Significant new contributions to AgGateway's AgGlossary.org this year have boosted the usefulness of this important, open industry resource, with the number of validated terms now reaching more than 5,500. The glossary, launched last year, is available for free use by anyone in the agriculture industry, designed to promote efficient and effective communication between all segments of agriculture, including industry, government and academia. It is a one-stop location in the form of an online wiki for agriculture terms, definitions, acronyms, key words and synonyms. The glossary pulls from a number of established industry sources and includes government definitions for key terms, from "field" and "production" to "irrigation" and "pump". To date AgGlossary.org has received more than 70,000 visits.

AgGlossary.org has recently benefited from the addition of terms and definitions from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) based on their published standards. In addition, the Farm Financial Standards Council (FFSC) recently began contributing financial terms and definitions, which are critical to the establishment of a common understanding of financial terms and definitions used in agriculture. 

"The glossary came about because many people in agriculture were experiencing communication challenges due to multiple definitions for a single term or phrase. That confusion can impact the ease of development of effective ag technologies and software," said Dennis Daggett, AgGateway's Glossary Working Group Leader, and Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at ProAg. "It took several years to get AgGlossary.org to a critical starting point, and we're finding that it is already making a great contribution to industry efforts in developing new projects and programs. It saves a great deal of time when everyone can confirm that they're using the same vocabulary, with the same meanings."

One of AgGlossary.org's strengths is that a core of its content has been contributed by authoritative third-party sources, The U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency and AgGateway were early contributors to the success of the glossary. In addition, the glossary's unique hierarchical authorization structure allows for one definition for a term to take precedence over another according to the contributing source. For example, the definition for a term from a legal body takes precedence over a definition made by someone from the general public. In addition to contributions from organizations, the glossary includes a contribution/feedback process that industry members can use to contribute to the glossary.

More on AgGlossary.org, and other resources to aid in eBusiness, will be discussed at AgGateway's Annual Conference, Nov. 9-12 in San Antonio, Texas. The conference will draw hundreds of business and IT professionals from across the ag industry to discuss ongoing activities in implementing eBusiness between agricultural trading partners. More information and on-line registration is available under "Events" at www.AgGateway.org.