Cultivating trust in technology-mediated sustainable agricultural research

Date
2021-12-17
Authors
Raturi, Ankita
Thompson, Jennifer J.
Ackroyd, Victoria
Chase, Carlene A.
Davis, Brian W.
Myers, Robert
Poncet, Aurelie
Ramos-Giraldo, Paula
Reberg-Horton, Chris
Rejesus, Roderick
Robertson, Alison
Ruark, Matthew D.
Seehaver-Eagen, Sarah
Mirsky, Steven
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Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Abstract
We formed the Precision Sustainable Agriculture (PSA) team to conduct interdisciplinary research and technology development to improve adoption and practice of knowledge-intensive sustainable agricultural practices such as cover cropping. In this paper, we share our approach to cultivating trust among diverse stakeholders (researchers, farmers, extensionists, agricultural and information specialists, private and public entities) vested in agricultural data collection, management, and use. Our trust framework describes how we aim to be trusted with data (through preserving privacy and increasing stakeholder agency) and trusted in the process (through practicing transparency and accountability). It is operationalized through a series of social and technical infrastructures. Our project governance, stakeholder engagement tools and activities, and technology development methods aim to promote transparency and accountability in our process. We use a maturity model to govern data acquisition to ensure that only robust, privacy-preserving technologies are deployed on our partner farms and describe evolving mechanisms for handling data with varying sensitivity. Finally, we share preliminary work aimed at anticipating data use, and identify challenges on the horizon for cultivating trust in agricultural technologies and data-driven agriculture.
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This article is published as Raturi, Ankita, Jennifer J. Thompson, Victoria Ackroyd, Carlene A. Chase, Brian W. Davis, Robert Myers, Aurelie Poncet et al. "Cultivating trust in technology‐mediated sustainable agricultural research." Agronomy Journal (2021). doi:10.1002/agj2.20974. Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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