At its Annual Conference last week in Phoenix, AgGateway presented two awards honoring individuals and companies that are advancing efforts to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture.

Andres Ferreyra, Ph.D., Manager of Special Projects at Ag Connections, Inc., was honored with the AgGateway Ron Storms Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership by an AgGateway volunteer member in promoting collaboration among AgGateway teams and advancing efforts to enable eBusiness in agriculture. 

Ferreyra has been a leader in AgGateway's precision agriculture initiatives, including serving as the chair of the Precision Ag Council and management team lead on the Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) Project. In presenting the award, former award recipient Andrew Jeremiah described Ferreyra as someone who has contributed "a phenomenal amount of time and energy" to AgGateway efforts. 

"He is known as a good thinker, a problem solver and a consensus builder," Jeremiah said. "He is helping AgGateway navigate new waters, building on what AgGateway leaders have achieved in recent years in standards and guidelines. Andres has been very influential in moving that important work forward." 

Nominations for the Ron Storms Leadership Award are made each year by AgGateway members and judged by previous award winners. The award is named for Ron Storms, who was an early leader and proponent of electronic connectivity in agriculture. 

The second award presented at the conference was the AgGateway 2014 Innovative Technology Award, co-sponsored by CSC, which was presented to SePRO for its SeMAPS Volumetric Prescription System. AgGateway's Innovative Technology Award serves as a "grand prize" of innovative technology awards presented by three AgGateway member associations during the year: the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), CropLife America (CLA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA). SePRO was the CLA winner. 

SeMAPS was initially designed to meet an unmet stewardship need: Accurate pond size calculations. About 60% of pond owners and managers - even professionals - have difficulty measuring pond size and volume, which impacts how products are used and the success of water restoration and preservation efforts. 

SeMAPS uses three-dimensional mapping and other tools to facilitate proper product selection, rates, application, record keeping and reporting. The ability to link prescriptions and treatment records directly to specific geographic locations is a key stewardship feature of SeMAPS.

While SeMAPS was developed for aquatic applications, the product may also have uses in agriculture, golf course turf management, right-of-way management, predicting outcomes based on weather patterns, and other avenues as the technology continues to evolve.

In presenting the award, AgGateway's Director of Marketing Communications Susan Ruland noted that the SeMAPS submission applies electronic technology in addressing several issues of major concern to ag professionals.

"The submission helps address efforts to boost overall efficiency, to enhance reporting and compliance, and the ability to lessen unwanted environmental impacts in crop protection," she said.

The two other contestants this year were ARA's winner, A.J. Sackett & Sons, for its high-intensity mixer; and AFIA's winner, Penny Newman, for its Cowbos iBos database software to standardize transactions used by the company's feed dealerships.