Introduce yourself!


#1

In preparation for the conference - let’s get to know each other!

Post who you are, what you do, what projects you work on, what skills/tools/resources you can bring to GOAT, and why openness in ag is important to you.

I’ll get the ball rolling -->

I’m Greg Austic, an open technology advocate. That means I take part in projects which make high quality information (data, designs, methods, tech) available to the public and accessible to those who want to make and improve on it.

Last year I founded Our Sci http://our-sci.net with @DanT and @mdc in order to support the development of research capacity in communities through software, hardware, and training. We are developing a platform to collect survey, sensor, and API data in a flexible and scalable way, and a low-cost reflectometer for estimating properties of soils and food.

Our Sci emerged from my last project, called PhotosynQ, which was built within Michigan State University’s Kramer Lab. In that project, we created a low cost photosynthesis sensor called MultispeQ, and a platform for collecting, sharing, and analyzing the results. Prior to that, I was in the biodiesel industry as a researcher for several years.

I bring some coding skills (mostly arduino/c++, javascript, basic python), CAD design skills for circuit boards (KiCAD) and physical design (OnShape), some sciency skills (experimental design, R, etc) a lot of experience in startups and thinking about how to make open source in the real world pay normal human beings and scale. We’re also building a small food and soil testing lab as part of the Real Food Campaign, so we bring some equipment and points of collaboration there as well. I also help organize the Gathering for Open Science Hardware (http://openhardware.science), which is an excellent sister conference to this one.

I’ve always been passionate about open tech, but it became my life mission when I had my first kid. I want my kids to feel empowered by science, excited by the opportunity to serve others and improve the world, and able to pursue their interests freely. Instead, we have a lot of perverse incentives in academia and industry that kill passion, defer responsibility, and bring out the worst in ourselves.

We can do better… so yeah, ready for GOAT and super excited to meet you all :slight_smile:


#2

Hello!
My name is Chris Rowe and I have been interested in open ag tech for almost 20 years starting with bio-diesel and electric/solar tractor research and development while I was in college. Well, the open part might have come a little later after getting more involved in open source software, but some of the core concepts were already there.

Since then I have bounced around doing a wide range of things from sustainable architecture and land planning, to open source educational technology in developing countries, to IT and Drupal consulting.

I am a generalist/multipotentiality. I like to go broad to understand the landscape and problem space, get into the weeds and understand how things work, and keep things focused and moving forward towards a goal.

I have been working on IoT related to farming and building systems for the past few years mostly as a hobby but have been moving more an more in that direction with my work as well in the last year.

Currently, I spend my days working on a wide range of business and technology consulting projects including


#3

Hi, my name is DAIRO Opeyemi Oluseyi, I am a Nigeria and in work in a University (LASU). I am a young researcher in the area of ICT, I studied Computer Science. I research about how ICT can improve the standard of living of people and expose the to new innovatives.
After travelling to Myanmar in September, 2017, I realized there is still much for me to do in my community.
My detail
Email:
yemisy01@yahoo.com
Phone No:
+2348065935611


#4

My name is Peter Donovan and I founded the Soil Carbon Coalition in 2007, and have done lots of sampling and measurement since then with a project called the Soil Carbon Challenge.

Working on Atlas of Biological Work (e.g. atlasbiowork.com an open source, open data web app) which a data entry tool (not the only one) aimed at putting into practice two principles:

  1. ask better questions (e.g. about soil health, watershed function, opportunities to work with the circle of life, in addition to our questions about practices, species, problem solving, or CO2 “drawdown”)
  2. engage more people in asking and answering these questions.

I hope to bring knowledge and action closer together, with a more responsible relationship, and I believe open-source technology can play a role. Looking forward to meeting and interacting with others and their projects.


#5

I am Ravi Bhattarai from Nepal.

I am a long time, free and open source user, advocate, educationists, author and activist.
Though, I come from education background as a teacher and author of several books to include open source technologies in schools.

I have been into development, system deployment for last half a decade. Since few years now, I have been into MIS and System Architecture.

Since, last year: I have been building an MIS system for government project to collect agricultural situation data, agro advisory and knowledge management system. And, also include social constructivism in farming with social media inclusion and farming intelligence.

I am excited to share our learning while learn from a wider audiences from across the border.

