Agriculture is critical to human civilization and is one of the greatest factors in impacts on natural resources and the environment. Gathering and using agricultural data has become critical to creating a sustainable and healthy world. Creating a system whereby all interested groups can make use of these data is a challenging project being undertaken by a number of organizations, including researchers at the University of Minnesota.
In late September 2020, more than 440 people gathered virtually to participate in Unlocking the Agricultural Data Revolution. This conference provided information about data sharing and interoperability, privacy, building partnerships, sustainable agriculture, and many more topics.
A story about the event appears on the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences website: Unlocking the Agricultural Data Revolution. Dr. Kevin Silverstein, a bioinformatics analyst and the MSI RIS group’s Scientific Lead, is quoted in the article. Dr. Silverstein and other MSI staff members provided HPC and bioinformatics expertise to develop G.E.M.S., a next-generation agroinformatics data discovery and analysis platform. The platform is a method of integrating disparate pieces of data so that all parties can use it. G.E.M.S. includes protocols to preserve privacy and integrity of the data.