Introduce yourself to GOAT!

Hello Margaret Ansomah from Ghana, researcher/ business management follow and farmer(filed worker). Am representing my institution “User Equipment Engineering Service”, we focus on how to preserve fruits by drying them. you can contact us on "" if you interested to learn from our Technology.
hope to see you soon @ GOAT 2018.

I’m Ned Horning and I work for the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation from a home office in Middlebury, Vermont. I’m basically a remote sensing guy who has been dabbling in many things geospatial for about 35 years. I spend most of my time working to improve the state of the practice rather than the state of the art of remote sensing. Recent interests include developing methods to process imagery acquired using low altitude platforms (trees, poles, kites, balloons, UAVs…) to extract information for mapping and monitoring species and landscapes. My interest within the scope of GOAT is supporting sustainable agriculture, especially at the home and community scale and am trying to figure out how I can best fit into the mix.

Hello All,
I am Mars ( or Marisa if you like). I am currently a grad student in horticulture at MSU. Before that I spent around 8 years working in different aspects of sustainable agriculture research, extension, and production. I have done extension on many different types of os ag tech over the years and am interested in how technology can benefit small farmers and make the needs of small farmers a greater part of how tech is developed. I got interested in the conference because I have been using some imaging and phenotyping technology in my masters research including the Multispeq and root imaging tools. I am not a developer as far as hardware and software go but I think I have a valuable perspective on how to build tools around people’s needs. I’m excited to learn more from this impressive crowd and help where I can.

Hello, I’m Bar and I’m very much looking forward to meeting you all and discussing open ag technology together.

I’m a graduate student at the University of Vermont and I care deeply about agriculture, climate change, and knowledge sharing - particularly from a social-environmental-technical systems perspective. I hope to bring this “systems perspective” to GOAT in a productive way, with specific considerations for data-sharing, overlap with research and policy objectives, and opportunities for advancing climate change mitigation and other environmental best practices. I’m also coming in as a licensed UAS pilot, integrating sensors on drones for monitoring agroecosystems.

A bit of a long background: I was a dairy farm worker before starting grad school to study the intersection between agriculture and climate. My research is both field scale (monitoring agricultural management and soil biogeochemistry in Vermont) and global (synthesizing opportunities for ag low emissions development with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security). I really do believe it’s critical to better understand how agricultural landscapes can be more resilient – reducing negative environmental impacts while adapting to changing social and environmental pressures – and improving data, information, and technology flows is a crucial component. I’ve been lucky to be a part of two inspiring data- and information-sharing communities, the Research Data Alliance and Earth Science Information Partners. I participate in working groups for both drones and agriculture, and I’d be happy to connect between these communities, if there is interest. Through this work, I’ve increasingly focused on the use of decision-making technology (e.g. satellite imagery, drones, GIS tools, mobile apps and other ICTs) to collect and share data and information relevant for both improving agricultural resilience and mitigating climate change.

Of course, there are many great organizations and people internationally and across sectors working to do so – including (likely) all of you! I can’t wait to meet and learn with you all soon, and I’m also happy to connect on twitter @barbieriiv


Hi there I’m finally here hope you guys manage to get the email duty sorted out soon.
I cutlrrently work for Campbell scientific in the U.K. I’m a keen raspberry pi /Arduino enthusiast I love measuring the world around us, I suppose that’s come from working for CS I helped Michael last year with something to do with his data logger and python webscraping , my current personal project is which is a network of wireless nodes measuring our micro climate , I look forward to getting to know you all and hopefully providing some positive input


Hello Everyone. Very excited to meet you all doing such important work in the world!
I am Kat, an organic farmer in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at. I am crazy enough to leave the farm in spring to come to this amazing gathering. I come to GOAT as a representative of a branch of the Open Food Network, which is about to launch its very own USA instance. I became interested in the OFN as a potential user after seeing it listed as a tool on FarmHack, and then began to do some organizing on the backend- still much organizing to do and I look forward to being in a room with all of you to see how we might work together. Although I grew up in Silicon Valley, I do not have sophisticated tech skills! I work more as a project organizer and offer my perspective as a farmer/user to the Open Food Network. The little bit that I know about the open source community is truly inspiring. The way that my colleagues at the OFN work together and make decisions is very similar to what we are doing here with the un-conference and it makes the 16 year old anarchist in me very happy. In farming and tech there are so many ways for us to share our knowledge across the fenceline and build something together to make our daily lives easier and less clunky! Lets!