Ravi@Nepal


#6

Hello! I am Michelle Williamson from central PA. My background is 20 years of web development - PHP, JS, HTML, CSS, Drupal, Magento, etc. I will be finishing my Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in December. I only recently got interested in agriculture through an illness. I was very sick for several years before I finally gave up on conventional medicine and discovered the healing power of food and the Gerson Therapy. My previous passing interest in gardening turned into a full-blown obsession with learning to grow quality, nutrient dense foods. I’ve been devouring everything I can get my hands on through my local library and YouTube. I am still on the Gerson Therapy and have gone from house/bed bound to active and getting my life back. I am excited to be attending GOATech at Omega in May and am hoping to find a GOATech niche I can sink my geek into.


#7

Hi all.

My name is Juan David Reina. I am a visiting PhD student at D-Lab MIT from Colombia. I am exploring the concept of Communal Innovation, to describe the process of innovation by autonomous communities.

In Colombia, I have organized a bunch of International Development Design Summits -IDDS- about zero waste, primary education, climate change adaptation and building peace. The last one was special because we collaborated with former FARC members and communities of victims of the civil conflict that ended in 2016 in Colombia. Also, I have a blog called Innovation Journey where I wrote some ideas about the building peace summit (In spanish).

In the IDDS we co-design open low-cost technologies with communities according to the topic. They are open, affordable and based on local knowledge. Since 2017 we started to work with open hardware (arduino), but is very challenging specially with some communities that didn’t have access to ICTs before.

Recently I had a deep interest in Open Agricultural Tech particularly for Agroecology, because we developed an open kit to measure humidity and temperature to agroecological biofertilizers made by the communities (in spanish). After this prototype, we now are co-creating a Peasant Lab for the Transitions to the Agroecology, with communities of the Sumapaz Province in the center of Colombia.

Finally, last week we started a path to create the Latin America Network for the Community’s Sciences and Knowings, with 15 citizen groups from 5 countries. We hope to keep learning between the experiences and communities.

I am really exited to meet you, know your work and share ideas, dreams and changes.

Juanda.


#8

Howdy,

I’m Juliet Norton. I live in Southern California, but am originally from Florida. I am in the Informatics PhD program at UC Irvine. Openness in ag is important to me because I think it can support both professional and grassroots communities who are working towards sustainable agriculture. For my dissertation, I am working with a grassroots agroecology community in Orange County, California to create a plant database web application that supports agroecosystem design in their local context. This is a really interesting project because the local community has an interesting set of core values that dictate their Information Technology values in ways that are often times at odds with typical IT development and use in broader society. For example they value technology non-use, they value modular tools that can be updated instead of entering the waste stream, and they prefer open-source to proprietary tools.

Here is a bit more about me.

Roles: PhD Student in Informatics, Lead Researcher on NSF funded project: Fostering Non-Expert Creation of Sustainable Polycultures through Crowdsourced Data Synthesis, Founder of UCI Perennial Polycultures Group

Professional skills: ethnographic research, programming, user testing, teaching, conference and workshop organization, workshop facilitation. Other skills: amateur gardening and farming, organization, facilitation, and teaching community education programs, garden volunteer coordination.

Interests:
Open source software for amateur and professional agroecology and sustainable farming
Moving away from or avoiding development of technologies that enable heteromation in agriculture. Heteromation is the computer-mediated extraction of value from unpaid or low-wage human labor into large firms that aggregate the value to make large profits (Heteromation, Ekbia and Nardi 2017).

What I can share at GOAT:
Chapter describing requirements elicitation process from amateur sustainable agriculture communities, and a demo of a “homegrown crowd-sourced” plant database for Orange County, CA amateur sustainable agriculture community

I’m looking forward to meet you all.

Juliet


#9

Hi! I’m Mike Stenta - creator and lead developer of farmOS (http://farmOS.org), an open source farm record keeping and planning application. I’m looking forward to meeting other folks in similar worlds and exploring how we can collaborate and build together!


#10

Hi, my name is DAIRO Opeyemi Oluseyi, I am a Nigeria and in work in a University (LASU). I am a young researcher in the area of ICT, I studied Computer Science. I research about how ICT can improve the standard of living of people and expose the to new innovatives.
After travelling to Myanmar in September, 2017, I realized there is still much for me to do in my community.
My detail
Email:
yemisy01@yahoo.com
Phone No:
+2348065935611


#11

Hi! I’m Frank Rose. I’m an independent software developer in Brooklyn (originally from Los Angeles).

I am the technical lead of The Things Network New York (https://thethings.nyc), a non-profit group dedicated to deploying a long-range public IoT network in NYC (LoRaWAN). Our group of volunteer engineers, educators, researchers, and students have been building tools and expertise for the last two years. Though we’re focused on urban use cases (which include interior temperature tracking, mold growth detection, leak detection, and compost optimization) the technology is even better suited to ex-urban settings where there aren’t as many buildings in the way of radio signals.

