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AgTech Company News Cotton Sustainability

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Names Directors and Advisors

The inaugural Board of Directors and Advisors have been named for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol), a new standard developed to help the U.S. cotton production sector further reduce its footprint by enabling producers to assess their performance against specific sustainability goals. Through robust data inputs, the Trust Protocol will add confidence throughout the supply chain – positioning U.S. cotton as the responsible choice for mills and retailers.

Directors representing the raw cotton industry include:

  • Producers – Matt Coley (Georgia); Ted Schneider (Louisiana); Shawn Holladay (Texas); and Aaron Barcellos (California); 
  • Ginner – David Blakemore (Missouri); 
  • Marketing Cooperative – Hank Reichle (Mississippi);
  • Merchant – Steve Dyer (Tennessee);
  • Cottonseed – Fred Serven (Tennessee);
  • Manufacturer – Jim Martin (North Carolina); 
  • Brands/Retailers are Liza Schillo, Levi Strauss & Co., and Joe Little, Tesco;
  • Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund; Melissa Ho, the World Wildlife Fund; Marty Matlock, the University of Arkansas; and Garry Bell, formerly with Gildan. 

Trust Protocol advisors include:  Jesse Daystar, Cotton Incorporated; Andy Jordan, Jordan Consulting; Marc Lewkowitz, Supima; Mark Pryor, The Seam; and Mike Quinn, Frontier Spinning Mills.

For more information, visit: http://www.cotton.org/news/releases/2019/trusbd.cfm

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AgTech Sustainability

From Dirt to Shirt & Seed to Shelf: The Importance of Sustainability in Every Part of the Supply Chain

By: Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO at The Seam

From dirt to shirt and seed to shelf, The Seam acknowledges that traceability and transparency in agriculture production is essential to each step in the value chain.

With innovations in agtech and the implementation and adoption of data standards throughout the supply chain, consumers are now able to trace the source of the agricultural products they purchase providing assurance through digital accountability. Technology has become more accessible, capable and affordable, which lowers the barrier to entry for farming operations to embrace digitization that will ultimately convey their story of continuous improvement in sustainable farming.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?

Essentially, it is the ability to produce enough agricultural products to meet present needs without endangering the environment, public health or economic profitability. If food and ag products are not produced with care, future generations of farming will be at risk. The big idea behind sustainable farming is to minimize one’s environmental footprint and enforce good stewardship of the land and natural resources.

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Company News

Kristi Lofton: Back to her Roots

Kristi Lofton works in agricultural technologies. A graduate of Tech901’s Code 1.0 course, Kristi works as a software engineer for The Seam, a locally based software company focused on agricultural commodities trading and sustainability efforts. I’ll get back to the concept of “agricultural technologies” a little later on (it’s a big deal, I promise).

Until her current job at The Seam, Kristi’s issue wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy her job. She just felt like she could be doing more: “Everyone has to figure out their life,” she told me. “I was always interested in a lot of things- but not interested enough.”

You see, Kristi had mastered the pivot long before she made the shift from Vet Tech to IT. Kristi Lofton grew up in Hughes Arkansas, just 40 minutes outside of Memphis. She worked for her father during farming season, helping with the soy beans and wheat their family grew.  Her father and mother still own the farm to this day. 

I drove a tractor on my father’s farm growing up, and I always told myself that’s not what I want.

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Company News

Mark Pryor named to Technology Advisory Committee of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission

Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO at The Seam, was recently appointed to the Technology Advisory Committee of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. This role positions The Seam as a peer to high-level industry leaders and furthers the company’s mission to advance global innovation across all commodities.

See coverage in the Memphis Business Journal.

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AgTech

What is National Teach Ag Day?

National Teach Ag Day takes place each year on September 19. This day is designed to encourage others to teach school-based agriculture and recognize the important role that ag teachers play in our schools and communities. Every year, the National Teach Ag Campaign hosts a live webcast event somewhere in the country in conjunction with the day. National Teach Ag Day is a part of the National Teach Ag Campaign, an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Who is it for?

