I had the opportunity to attend two major events in March that involved both AEF and AEM participation. The first event in New Orleans was a joint AEF Plugfest at the same venue and overlapping with the Commodity Classic show which is partially sponsored by AEM. A little over a week later was another event sponsored by AEM: Ag on the Mall.
I am looking around at all the people entering the large ballroom at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, NE. As I wait for the buzzer that will announce the first 35-minute rotation, signaling someone I have never met, from somewhere I have never been, to come to my station, I am nervous and excited and unsure what to expect. While I may sound like a desperate bachelor at a speed-dating event, I assure you that is not the case. I am a software engineer, new to the world of ISOBUS, attending a Plugfest event for the first time. Plugfest is an event held twice a year, where the best and brightest minds in the ISOBUS industry come from around the world to test their offerings, checking for compatibility with other ISOBUS equipment manufacturers.
The next ISOBUS Plugfest is just around the corner from May 07-09 in Lincoln, NE. If my quick mental count is correct, this Plugfest is lucky number 13 for me. I first attended in Austria in September 2012 and have been at each Plugfest since … except in 2016 when I had to miss the spring event due to a freak medical issue. In the seven years I have been attending, AEF has almost doubled in membership, hundreds of products have been AEF certified, and Plugfests have lengthened from two to three days each.
Sometimes when I write a blog, I try to be a little clever. And if ever there was a good time for me to write a clever blog, this may be that time. For one, this Plugfest is celebrating the 10th anniversary of AEF as an organization. Secondly, I have an idea of how I could make my blog post clever by incorporating an Italian flavor to celebrate the Plugfest location.
My blog posting this year seems to be following the Steve Miller Band lyric, “Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.” It is now a full month since the AEF ISOBUS Spring Plugfest and I am just now writing my recap. I normally try to get these out sooner, especially since the Fall Plugfest is not too far away…
Another successful AEF ISOBUS Plugfest is in the bag. You can check out some of my prior blog posts if you want more detail on what a Plugfest entails, but in short, it is a meetup of Ag electronics manufacturers to test their own equipment with other manufacturers’ equipment. This was a record-breaking Plugfest in terms of participation and it made for some challenges in getting enough time for all participants to test with other manufacturer’s products.
It is that time of year again – the kids are back in school, the nights have started to get cool, and Plugfest is just around the corner. The Ag electronics community from around the world will descend on Bologna, Italy, on September 13th for another edition of the ISOBUS Fall Plugfest.
As usual, the Spring ISOBUS PlugFest was held this past May 10-12 in sunny Lincoln, Nebraska. Sadly, Benjamin Jefferson had to miss this time at the last minute, but his bad luck turned out in your humble author’s favor, as I (a newer member of the VIRTEC team) got to experience PlugFest first-hand!