It’s not often you find competitors sitting down at the table together to solve a common problem. Enter Plugfest – an event that can only be described as “speed dating” for agricultural electronics engineers. For a set amount of time, engineers from competing companies work in concert to solve product compatibility problems for the mutual benefit of both companies. When the time is up, the engineers move on to the next station.

Ryan Milligan, business development manager at Powell Electronics says, “Plugfest is without a doubt the premiere one-stop-shop for North American conformance testing to the ISOBUS 11783. The amount of testing that can be accomplished in one day at this Plugfest transcends what can be accomplished in various individual meetings.”

The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) assists members as they develop the hardware and electronic communication protocols to allow and confirm reliable communications between several related machines or implements, even though they are made by different manufacturers.

Twice a year AEF hosts Plugfest, alternately in the U.S. and Europe. This annual event provides the industry with the opportunity to test their own ISOBUS product developments in combination with those from other manufacturers using the test protocol defined in the standards. Real-time adjustments are often made by the Plugfest participants to ensure compatibility, while other situations require more work back at the company to complete the necessary changes.

This year’s event will again feature a conference day in conjunction with the Plugfest events. Conference Day attendees will hear updates from each of AEF’s team leaders on the status, direction and timing of their current projects.

Register & Reserve Your Room Now

Registration is now open for the Spring 2017 AEF Plugfest, set for May 9-11 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Nebraska. Registration closes on April 2, with the late visitor registration period extending to May 11. If you are planning to participate in testing activities, or attend as a visitor, please confirm your AEF ISOBUS Database login credentials first.

AEF membership is required for participant registration and applies to anyone who is directly or indirectly involved with testing activities. Visitor registration (both AEF members and non-members) is available to those who are observing the activities and are not involved in testing. 

Following registration, participants must provide details about the products they intend to test. To be included in the Plugfest Test Matrix, product details must be registered in the AEF ISOBUS Database no later than April 2.

Hotel reservations can be made now. To reserve a room call 402-474-1111 or 1-800-EMBASSY, using group code “AEF." Reservations can also be made online. Full details about the event can be found on the AEF website.

For registration information, contact the AEF office at

For more information on AEF, contact AEM Technical Director Mark Benishek (, tel: 414-298-4118).