GOAT 2022 Introductions

Hi everyone!

  1. Jamie Gaehring (he/him). I am a software engineer working primarily on farmOS Field Kit and associated libraries. I live in Queens NYC. Been a member of GOAT since the 2018 conference, which kinda actually changed my life, no joke. Very proud to have worked in a minor capacity among the other organizers to make it happen this year. I’m also a member of Skywoman, helping out where I can as a mod on the Discord channel.

  2. Like I say, contracts for farmOS development are mainly what pay my bills, but in the last several months I’ve also been exploring how to continue that work as a cooperative, either by forming one or joining an existing one. In my previous life I worked 15-20 odd years, depending how you count, at farms and farmers markets, predominantly a 10 year stint at GrowNYC, but also floating about and around New York City working for various farms and food producers.

  3. Again, my main projects are related to farmOS, but I’ve recently been working on some exploratory projects with the great people in Skywoman’s Design & Tech Incubator. Currently underway is the Multifarm Aggregation & Information Architecture (MAIA) Project, essentially a public interview series “to map out and assess the methods, needs and pain-points of food aggregation services, with a focus on distribution models that promote regional food sovereignty.” I wrote a little about the broader goals of these projects in a personal blog article, “Toward a Platform Cooperative for Food Sovereignty”. I’ve also been dabbling a bit recently with the Tauri framework and Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid protocol, and interested in exploring ways those tools could be used to create more local-first and federated implementations of farmOS.

  4. As for skills/tools/etc I guess I bring my engineering skills, primarily in the development of frontend applications, API design, and Node.js. I still know a few things w/r/t farming, but more so what the landscape of distribution and sales looks like in small to midsize food systems.

  5. Why openness in ag? I was kind of a militant Luddite up until my early 30’s, primarily b/c of a distaste for how a lot of proprietary technologies aren’t designed for people to use them, but rather for them to use people (for whatever the du jour form of capitalist exploitation happens to be in Silicon Valley at any particular time). Discovering free software was eye-opening to me, showing it could be done another way, and since then it’s been important to bring those values to a wider array of users and to try to effect some degree of change on our still largely exploitative food systems in the process.

Look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!


Hi Jennifer, thanks for introducing yourself. CFDN looks like a fascinating and timely project!

I share a keen interest in many of these things, including the use of hylo “comunity infrastructure” tools being developed for and with partners like OpenTEAM and Prosocial World.

I’m particularly interested in how collaboratively developed “socio-technical stacks” and platforms like this can support multi-stakeholder networks, including those organized around foodsheds, bioregions, and agroforestry value chains.

Looking forward to meeting and learning from you and others who share these interests :slight_smile:

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Hello Everyone,
My name is Steven Doyle. I am a PhD student at Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering department. Please note, I copied the prompt from the original introductions thread.

A Bit About Me
I am a 3rd year PhD student in Ankita’s Agricultural Informatics lab. I have a master’s degree in soil science from Ohio State University but my primary work outside of school has been in smallholder agriculture in eastern Africa and Southeast Asia.

What I Do
My dissertation research is on decision support tools to help small and medium farmers grow annual horticultural crops, like tomatoes and melons. It involves a bit of design research, crop modeling, and coding. I am starting up the data collection phase this fall (2022) in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. After data collection is complete, I hope to make connections with partners elsewhere in the world to adapt the methodology of tool design to smallholder farming in Africa and Asia.

What I Can Offer GOAT
I have a strong background in the scientific aspects of crop production and plenty of professional and research experience working with smallholder farmers.

Why I Value Open Ag Tech
I value open-source agricultural technology because a policy of sharing technological breakthroughs yields faster innovation, which produces better tools for farmers.

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Hello peeps!

  1. I’m Megan Low, she/her, PhD student in Ankita’s lab at Purdue University. I am new to the GOAT community (and the ag tech world in general - I’ve come in peace from the food science side).
  2. Since I’m new, I suppose I shall share in terms of future projections. I hope my PhD work and beyond will lend itself to sustainable food systems. In general though, I try to better the communities I’m in. I am a sustainability commissioner in West Lafayette’s City Council and have an informal tiny community with Malaysians back home promoting social activism.
  3. My current projects involve understanding data management & technology practices of small farmers post-covid and mapping community food pathways in the Resilient Foods project.
  4. I have experience working in extension, some domain knowledge in food security and food waste in my local community, and experience with rapid prototyping from working in a tech startup. I’m also cursed with head-in-the-clouds thinking so I can be your sounding board for idea generations. But perhaps the most important thing I bring is my excitement - if you need someone to get excited about your work, say hi! :wave:
  5. I believe in power to the people, on all fronts which include tech.
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  1. I’m Paul Harris (he/him). I live near New York City and am a newcomer to GOAT.

