A new ag-centered wargame replicates a military practice and applies it to agriculture

Wargames are a common exercise in military strategy, and now a toll in agriculture as industry leaders come together to consider future challenges.

RFD-TV’s Janet Adkison introduces us to the concept with an ag spin:

Whether it’s building strategy to face a global pandemic, or finessing trade relationships to protect commerce, the Industry Wargame brings a cross-section of ag stakeholders together to explore the future of the agri-food value chain. Aimpoint Research, the company behind the concept, was developed in 2012 by Brett Sciotto, a West Point graduate and former Army Intelligence Officer.

“We do four things: we do research, we do situational awareness, prediction, and activation. We do a lot of predictions and help drive our clients into strategy and tactics. The net effect is we help them understand the dynamics that are impacting their business and the industry, what’s coming next, and what to do about it.”

After working with various corporations in those early years, they launched the first ag-centered war game in 2018, looking at how the industry can become stronger. The theme for this year’s game is ‘American Food Power.’

“This one’s different. We’re really focused on national security and turning a national security lens on agriculture, rather than just economics, and thinking through our vulnerabilities, coming together as leaders to try to talk about our vulnerabilities and construct solutions that might make us stronger.”

Considering a country that can feed itself is sufficient. The team tackles scenarios that could threaten that ability. They replicate ‘Integrated Intelligence’ practiced in the military and apply it to agriculture, food in particular. The two-day exercise brings farmers, government and industry experts together and applies military expertise. Participants are separated into teams and pushed to consider the needs and interests of U.S. agriculture as a whole.

“This is about thinking bigger across the system, and I think it’s noteworthy that they’re willing to commit the time to do that. It says a lot about the industry and the people that are in it, but also says a lot about the important role that America plays in the world, and the leadership that we have to continue to provide in the world, and the leadership that we have to continue to provide in the world, and the stabilizing force that we have been and continue to be. But, there’s a lot of storm clouds in the horizon.”

Those who participate do so to help move the farm sector forward, but they, as individuals, also take that broader perspective back to their own companies and careers.

“Complexity in and of itself, you can’t solve it, you can only manage it. Good leaders recognize that. They’re going to push an issue in the right direction and make corrections along the way, allowing some freedom to fail, to win, to experiment with what can happen, what’s possible,” said Wargame Director and Vice President of Predictive Analysis, Ken Gilliam.

To learn more about the Wargame concept, click HERE.