At its recent General Assembly meeting in Bologna, Italy, the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) appointed Andrew Olliver, former AEF Vice Chairman and Global Precision Technology Partner Manager for CNH Industrial to serve as its new Chairman. Olliver replaces the outgoing AEF Chairman Peter van der Vlugt, General Manager/CTO - Innovation Center Europe at Kubota Holdings Europe. The board meeting was held in conjunction with the AEF’s annual European Plugest, the most well-attended to date with 330 engineers testing new devices from companies such as AGCO, Case IH, CLAAS, John Deere, Kubota, New Holland and SAME DEUTZ-FAHR, among others.

Other appointments to the Chair Group included AEF Vice Chairman Adrian Hackfort, Director Product Management Onboard Electronics & Fuse, AGCO; and AEF Treasurer Christian Adler, Head of Kuhn Group Electronics. Anita Sennett, Director of Agriculture, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) continues her second year as AEF Secretary.

“For the past 10 years, Peter’s knowledge and business experience have been instrumental in positioning the AEF for future growth,” said Norbert Schlingmann, General Manager, AEF. “With his software and electronics background, he was always open to work on a common understanding and found compromises for the organization and the industry. I would like to thank Peter for many years of support and friendship, and we appreciate that Peter will continue supporting the AEF in the AEF Steering Committee.”

“And I would also like to welcome our new appointees,” he said. “The AEF  brings hundreds of companies and members together on such important initiatives as next generation ISOBUS and the Agricultural Interoperability Network (AgIN), so collaboration is imperative for the industry and for the future of the world’s farmers. Andrew has a deep understanding of the precision ag world and brings a strong sense of collaboration to the organization which will help us achieve our goals.”

The AEF has grown to have over 260 general member companies. Accomplishments include the ISOBUS database: the only comprehensive repository of all the ISOBUS certified products in the world, as well as a conformance test to certify ISOBUS products. The group is currently developing the framework for the next generation of ISOBUS, known as High Speed ISOBUS, as well as AgIN, a peer-to-peer network intended for agricultural software providers who would like to enable their customers to use their data in any ag platform.

“I'm looking forward to guiding the organization and seeing these ideas, concepts, and activities become real, physical products that we can start incorporating on our machines, and our customers can start using,” said Olliver. “By collaborating together, our work leads to more efficient farm operations, from soil to labour, and that benefits everyone.”

The AEF holds biannual Plugfest events in the United States and Europe allowing engineers to test the protocol defined in the ISO 11783 standard by connecting their new ISOBUS products together. This provides new data and a deep understanding of how to improve their products.

At the recent Bologna Plugfest, approximately 70 different implements were tested over three days against 48  different tractor devices representing the greatest interaction across brands to detail functionalities.

“Engineers who participated in the Plugfest tested ISOBUS to a degree and scope that hadn‘t been reached before,” said Olliver. “The energy that was in the room; not only from the amount of people there, but also everybody being happy to have this chance to be testing face-to-face once again, it was, dare I say, electric.”

The next AEF Plugfest will be held March 8th-10th, 2023 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center during the Commodity Classic. Contact the AEF office ( or for more information on how to participate.

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