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February 2, 2016

Farm Bureau Seeks Farmers Thoughts on Big Data

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The American Farm Bureau Federation wants to hear farmers’ thoughts on big data. Micheal Clements reports.
Clements: Farm Bureau is asking farmers to share their thoughts and experiences with ag tech providers that collect and sort through the oceans of data that stream from farm equipment into the cloud every day. Farm Bureau’s Mary Kay Thatcher says the new survey aims to gauge farmer attitudes towards big data and the use of data in production agriculture.
Thatcher: So we thought re-asking some of those questions would give us some indication about whether we’ve made any progress in the last 18 months and would also provide us some insight into some new issues; sort of a multi-functional survey.
Clements: Thatcher says Farm Bureau wants to know more about transparency in data. Farm Bureau plans to roll-out a transparency evaluator to help farmers look through contracts with data suppliers. Among other things, the tool will focus on who owns which data and what they may or may not do with it as well as any liabilities that could result from lost, stolen or mishandled data.
Thatcher: We want to make sure that farmers are thinking that that’s a useful product and indeed that we’ve covered the waterfront with that product. And we also definitely want to look at the whole idea of how are farmers storing data, how are the storing it, where are they storing it and feeling a need for anything new.
Clements: AFBF is encouraging all farmers and ranchers to take the online survey.
Thatcher: We had really good response in the first one, 3,800 farmers from around the country responded so we’re looking for good response this time, but encouraging folks to go on the Farm Bureau website if they didn’t get the link or go to their state Farm Bureau and fill out probably a six or seven minute survey.
Clements: Find the survey online at http://fbbigdata2016.questionpro.com/. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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