  2. I do soil carbon sampling on grass-fed farms in New York State, and participated in an OpenTEAM working group on Point Blue’s Range C carbon sampling methods document. I’m married and the father of two terrific daughters. My primary career has been in the energy industry (35 years); I also played flute with the La MaMa Theater Company on tour in Europe and Iran for three years back in the 1970s.

  3. I am part of a team led by Maple Hill Creamery that was recently awarded a USDA Climate Smart Commodities grant. That work will be my main ag focus for the next five years.

  4. I bring experience with in-field soil sampling. Dealing with data (at the spreadsheet level). Getting data mapped for geographic representation. One thing I’m interested to work on is sample location selection issues.

  5. In my energy business career we’ve guarded our information closely. I’ve really appreciated the experience of working with OpenTEAM and love sharing knowledge with collaborators without concern for commercial advantage.

  1. John Bliss (he/him); GOAT-curious
  2. Farmer of 20 yrs; farm-hacker; involved over the years in tool trials + on-farm research; also part-time organic farm inspections; also volunteer in international development projects.
  3. I write on topics which interest me for a couple small publications.
  4. I have a pretty broad understanding of farming and my goal is to absorb what I can of the state of open technology and share that out in my farming community.
  5. peer-to-peer learning is important to me in ag. I have reservations about “openness” when it comes to the expropriation of some value/data suited best for the world of investment rather than (as we all seem to agree) to further innovation and ecological sustainability…

Hi! I’m Samuel Oslund (he/him). I attended GOAT in 2018 and have participated in a few other GOAT adjacent events since.

I am a farmer, designer, and researcher based in Montreal. I work within a collective farm project located in a nature reserve in the city (please come visit if you are in town :). As a researcher/designer I work with the CAPÉ in Quebec, a farmer led coop that develops small scale farm technology.

Currently I am: a research member with the North America Digital Agriculture Working Group; developing a short animated film series on open source farm technology at opengrains.cc; developing a short series on digital agriculture and Canadian farms; working on an open source video tutorial on DIY electric tractor conversion.

I bring 12 years of farm experience with focus on food / technological sovereignty movements. In terms of technological development: my focus is more in hardware, infrastructure and design. I moonlight as an illustrator (graphic communication :slight_smile: and animator… and over the last while more film work. I am also very passionate about cooperative, open and participatory processes.

Much of what everyone here has said resonates with my views on openness in agriculture. Beyond openness I think I would say I think a lot about participation. These words from Arturo Escobar: “in designing tools, we design the conditions of our existence and, in turn, the conditions of our designing.” It matters who is making the technology, not just that it is open or accessible. The tools and technology we shape go on to shape the environments and kinds of agriculture that we (or others) practice.


Hi Jeff,

Are you into the Greater than the Sum org that is working on Social Systems Mapping through SumApp plus Kumu? Kind of an interesting group working on self organizing networks.

See you soon, Jennifer

Hi Jennifer, I am indeed familiar with sumApp/Kumu.

I’m developing a set of sumApp surveys for groups and individuals with the Cooperative Development Institute Food Systems program. One goal is “to conduct a ‘netchain analysis’ of agrifood systems stakeholders and assets, assessing the needs and opportunities for building cooperative agrifood value chains, and provide a map for future cooperative development programs.” I’m accessing the new Tier IV sumApp features for this, allowing us to dynamically map person-to-person, group-to-group, and person-to-group connections over time.

I mention some of this in the proposal I submitted for a GOAT 2022 unconference session on “Creating Space for Open Technology Solutions in Support of Community and Regional Foodsheds”.

It would be great if sumApp or something like it could be integrated with the new network tools hylo is developing, perhaps using a customized version of the SurveyStack @gbathree and the folks at OpenSci are developing and hylo is employing…

As an early adopter, I’ve already set up SS surveys and a sandbox group on hylo to begin exploring this. I’d love to chat more about it with you and others at Omega, and am happy to share more details including the sumApp surveys :slight_smile:

Ooooo Tier IV! I was looking into that for our network out here, but it really takes a commitment and understanding from the network to self-sustain it. I will join your session. I also wonder if we can come up with language that describes all this more simply. It all sounds like a bunch of gobbledy gook to people who don’t think about this stuff much, and can be hard to explain to get people excited about being a part of these endeavors.

Yeah, things get even more gobbledy gooky with the Tier IV sumApp options! On both the front and back ends. I’d love to work with others on making it simpler and more intuitive (at least on the front end).