As part of the TTN-NY’s work I have had the pleasure of building real physical things and learning from some expert hardware engineers in our group. Most recently I assembled a full-featured, Arduino based mapping device that will be deployed by the Manhattan Borough President’s office as part of their support of our efforts. Next todo - writing up the post about how the build went and the bodies of code that come together to make it work.

I look forward to meeting you all and sharing at the gathering!

  • Frank

#12

Hi

I’ll keep it short and look forward to face to face to face conversations: I’m an electrical engineer doing research at the University of Notre Dame -I build tech for science, currently that’s primarily customising open drones, data management tools, and data analytics code for various research projects.

I’m passionate about open tech in general including open tech for Ag firstly because I’ve experienced first hand the “gate-slamming” effect of domains that have normalised around a proprietary technology that is simple unaffordable to most of the planet. Secondly, while not I’m not trained as a Scientists, as a researcher and as someone who works primarily with Scientists I see how open science is simply better Scientific practice and should therefore be the norm.

Jane


#13

Hi,

I’m Samuel. I based just outside of Montreal. I am a farmer, tool hacker, organizer, illustrator, and researcher. My day job is working with USC Canada, a seed security organization, where I do variety trials and work with farmers to co-develop a regional vegetable seed cooperative. I’ve worked within the community agriculture sector for the last 10 years and a lot of my interests coalesce around the commons - from food or technology.

For the last 5 years I have been researching the development of open source farm tools. I’ve mostly focused on the US, Canada, and Europe, traveling around to check out different organizations and groups to see how their processes have evolved over time. I was a part time editor of the greenhorns blog and my essays on commons technology usually find their way to the P2P foundation blog and Farmhack.

I also work with the Quebec equivalent of Farmhack, called CAPE Autoconstruction. The group has been collaboratively designing and building some pretty cool tools, and focusing particularly on developing protocols for large hackathons. The tools range from automation to tractor implements. I am currently concluding a thesis focused on the group and have a fellowship to continue assisting in the development of collaborative tools for documentation, organizing, and sharing their work.

I am excited to be participating in this event and eager to see the different projects and approaches taking place across the fields.

More on my work here


#14

Hello, I am Gwyndaf Jones. I am an instructor of a new Smallholder Agriculture course at MIT in an international development program called D-Lab. I worked on farms and studied agricultural economics at Hampshire College but then got involved in a bicycle startup that led to my becoming involved with MIT D-Lab in a human power project. At D-Lab I’ve worked on a range of engineering projects for the developing world, largely in energy and agriculture, and a rickshaw project with a partner in Assam, India. Agricultural projects include mentoring teams working on threshers, oil presses, shellers, grain mills, and research into dairy cow nutrition in Morocco.

Having found my way back to agriculture, I decided to start this course to look into the lives and work of smallholders many of whom operate on the principles they learned from their parents. With little education or technical support they are challenged by degraded resources, climate change and adverse economics and I would like to work with them to change that. Because of small size and diverse circumstances open tech will be the only opportunity in many communities. That said, I am interested anyway in what is learned outside the constraints of a profit driven corporate context.

I have experience with product design and development, fabrication, mechanical systems, and a manufacturing startup. I even wrote some software many decades ago. I enjoy working with groups on product development projects and co-design projects in communities.

I’m looking forward to meeting and learning from all of you.

Gwyn


#15

Hi! My name is Will Szal. I’m based in Massachusetts and have a background in local food and local economy.

I’m part of a project called Regen Network. We are an ecological monitoring tech startup. We’re also a cryptocurrency project, and aim to help to bring the valuing of biospheric health into our economy. Our first application will be to reward change-of-state of carbon stocks in soils through regenerative agriculture.

Both as a blockchain project, and as an agriculture data project, we will be heavily reliant on open hardware and software for our success!

I can offer GOAT my experience with both alternative economics and with a fair amount of on-farm and farmer-related experience.


#16

Who I am
My name is Rob Barreca and I’m a farmer, food hub director, and CEO of a local food sales and logistics platform. I live on the north shore of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, one of the most remote civilations on Earth! We import an estimated 85-90% of our food supply but have a year-round growing season. If our import supply-chain was stopped, we’d only have enough food on island to feed ourselves for 7 days.

What I do
I’m owner/co-operator of a five-acre certified organic farm, founder/director of an online local food distribution network, and as of December 2017, the CEO of the web platform that we use to run that distribution network.

