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AgTech Company News

Local ag tech firm launches digital platform to transform U.S. cotton industry

At first glance, the goal of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol seems daunting — to reduce the environmental footprint of the industry and make cotton farming more sustainable across the nation.

But, the digital platform usage is surprisingly simple. And it’s laid out, in a way, like TurboTax.

“It’s self-guided, and guides you through, step by step, with progression,” said Mark Pryor, CEO of The Seam. “When you’re keying in your information to do your taxes … they [TurboTax] make it simple. We’re doing that for farmers.”

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AgTech Company News

The Seam delivers U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to digitize sustainability story for cotton farmers

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 10, 2020 – The Seam, a leading provider of commodities trading and agriculture software solutions, today announced the general release of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, an integrated technology platform that allows U.S. cotton farmers to assess and verify production practices, environmental footprint and measurement of progress toward long-term sustainability goals.

The Trust Protocol was initiated by the National Cotton Council, which represents all U.S. cotton industry segments, including producers, ginners, warehousing, merchants, cooperatives, manufacturers and cottonseed. The Seam was named technology partner of the initiative in November 2018 by the National Cotton Council and the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. Mark Pryor, Chief Executive Officer at The Seam, was also named to the inaugural Board of Directors of the Trust Protocol in December 2019 as an advisor.

“We are honored to play a role in the development of technology that fuels the overall mission and message of U.S. agriculture sustainability,” said Pryor. “Working with the National Cotton Council, our goal was to provide a farmer-friendly platform for the cotton industry that promotes economic and environmental stewardship through quantifiable metrics and insights. We look forward to expanding our platform to other agricultural crops, including peanuts and soybeans, in the near future.”

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AgTech Company News

The Seam Sponsors GiveCamp Memphis

GiveCamp Memphis/Design for Good is a weekend-long event where professionals from designers, developers and database administrators to marketers and web strategists donate their time to provide solutions for nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2007, the national GiveCamp program has provided benefits to hundreds of nonprofits, worth millions of dollars of developer and designer time in services.

“After you and The Seam hosted our first-ever community outreach event in November, this was the biggest GiveCamp Memphis we’ve ever had, by far,” said GiveCamp Memphis organizer Lance Hilliard. “We’re on track to continue our growth toward our 2021 event! Additionally, Tammy’s talent for delivering details-aware results with a reliably kind and constructive disposition is nothing short of amazing. Her round-the-clock contributions this weekend enabled countless stakeholders to perform at their absolute best.”

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AgTech Cotton

More Than One Million Bales of Cotton Traded

With much of the trading season ahead of us, the “million-bale” milestone was reached today on The Seam‘s marketplace for U.S. cotton.

Technology continues to play a critical role in facilitating trade between buyers and sellers during fast-moving markets.

One Million Bales of Cotton Traded on The Seam
Categories
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

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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