National Teach Ag Day is for anyone who wants to celebrate school-based agricultural education, share the story of ag education’s importance and effectiveness in the United States, and encourage students to consider careers as agricultural educators. Anyone who wants to participate can find a variety of resources to help them talk about ag education at www.naae.org/teachag.

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AgTech Sustainability

From ‘dirt to shirt’ — local tech tracks cotton’s origins to where it ends up

As consumers want to know more about the origin of products, a Memphis organization is using cutting-edge technology to uncover details about one of the Mid-South’s foundational crops: cotton.

In June of this year, The Seam, a provider of trading and technology services to agribusinesses, teamed up with the National Cotton Council — also Memphis based — to roll out a blockchain-based technology that will allow cotton to be traced back to the land where it was grown.

And, the technology can even give details on how the crop was produced.

“There’s an increased need for traceability and transparency in the supply chain,” said Mark Pryor, The Seam’s chairman and CEO. “And in cotton, the brands and the retailers — the Levis and the Brooks Brothers of the world — are demanding more traceable, transparent information throughout the supply chain.”

Read more via the Memphis Business Journal

Categories
AgTech Company News Peanuts

The Seam Powers New Revolution of Peanuts Coming to the Delta

Delta Peanut selects The Seam Commodity Management Platform for U.S. operations

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 18, 2019 – The Seam, a leading provider of trading and agribusiness software solutions, today announced that it will be working with Delta Peanut, LLC, a new peanut shelling operation based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and the first shelling facility to open in the area in more than 50 years. The company has entered into a multi-year agreement with The Seam and its peanut commodity management platform.

The Seam’s platform is designed with foundational technology such as document digitization, real-time data for decisioning and embedded integrations with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal-State Inspection Service, among others.

“Launched in 2016, our cloud-based platform has been transformational for participating shelling organizations, buying point businesses, manufacturers and peanut farmers,” said Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO at The Seam. “We are thrilled to have Delta Peanut join our expanding ecosystem. With a state-of-the-art shelling operation right in our backyard, there are immense opportunities to collaborate and innovate further.”

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AgTech

How to Develop and Improve Industry Standards

Technology is growing at an exponential rate, and it’s important for industries to adapt their standards accordingly in order for companies and organizations to work with one another efficiently.

If processes and standards are not established, companies will hold different expectations and evaluate business on a different scale, essentially speaking different languages. These points of disconnection create a lack of continuity that not only impacts the business owners, but also their clients or customers.

Whether you aim to create or improve standards within your industry, there are a few crucial steps to keep in mind.

PICK A TEAM AND ASPIRE FOR COOPETITION

Gather a group of your professional peers and key players in your industry to work with. These people should be thought leaders and advocates for change who share a common goal of unity, for the sake of collective progression and profitability.

One person or company cannot change industry standards alone. The purpose of a standard is to be recognized across a wide spectrum of players. Picking the right team can ensure the best results and the best chance of spreading awareness.

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AgTech

Breaking Barriers Between Supply and Demand Using Technology

The economic law of supply and demand explains the relationship between products and the desire for consumers to purchase them. It outlines how each factor affects the other, and how this relationship determines the price of goods and services. When it comes to agriculture, this principle is a driving force behind technology in the supply chain.

When demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise. And when supply exceeds demand, you can expect to see prices fall. These shifts can be difficult to measure and prepare for. However, with technological advancements in today’s market, there is more room for predication and more time for preparation.

Shifts in a supply curve can sometimes be the result of advances in technology that reduce the cost of production. If the cost of production goes down, sellers will often lower prices. This plays into the world of agriculture as agritech companies continue to improve the quality of their products and tools. As these companies work to perfect their technologies, and as farmers implement them in the field, they are able to offer products to consumers at a lower price. As a result, farmers and agriculture professionals can invest in more agritech developments, causing the supply curve to shift.

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AgTech

How Technology Is Shifting Our View of Agriculture

Innovation is at the heart of agriculture. From the beginning, farmers have continually invented new techniques to improve the efficiency of planting and harvesting crops, and recording data to help inform those techniques. Today, the landscape of agriculture is changing at an exponential rate. This is largely due to the wide scope of digital technologies that are now transforming the agritech industry.