Info about the Open Food Network:
On discourse: org

Our Hosted USA national instance: openfoodnetwork. net


Hi everyone,

I’m Matt. I’m a bit of an odd duck in this community. I work for a small software firm that builds collaboration tools for operations centers. My background is in global security, telecom infrastructure, and Eastern Europe/Former Soviet Union.

I have a little bit of experience in a broad range of topics relevant to GOAT:

  • I’ve built hardware, including Python-based Bluetooth services for mobile phones (but that was a long time ago).
  • I have experience with federal regulatory processes in general (I used to work for a financial regulator).
  • I’m pursuing a horticulture certificate from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I know enough about soil health to confuse the average person, but not enough to keep up with an expert.
  • I’m well-versed in open source licenses.

What I can contribute: I’m a pretty good writer, be it long form or marketing copy. (I’m NOT a good notetaker, though.) If we get stuck and need to solicit outside help, I have a strong network of technologists, particularly in the open source and civic tech communities.


Hi everyone, I’m Maureen Farmer. I’m a master gardener who practices nutrient dense growing techniques in my home raised bed vegetable gardens that I learned from taking classes offered by the Bionutrient Food Association. I make a living as an IT project manager. I’m a former application developer (native PHP, JQuery, MySQL and user interface design) so I understand what is technically possible in a development environment.

I write a weekly researched gardening blog at I also believe that you can never have too many flowers in your yard.

I’m excited to attend this conference to meet like-minded individuals, share ideas and learn about all the cool things everyone is working on. I’m interested in helping an ag tech company accomplish their goals or being inspired to come up with an idea of my own.

Who I am
Hi, my name is Adrian Galbraith-Paul. I’m a farmer in the Philadelphia area.
What I do

I manage Heritage Farm, an acre vegetable farm on soil in Philadelphia. We grow mostly salad greens, tomatoes and culinary herbs for chefs. I’ve been incorporating Korean Natural Farming practices into my farming for the last several years and I’m passionate about DIY fertility, bio-stimulants, inoculants etc. I’ve I’m excited by building efficient farming systems and using data to make informed growing decisions.

What projects I work on
Currently just my own farming projects. I’m working on a grant with the USDA on incorporating stropharia rugosoannulata (Wine Cap or Garden Giant mushrooms) to accelerate the breakdown of wood chips into soil organic carbon. I lead a handful of Korean Natural Farming and DIY fertility workshops. Mostly I’m interested in learning and being a part of new projects that feel meaningful.

What skills/tools/resources I can bring to GOAT
Mostly I’m interested in becoming a collaborator on projects that are looking for farmers.

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Hello all,

I’m Dan Kane. I’m a Ph.D. student at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. I’ve been working with some others at the university on a project we’re calling Quick Carbon ( We use open source reflectometers built by @gbathree to measure soil carbon content on agricultural soils. I also study soil carbon cycling more broadly and how soil carbon as an ecosystem property creates resilience.


Knowledge of soils and conservation ag systems. Lots of experience with field research. Data science and coding in R.

Who I am

Hi, I’m Weston Triemstra and I am a senior software developer and product manager. I run a product development shop building modern web and mobile apps. I live in Vancouver, Canada and work with Rob Barreca (above) on LocalOrbit.

I love working on disruptive web technologies that change the world for the better.

What I do

I write code (ruby, javascript), manage products, wrangle freelancers, and advise on strategy for clients across several industries (GHG measurement, relationship counselling, and food distribution).

Relationship to GOAT

I work on LocalOrbit, which as Rob has described really well above 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."
I’m interested to learn from others experience managing open source food projects and we how might coordinate efforts.

Hi all, I’m Barbara Hickam. I was studying genetics at UCSD when I became concerned about the extirpation of ag species. I also worked in the food coop and was a founder of the coop restaurant where I learned consensus building and cooperative mgmt. Since then, I’ve carried an interest in the commons, cooperation, and the “source hypocrisy” of biopiracy, and patenting common forms of nature. My education was interrupted early on, but I was able to return to Columbia University where I graduated in Sustainable Development last October. While I studied halftime, I started a mushroom farm on a friend’s property in upstate NY, so sustainable agriculture has always been my focus. I have a passion for regenerative agriculture.