And there is certainly a lot of translational work in building support and engagement. For the ag and food systems folks I’ve worked with, there’s been the additional hurdle of explaining (simply) why and how tech can be helpful to their cause. To often our pitches sound suspiciously like a solution in search of a problem. I’ve found some traction by using the analogy of mycorrhizal networks, whose vital role in healthy ecosystems a growing number of folks are at least curious about.

Someone from the Systems Convening community recently shared a graphic on 20 Systems (over) Thinker Tips relevant to these challenges. I’ve shared 3 of those below, including “do your deepest thinking with co-conspirators, not those you’re trying to influence”… which is exactly what I hope to do with you and others at GOAT 2022!

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Hello all :slight_smile:

  1. I am Prateek Mondan, a recent graduate from Purdue University, in Computer Graphics Technology, User Experience Design major. I am also a researcher at the Agricultural Informatics Lab, here at Purdue. My interests include digital designs and tools, and DIY artistic endeavors.
  2. My niche would lie in applying agile design thinking methods in design of digital tools- participatory user research, concept generation, prototyping at all fidelity levels, interaction design and user testing and analysis. I am also passionate about Graphic Design and dabble with motion design and 3D modeling from time to time.
  3. Notable projects I have worked on at the axiLab include- a Farmer’s Digital Coffee Shop (a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing tool around regenerative agricultural practices), a Seeding Rate Calculator- a decision support tool for National Cover Crop Councils (mockups in high fidelity), DASHI (Design for Agricultural Soil Health Information; WIP), and a future project on Speculative Design in Ag.
  4. I am aiding the design of a methods-resource zine, which could facilitate group sessions (collaborative/co-design/focused discussions) at the unconference, with activities to make them engaging, concise, and insightful.
  5. Needless to say- knowledge grows with sharing; I truly believe that being in a community and doing one’s part, is a holistic approach to life, society and people. A lot can be achieved together, and only together, and a lot needs to be achieved for sustainability in Ag., and the efforts towards it, so openness in Ag. Is what I shall always be rooting for.

Great stuff Jeff and mycorrhizal networks yes! I’ve been using that analogy lately myself. Looking forward to great big whiteboard sessions.

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Howdy all- I’m Becca Harman with Regen Network, an ecological credit minting public, proof-of-stake blockchain. I sit predominantly on the Registry and Science side where we work with those wanting to create and issue ecological assets in an open marketplace. See some of our in progress projects here: https://www.notion.so/regennetwork/Built-On-Regen-Network-c6266114116842e389258747454f9f07. I have an MS in Soil Science and did much of my past work and research on conservation ag, smallholders and native plant and forest management. The Regen team is eager to circle up around ecocredit use cases and how the science, market and community dimensions square.
Aside from knowledge and understanding of voluntary carbon and ecosystem service markets, web3, ReFi and ReSci, I offer up skills related to soil conservation, agronomy and community development.

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I’m Christophe Jospe (he/him) and president/founder of Carbon A List. This is my first GOAT and I’m excited to better understand my role in the community. Currently I’m connected to open ag through my work as a member of OpenTEAM, and products we’ve created like a "framework for designing quality assets".

Carbon A List is a business that writes and works on grants, and provides service contracts in the methodology development space to food companies, farm organizations, and start-ups. Our two values are access and balance, and hope that much of the work we can do can exist out in the open.

I am a systems thinker with context on climate impact accounting in the agricultural sector. I have a lot of awareness over the different ecological driven ideas. I really like workshopping strategies and know how to apply the “lean methodology” to new ideas.

We work on 4-6 projects at a time related to agriculture. We were also a recent recipient of a Partnerships for Climate Smart Agriculture Grant from the USDA so hope to find the connection points to the “Transforming the Farmer-to-Consumer Supply Chain with Climate-Smart Agriculture Partnerships” project.

I do not believe that a fully open source world can ever exist. However I do believe that a most coherent open source ecosystem in the ag space can link in to critical innovations that ensures a public good: information about how to act on climate change. I support open ag because I believe it can provide a pathway toward generating this public good, and that a more vibrant open ag ecosystem will encourage knowledge sharing and useful tools so we can focus on growing food.