What projects I work on
The project of interest to GOAT is definitely Local Orbit. Local Orbit is a sales and logistics web platform to help connect farmers’ local produce with local buyers and manage the chaos of local food sales and distribution. In December of 2017, we were donated the Local Orbit SaaS business and source code. There are about 50 food hubs that use this platform and $10,000,000+ in local food transactions that pass through it every year. We recently soft-released Local Orbit under the MIT open source license and I’m most interested in integrating crop planning and other features of farmOS with Local Orbit to enable local food networks to understand future supply and demand and be able to get recurring/standing orders and future commitments from buyers in order to have small local growers satisfy demand in aggregate.

What skills/tools/resources I can bring to GOAT
Active in a diversified organic farm, food hub distributor, and a local food SaaS platform and business based on open-source software.

Why openness in ag is important to me
There are too many mediocre solutions that are developed behind closed doors. I believe we can build a sustainable business while opening up the underlying source code to create a better, more innovative platform. I believe distributed, equitable, diverse, open systems are the key to revitalizing our local food systems and ensure they have the resiliency and fairness to perpetuate.


#17

Howdy! I’m Mike Durante, with the National Young Farmers Coalition.

At NYFC we’re currently starting a farmer cooperative to design + own direct-marketing sales software. I’m not an experienced developer and am just getting my feet wet in project management with our first project: a CSA management platform. I’m excited to learn more from y’all, and especially curious to understand if/why/how our technology products should be open-sourced.

I mostly bring to the group some knowledge about the needs/challenges/opportunities of young farmers in the US.


#18

Hi!

I’m Carl Lippert. I’m a Dairy Farmer / Software Developer from Wisconsin.

Things GOATers want to know:

I have been interested in open technology all of my life. I didn’t realize tech in ag was going to be my career direction necessarily until 2010 ish I would say. I got a Dairy Science Degree created an internship with the largest Dairy Management Software Co in USA ( Valley Ag Software ) and didn’t like what I saw related to building new tech.

I studied abroad Fall 2012 doing ‘independent research’ in mostly France and Germany traveling to farms to evaluate technology adoption there compared to USA especially addressing NIR in feeding systems on dairy farms.

I decided that the effort being put into agricultural technology in many aspects was a joke. The walled gardens and the ‘proprietary’ as a good thing makes me a bit sick sometimes honestly. I decided I needed to deeply understand how to develop tech so got a BS in Computer Information systems from 2013 - 2015.

I have been building Feed Management software for Dairy Farmers since 2015. -> www.feedmanager.io
I’m a solopreneur in this venture so everything is built by me currently. So mostly I’m a javascript cowboy. We have been using feedmanager for about a year on my families dairy farm to feed about 1000 cows every day. Solving my own problems rather than waiting. I’m still farming full time.

I am very interested mixing the creation of open systems with enterprise. I believe that for an idea to truly generate change its best to find a way to make it profitable. I use lots of open source for building software and want to push open collaboration, integrations, portability etc to create a super rich and diverse ecosystem of agriculture technology that is more easily accessible to everyone on the planet. I fight for the user :wink:

Personal Stuff:

Aside from farming and technology I enjoy travel the most. I find traveling gives you perspective that one cannot find by existing solely on a small farm. I’m mostly involved in the US market in agtech at current but in the long term I am very interested in using technology to fuel a new wave of agriculture innovation and quality of life improvements for agriculturalists abroad.

I am so interested in meeting each and every one of you! Your introductions make you all seem like rockstars :tada:

Carl
@carllippert on twitter


#19

+1 for javascript cowboys :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#20

Hiya!

I’m Ankita. I currently work as a postdoc researcher at the USDA Agricultural Research Service & North Carolina State University. My work involves the design and build of a Decision Support Platform to enable (for now) grain farmers to better engage in cover cropping and other sustainable agricultural practices. I’m 3 months in, so am just beginning the design process, thinking about what kind of team I need, and working with our stakeholders (scientists, farmers, extension agents, developers) to scope out and plan our build. Along with the awesome folks I work with, I’m interested in planting the seeds for an Information Ecology for Sustainable Agriculture.

Some Background: Last year, I got my phd in software engineering from the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine, where my work explored design for sustainable agriculture, specifically looking at information management and farm-level modeling challenges faced by small- to medium-scale sustainability-oriented farmers in California.

Values: We need resilient and robust tools to support sustainable agriculture. At the very least, this requires tools that are modular, cross-platform, and open source. I am interested in grounded, action-oriented research, and like to design and build things with people, while considering use, context, and life cycles.

I bring to GOAT: Experience in design for sustainable agriculture; a background in human-computer interaction, computer science, and software engineering; a modeling language for modeling sustainable systems (MoSS); experience using qualitative research methods to inform software design & architecture; a fondness for plants and wandering; & plenty of positive vibes :v:t4: