Metric or Empirical? Why Not Both?
Just over a year ago, in late May 2022, Medius had the opportunity to exhibit at the World Potato Congress that was hosted by the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland. It was a remarkable experience that gave us the chance to learn more about a familiar industry from different perspectives and cultures. Prior to the meeting, some of us toured parts of the Dingle Peninsula in the southwest region of the island country. During the drive from Dingle to Kinsale on Saturday, May 28, we passed through the bustling town of Killarney. It was teeming with masses of people wearing brightly colored jerseys and the most traffic we’d seen since landing on the Emerald Island two days prior. As luck (o’ the Irish) would have it, Kerry was battling Limerick in the Munster Final that day in Killarney’s Fitzgerald Stadium. Kerry would go on to win that day enroute to the 2022 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.
After a fun and festive evening at the The Dingle Pub the night before and needing a break from the stress of driving on the wrong side of the road, we stopped for some coffee at The Kerry Way just outside of Killarney during our journey southeast to Kinsale–a fishing town popular with foodies. The Kerry Way–which, in case you were wondering, is a steakhouse and pub, not a coffee shop–had football on the television. But it wasn’t American football. You’re probably thinking, “Well of course not! First, it’s the off-season for American football. Second, ‘football’ in Ireland means something entirely different than it does in the States.” But it wasn’t really soccer, either–at least it wasn’t soccer as we knew it. I was terribly confused until I asked the old chap sitting at the bar enjoying a pint while watching the game on the telly. Scratch that, I was more confused after the gentleman spoke, because his Irish accent was thicker than the Guinness he was drinking and he was telling me about how the players could use their hands. Only later did we learn that our friend was describing the game of Gaelic football.
“What on earth does Gaelic football have to do with agricultural research data?” you’d be justified in wondering. For the purposes of this post, it has to do with naming conventions across different systems. Football in the U.S. vs. football in Ireland vs. football in the rest of world all have different meanings. Peyton Manning, David Beckham, et al. recently reminded us of this truism with this lighthearted tutorial:
Coincidentally, this clip captures another unique cultural language disagreement that strongly resonates with us: chip vs. crisp. In our travels to Dublin, we added on a visit to London–that happened to unwittingly correspond with the Queen’s Jubilee, but that is another story–where “chips” have a much different meaning than they do in the U.S. As a company with its roots (pun intended) in potatoes, the chips-vs-crisps debate is hardly trivial. Our sister company has been matching up chipping potato growers with processors in the eastern U.S. for more than three generations.
It is in the spirit of this friendly transatlantic chip vs. crisp disagreement that we are proud of our recent partnership with Cygnet PB, the “U.K.’s largest independent potato breeder and one of the largest seed potato growers in the country.” Although we may be separated by thousands of miles–kilometers, if you prefer–of ocean, the need for good, efficient, reliable data management and analytics is just as important in the U.K. as it is in the U.S. and we appreciate that Cygnet PB has selected us to help them achieve their organizational goals.
The benefit of being able to convert measurements with the click of a mouse is particularly valuable to any U.S. client with goals of international expansion or research collaboration across borders. By catering to both, the system infuses a major efficiency into the systemic fabric of cross-border research or even the need for more seamless communication between researchers and industry leaders.