I’ve embraced myself as a generalist. As such, I have some GIS and spatial analysis, some facilitation, some R and Predictive Modeling, some laboratory, and some legal. I’m also a traditional herbalist (20 years). I’m interested in pursuing conservation planning and developing “agrihoods” incorporating the sharing economy with ecological farming.

I’m very excited to be a part of this community and look forward to meeting you all!

Hi all!

I am Richard and I am from all over (originally South Africa, then Mauritius, now living and working in the US).
I’m working with Deep Space Ecology, where our CEO and CSO will also be attending GOATech.

My background is as a Mechanical, and Systems Engineer with a strong interest in the full life cycle of systems to improve overall sustainability (environmentally and economically). I joined Deep Space Ecology almost a year ago.

I’m hoping to get more involved in helping to address local, sustainable food production (in particular in places where it has proven difficult), as well as help progress the space industry and our ability to survive longer in space and on other worlds.

I look forward to learning from everyone and the discussions we’ll be having!

Who am I (still trying to figure that out myself)?

Hi, my name is Yin-Lin Chiu, but I go by Jack (that in itself, is a short and interesting story). I wear two hats, Ph.D. student at Arkansas State University Environmental Sciences program, and Hydrologist with the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service - Delta Water Management Research Unit in Jonesboro, AR (whew, need to catch my breath). I try to be helpful to everyone with my skills, but often times that causes me to become the “white rabbit” and then I am always running around thinking “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m really really late.” >_<

What you do?
When I wear my student hat, my Ph.D. project I am working on is focused on developing a wireless sensor network for monitoring water levels in large operation production agriculture rice fields to help manage and time irrigation. As for my work hat that has the title “Hydrologist” on paper, I am the support scientist under Dr. Michele L. Reba (great supervisor to work for!).

What projects you work on?
At night, when I am a student, I am working on integrating/developing sensors, data collection, remote telemetry, computer databases, scripted analysis procedures, automation, programming, and dissertation. In the daytime, I do the same things as a student, but implement those skills to assist with ongoing research projects. I manage a small group to design, acquire, build, and deploy monitoring equipment for projects such as Mississippi River Healthy Basin Initiative, groundwater/surface water monitoring, weather stations system, water level monitoring related to irrigation, soil moisture monitoring, eddy covariance emissions monitoring, and volunteer IT for the group.

What skills/tools/resources you can bring to GOAT
I have experience with programming and designing with microcontrollers such as BASIC Stamp, BASIC Atom Pro, Arduino, MBED, and computer programming with c, python, javascript, SQL. I also have experience with Campbell Scientific data loggers (CR10x to CR5000), PAK Bus networks, and National Instrument Compact Field Point with LabView programming. Circuit board design, etching, soldering. Always willing to take on a challenge. Give me a problem, a little bit of time, and I will come up with a few solutions.

Why openness in ag is important to you?
Agriculture seems to have a bit of a lag when it comes to properly implementing technology. My hopes are to be able to bridge applicable technology with Agriculture by providing easy access from both sides.

Thanks for your time.


P.S. “I’m late, I’m late, I’m really really late!:

who you are

My name is Ian Cooke. My schooling is in applied mathematics and computer science.

what you do

I am currently Lead Computational Scientist at Applied GeoSolutions (AGS). This hat includes hacking science code AND being the one who cleans up hacky science code and integrates into an operational system.

what projects you work on

Currently working on improvements to our Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS) and mapping tillage and cover cropping practices across the “Corn Belt” (LRR-M).

what skills/tools/resources you can bring to GOAT

GIS, Remote Sensing, numerical analysis, sw-dev process, ?and more?

Geospatial Image Processing System (GIPS):

AGS maintains an open source framework for handling the management and processing of remote sensing data sets. Included in the distribution are data-drivers for managing Landsat, Sentinel-2, PRISM Climate Data, NASA MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), and the NASS Cropland Data Layer (CDL).

why openness in ag is important to you

There are tons of remotely sensed datasets that can be used by anyone can access. By having an open system to which anyone can contribute data drivers, this helps to we can all benefit from the shared knowledge and resource.

