State Agriculture Technology Officers (SATO)

Vice Chair

The State Agriculture Technology Officers (SATO) group was formed at the beginning of this year and had its first meeting on February 24, 2017.  The primary driver for this group coming together is to increase collaboration among state IT leaders in agriculture. 

We have similar challenges and problems and there is no reason we can’t share solutions!  When situations arise that affect some, or all of the states, we tend to address them in isolation.  So we are solving those problems alone as opposed to attacking them as a consortium.  This scenario tends to favor vendors in our industry in that they can financially benefit from solving the same problem, over-and-over again!  While we are fortunate to have many good vendors in IT, there are also questionable ones and you may never know that unless we are sharing information better than we do today.  WE want to change that!

Here’s what we’re going to do about this current “lack of sharing.”  SATO, which invites every state to participate, is building a platform for collaboration.  So far, we have had two sessions online where a topic of interest is raised and one state will take the lead to share experiences, solutions, best practices, etc.  It’s not as much presentations, but dialogue!  The group is also identifying an initiative to take on as a group to see if we can find a solution that works for multiple states and then share it.  Currently there are two initiatives under consideration; the FSMA – Farm inventory (FDA requirement) and Online licensing and permitting.  The ultimate benefit will be if we can successfully implement a solution, developed by multiple states, for many states!

We are already finding great success in a short time and would like to get full participation from each state.  In some cases we have missed CIO’s and will hope to reach you through this channel.

The initial board members are:

                Rich Medina (Colorado) – Chairperson

                Mary Winkley (California) – Vice Chair

                Umesh Sanjanwala (Mississippi) – Secretary

Thus far we have participation from over half the states; we’d like to increase that.   We have found that in a short time we have experienced much benefit from just being able to connect CIO’s going through similar challenges.  We are reaching out to the IT leaders at every state department of Agriculture to join the SATO group.  Please share this information with your IT staff and encourage them to participate.

You can contact Rich Medina at for any questions, and to join the group.