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  1. Hello everyone! My name is Hope (she/her) and I am a GOAT first-timer!
  2. I am an analyst at Carbon A List (CAL), a consulting company that works with multiple ag-based and ag-related businesses. Specific to ag tech, the company is very interested in breaking down silos, creating open-source tools and resources, and discontinuing the exploitation of farmers.
  3. Before working with CAL, I wasn’t aware of the silos that exist in tech and the barriers they create, but my research has helped me develop an understanding of how proprietary tools stall innovation and creates asymmetry. My work includes a lot of desktop research and landscape analysis on tools and ecosystem service programs, which has introduced me to both sides of the spectrum - proprietary and open-source tools. My work has also introduced me to hubs like these, where open-source tech tools and companies come together to create spaces to learn from one another and advance interoperable tech, e.g., OpenTEAM, OurSCi, Farmstack, and more.
  4. To this event, I bring my evolving knowledge of tools used in ag and a desire to learn about the paths toward open tech.
  5. Openness in ag is important to me because I believe it can help us uncover robust solutions that help us better collect data and learn about what is happening on the ground, address climate change, and empower farmers.

I’m looking forward to the event and to meeting you all!

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  1. Hello! My name is Keren Reichler (she/her) and I am new to GOAT.

  2. I’m a second year PhD student in the Anthropology department at Rice University. My research is grounded in socio-cultural anthropology and science and technology studies, and I’m interested in experimental ethnographic methods. These days I’m thinking a lot about agricultural technologies and political ecology and about emerging configurations between people, plants, and technologies.

  3. My (evolving) research explores the implications of digital agriculture in the context of increasingly precarious climate conditions. So far I’ve been focused on AI-based remote sensor tech for ag production. I’m also working with a research team at Rice on a project exploring how urban farmers in Houston are responding to climate change.

Previously, I worked with a few organizations in California, including the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, a transitional employment program for folks experiencing homelessness based on an organic farm, and with Certified Employee-Owned, a public benefit corp supporting a network of employee-owned businesses. In 2018 I completed LIFT Economy’s “Next Economy MBA” course to learn business fundamentals in service of building alternative economic and social models.

  1. I bring over a decade of experience in farming and food/environmental justice work. I’ve worn various hats over the years, including volunteer management, leadership development, DEI programming, and dance/movement facilitation. I’m excited to learn a ton and to connect with folks as I explore how I can contribute to critical and engaged research and collaborative projects related to ag-tech.

  2. The value of openness in ag has the potential to resist/go beyond business-as-usual norms around data “capture”, privatization, commodification, etc. in tech development….ideally making space for more community-driven, collaborative, and life-affirming projects. I’m looking forward to learning more about how openness is articulated in the GOAT community.

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Awesome, psyched to have an anthropologists perspective on these issues at GOAT!

I am only now becoming acquainted w/ concepts of Social Ecology, via Bookchin via the new-ish Graeber/Wengrow book, and it is definitely working my brain in some new and exciting ways. Especially as it all pertains to my work making farm software. Hope we get a chance chat!

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Tica Lubin (she/her)

Professionally I work at Regen Registry - part of Regen Network- as a project manager - where I work closely with project and methodology developers to help them understand how to create or use a methodology to create carbon credits and moving beyond carbon as well.

Outside of work I am on the advisory board at Transformations Community where we are working w artists working towards ecological regeneration - art backed by science and art as a medium to activate and communicate change. I am also working on my MA thesis centered in southern Baja around introducing seaweed as an economic alternative for artisinal fishers to reduce the impacts of overfishing and bi-catch. I am a mom, wife, hiker, swimmer, skier and love being outside anywhere anytime!

I have 30 years experience as a science communicator and love working with projects to help in organizing and communicating pathways for change.

Openess in ag is important to me as a tool to increase the accessibility for folks wanting to create carbon - and other ecosystem based credits by reducing the cost of monitoring.

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  1. Paul Weidner (he/him) from Spokane, WA. I’ve been hanging around the community for a few years and am excited for my first GOAT conference!
  2. Professionally I am a software engineer and have spent most of my time working on farmOS and related projects over the past few years. I transitioned into full-time software work after working for market farms in the PNW, managing an on-farm research project, and conducting other research with WSU extension. More generally I love the DIY process of building, making, growing and learning new things along the way.
  3. I work on the core development of farmOS and lately have been helping build farmOS modules and integrations with groups like OurSci, Rothamsted, Regen Farmers Mutual, FarmLab and CFT. I’m also active in the Regen Network community, helping run the Cambium validator and most recently working on a grant to interface with their Data module.
  4. Most of my skills are related to backend development with Drupal, PHP, Python, docker and some frontend JS as well. I also have experience using geospatial data (not necessarily GIS), integrating with APIs doing some dev ops/hosting/infrastructure work.
  5. As above, power to the people. I resonate with the technical aspects eg: ability to build things myself, inspect code, control my data, etc. But also believe building in the open is important for collaborating and combining efforts to tackle the larger problems we are all working towards.
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