"Proprietary data collected from individual farms is valuable and should remain the property of the farmer. As innovation and technology using this data expands to provide farmers new management tools, protecting the privacy of this data is paramount.
Farm Bureau will continue to work to ensure that a farmer's data, whether related to seed or other crop inputs, the production system used, and both business and personal information, is extended the highest degree of protection.
"The farmer and rancher delegates attending our annual convention this year felt so strongly about these matters that they gave clear direction and approved strong policy resolutions on the so-called 'big-data' issue as it relates to data privacy, ownership and use in agricultural production. We will continue to advocate for farmers whenever this issue is raised, and we will provide thought leadership on production-related data privacy issues.
"We are encouraged that agribusinesses are taking our clear policy position into consideration. Today, Monsanto offered some guiding principles on how they will work with farmers and strive to respect farmers' rights to their individual data generated during normal farming activities.
We are encouraged by the fact that the company is working to address some of the concerns about data privacy, security and ownership expressed by our members.
"Overall, we see this as an important step toward securing widespread cooperation on big-data issues that affect all sectors of production agriculture. Farm Bureau will work quickly to convene formal discussions with all interested parties with a goal of securing cooperation on this emerging issue among farmers, companies and other production chain stakeholders."