2025 5-year plan)...vision moving forward, organizational values, specific plans and priorities. Will be a lot of coverage in the newsletter and website, as well as eblasts going out to membership. We are drafting a new vision/mission (see slides).

Website/LATAM & EU: work continues on content, how to incorporate everything going on in EU/LATAM to try to get AgGateway projects going. Getting media lists from Loyola and Conny, and materials translated by Loyola.


Materials Development Communications Sub-Committee/ Jessica Trites Rolle

  • Report from Materials Subcommittee 
  • Discuss ideas around graphic representations about what AgGateway does - How to give current and potential members tools to use with internal leadership or outside groups to communicate what AgGateway does, what we've accomplished - from business and technical perspective. Story-line changes depending on the audience.  


There is a challenge of how do we provide an easily-accessible or compelling way to talk about what we do and don't do. How do you walk the line of detail, depending on audience? Discussions occurring of "why are we part of AgGateway, why should we join, interested in PAIL - how do I find more information?"

Part of the issue with infographic stems from real-world problems of people trying to talk to upper management/division leaders and explain to them in concrete terms, "AgGateway has already identified and accomplished XYZ, why do we not use this / we should use it / here's what's in it for you." Very detailed graphics already exist, trying to pull them apart and tying them to different messages; allows people to take pieces of information and tie them together in the best way to present to upper management. Other issue is making sure people know where to start - because there's so much done, it can be overwhelming, so that's one problem we are trying to solve.

Susan: Try to define what are the pathways/stories, what are one or two we can start rather than taking on the whole world.

Key Messages: (see slides) Trying to go from tech details into what the c-suite understands - bringing more of a top level discussion of how they fit in with other corporate values and goals. (review graphics in slides).

Graphics: What AgGateway does/why it's important/how we work. What are some of the elements of that do you think would resonate? If we were to going to do something like this where we talked about why AGW is important (infographic/video) are there things you all think needs to be included for sure?

Susan: Here's how it's working now if you work with AgGateway, and it turns into a seamless electronic communication (like an ordered invoice or reporting). There might be things we could do with a graphic video that shows that process.

Jessica: Based on the comments you and Jeremy shared from members about what wasn't working very well, now we have this new intention; because we used some of the AgGateway tools, we could take one of those problem scenarios and say "Oh, x problem that you identified because of covid, here's why and how AgGateway already has tools that would fix that problem. Pick one that someone has already realistically identified, because we know it's a real item.

Susan: In second half of the year, I'm going to take on this general approach graphically (one of the specific problems, similar to a case study) - break down the problem and how AgGateway can help. Jim Wilson put together something for ADAPT which we can look at; he talks through it, so might need him to record that voice-over.


Newsletter Planning  

Newsletter Articles - August Issue

Due July 24


  1. Virtual Mid-Year Meeting - Thank Sponsors, and information about Annual Conference in November
  2. New Member Article: Evin Ellis (Unlicensed)Ally Yanco (Deactivated)
  3. Columns from Loyola, Conny - Europe, Latin America
  4. News from Meet-ups/Working Groups/Portfolio Management Center/ Nick Reichel (Deactivated)
  5. AGIIS/Member Services: Chris CrutchfieldJosh Wall (Unlicensed)l
  6. Ron Storms Award - call for nominations

(see slides)


Group Updates

Open floor - anyone can share an update of what is happening in other areas of AgGateway where they're working. Also, determine if Communications can provide assistance.

No updates.

 New Business  

Other Discussion Items / Susan Ruland (Unlicensed)

  • For other committee members to address topics not covered above.

 Meeting Wrap Up  

Next Meeting 

  • Next Committee meeting: August 6, 1:00 pm CT (Chicago)

Meeting adjourned 11:22am Central (Chicago)

  • Active Action Items 

Date AssignedAction ItemDue DateComments/Status