Sensing, Seeing and Simplifying the Importance Task of Protecting Agricultural and School Facilities Brings Soter and JBI Together


This week at IOT Evolution Expo, part of the ITEXPO gathering in Ft. Lauderdale, Soter Technologies, provider of innovative environmental sensor and software technologies, announced that it reached an agreement with JBI Distributors to distribute the company’s environmental sensing solutions to agricultural facilities and school districts in the Midwestern and Western U.S.  

JBI built a broad U.S. customer base by delivering biosecurity and sanitization products to food producers and processors, and to transportation providers.

During the pandemic, JBI developed a large footprint in schools and other public and private facilities by providing solutions for sanitation and protection against pathogens.

JBI will offer Soter solutions that extend its ability to address social and wellness challenges in schools, as well as impact air quality and safety needs across multiple markets. The distribution agreement enables JBI to resell Soter’s hardware and software solutions, including the FlySense vape detection and anti-bullying system and the AI-driven Juno AI video analytics platform.

“We are delighted to work with JBI, a partner that will give us a proven channel to tap into the agriculture sector, as well as expand our reach in serving our core education customer base,” explained Derek Peterson, Soter’s CEO. “The JBI team possesses a unique skillset that brings together outstanding technical skills, as well as uncommon domain expertise. We anticipate that our partnership will result in significant growth for both Soter and JBI.”

Soter’s newly launched Juno AI video analytics software is at the forefront of innovation with its capacity to make schools safer as it provides an effective framework for automated monitoring and real-time analysis of anonymized individual identities, offering the potential to recognize changes in emotional states that could be precursors to harmful behaviors.

“We are very proud to work with Soter, which has developed advanced technologies that surpass competing sensing and security offerings in the market,” said Craig Steen, president and CEO of JBI Distributors. “Soter’s solutions allow food producers, schools, and other organizations to improve safety, security, and wellness throughout their facilities. These are challenges that are top-of-mind for many organizations, and we are eager to offer tangible solutions that are impactful, reliable, compliant, and cost-efficient.”

According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 57.5 million students and school employees enter the doors of our nation’s schools every day, and a shocking half of these adults and children spend their school days breathing air polluted with toxic chemicals, mold, viruses, bacteria, asbestos, pesticides, smog, and particulates from vehicle pollution, and more.

According to the National Education Agency (NEA), Despite efforts by school employees and their unions to improve indoor environmental quality in classrooms and other school buildings, many of the conditions that cause unhealthy indoor air and environmental quality continue to plague our nation’s schools, the EPA article went on to state, listing causes including:

  • Deferred building maintenance, which leads to dampness, mold, high humidity and uncontrolled classroom temperatures.
  • Improper ventilation, which is the result of outdated designs, aging or badly maintained systems, or human error.
  • Site contamination from toxic chemicals previously used or dumped at the school site, no environmental testing of sites, or poor leasing practices.
  • Hazardous neighbors; school locations are located close to known sources of air pollution and contaminated facilities.
  • Toxic construction materials, which are often banned or no longer used, but still in place in many schools.
  • Unhealthy practices, such as misuse of harsh cleaning products that can cause asthma and lung irritation.
  • An absence of state or federal mandatory standards that would ensure healthy indoor air in all schools.

The underlying conditions in schools that cause poor indoor air and environmental quality harm not only the health of students and school employees, the agency said, “they also limit academic achievement and teacher and staff productivity. Whether inadequate ventilation, deferred maintenance or toxic chemicals are making the air unhealthy in any particular school, these conditions result in a variety of common problems that the educational system must grapple with every day.”

Sanitation in food facilities has come under increasing scrutiny over the past few years, with more regulations coming online. is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serve important roles in ensuring food safety in the United States.

  • Food Safety and Inspection Service: FSIS is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled and packaged.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration: The FDA is charged with protecting the public health by assuring that foods (except for meat from livestock, poultry and some egg products which are regulated by FSIS) are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; that cosmetics and dietary supplements are safe and properly labeled; that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective; regulating tobacco products; and protecting the public from electronic radiation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC leads federal efforts to gather data on foodborne illnesses, investigate foodborne illnesses and outbreaks, and monitor the effectiveness of prevention and control efforts in reducing foodborne illnesses. CDC also plays a key role in building state and local health department epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health capacity to support foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak response.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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