No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” — Booker T. Washington



May 13, 2023

“Harvest Rest” | George Cole

One characteristic of the “customer experience” of school children, dormitory residents, patients in university-affiliated hospitals and attendees of large athletic events is the quality of food.  School districts and large research universities are responsible for hundreds of food service enterprises for communities that are sensitive to various points along the food supply chain.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) is one of the first names in standards setting for the technology and management of the major components of the global food supply chain.   It has organized its ANSI-accredited standards setting enterprise into about 200 technical committees developing 260-odd consensus documents*.   It throws off a fairly steady stream of public commenting opportunities; many of them relevant to agricultural equipment manufacturers (i.e, the Producer interest where the most money is) but enough of them relevant to consumers (i.e. the User interest where the least money is) and agricultural economics academic programs that we follow the growth of its best practice bibliography.

A few of the ASABE consensus documents that may be of interest to faculty and students in agricultural and environmental science studies are listed below:

  • Safety for Farmstead Equipment
  • Safety Color Code for Educational and Training Laboratories
  • Recommended Methods for Measurement and Testing of LED Products for Plant Growth and Development
  • Distributed Ledger Technology applications to the global food supply chain

The ASABE bibliography is dominated by product-related standards; a tendency we see in many business models of standards setting organizations because of the influence of global industrial conglomerates who can bury the cost of their participation into a sold product.  Our primary interest lies in the movement of interoperability standards — much more difficult — as discussed in our ABOUT.

The home page for the ASABEs standards setting enterprise is linked below:

ASABE Standards Development

As of this posting we find no live consultation notices for interoperability standards relevant to education communities; though there are a few product-related standards open for comment usually announced in ANSI Standards Action.  We always encourage our colleagues to participate directly in the ASABE standards development process.  Students are especially welcomed into the ASABE Community.  Jean Walsh ( and Scott Cederquist ( are listed as contacts.

Issues: [13-25, 14-23, 15-119, 15-144, 15-326, 15-327]

Category: Food

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben



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