Hello from Dennis Buckmaster at Purdue University

I currently wear 3 hats … Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Asst. Dean for Academic Programs in Agriculture and Dean’s Fellow for Digital Agriculture. For a long time, my research focused on forage and livestock systems with emphasis on mathematical modeling, systems analysis, and equipment development. I am a “machinery guy” at heart and worked in horticultural mechanization for awhile. Lately my focus has been in data/decision support with involvement in both hardware and software. Ah, but … at this point, it feels like I don’t “do” anything … just have my fingers and thoughts in several areas with some tremendous collaborators and students. I used to program in FORTRAN, but now I program in “graduate student”.

We just launched the Open Ag Technology and Systems Center at Purdue. Some of the projects out of this group include IsoBlue, TrialsTracker, OpenATK apps (rock, fieldwork), a couple water apps (watershed delineation, waterplane). We lead the development and implementation of the Open Ag Data Alliance API which had a recent application release in Trellis for food safety audits. I believe OATS can leverage GOAT well and we hope to participate to a large degree.

I and my colleagues are still farmers, too. I have a hobby farm and retain stock in a family farm in Northeastern IN. My siblings cover somewhere between 7000 and 8000 acres in Northeastern IN.

I am also involved with a Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) project which is to bring IoT t agriculture in order to bring about significant regional development (funded by the Lilly Foundation).

I teach Agricultural Systems Management students and many of them go back to farms or fill key roles in agribusiness. We are increasing the data/digital aspects of that curriculum but still have a ways to go.

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Hi, there! I realized I never introduced myself, so for the record, here we go.

A few things about me:

  • Ph.D. student at Iowa State University
  • Part of the Integrated Cropping Systems Lab
  • Research focus on the use of crop-soil models to explore resource-use efficiency across environmental conditions and management
  • Interested in using process-based models as “engines” to support decision-making
  • Soon-to-be moving to the next step! (read: looking for a job)

What I can provide to the community:

  • Expertise (some) on how process-based models work
  • Experience using the R language for data processing and analysis
  • Knowledge of crop ecophysiology and agroecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water cycling

What I’m looking to get out of the community:

  • Discover new ways of conceptualizing my workflow and novel tools
  • Collaboration for designing reliable, adaptive data collection systems (e.g. field-to-lab data streams, farmer surveys)
  • Partnerships for developing relevant open-source data sharing mechanisims

Hi! I’m Yaguang Zhang from Purdue University, an Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student currently working on a couple of projects for Open Ag Technology and Systems Center (OATS).

In these projects, we are particularly interested in developing algorithms to automatically extract high-level information from GPS tracks recorded for agriculture vehicles. The applications of these algorithms include but not limited to: high-precision field shape generation; vehicle activity recognition; and product traceability. We are now trying to apply more machine learning techniques in our work to decrease the effort needed for developing new algorithms and possibly increase their performance at the same time.

My skills are mainly for signal processing and machine learning. I use Matlab a lot for data analysis, and guided by our goals, I’m developing knowledge on other machine learning tools like Torch, Caffe and TensorFlow. I’m also able to develop Android apps using Java and web apps (mainly) using JavaScript.

We are big fans of open-source projects. As researchers, we have been taking advantages of open-source projects as much as we can to save time in coding and debugging. Beyond that, for the algorithm development, if there are more (possibly high-quality and labeled) data available for us, we will gain much more freedom on what techniques can be considered or developed. In other words, we are looking forward to more openness in ag not only for programming, but also for data sharing.

Hi everyone,

I had to leave very early into the conference to attend to a work emergency in Boston. In the span of five hours, I had several interesting conversations that I expected to continue over the next three days, but life got in the way. If we spoke and you later thought to yourself, “Hey, what happened to that guy with the red hair?”…here I am. You can contact me at


Hello all! I’m Jeff Fiechter. I’m with Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and I’m currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, with a focus on Digital Agriculture. I’m a member of the Purdue OATS group (Open Ag. Technology and Systems).

I grew up on a commercial farm in Northeastern Indiana. My family cropped about 2,500 acres, raised 40,000 wean-to-finish hogs annually, owned half of a 450 cow dairy, and to top it off ran a few commercial tractor trailer rigs. Out of this grew my love for agriculture, and my desire to empower producers like my family to gain actionable insights from their data.

With the OATS group, I’m working on practical ways for producers to collect and interact with their data. This means simple applications that can be used in real time to collect and display data and insights. In addition, I’m researching Big Data Analysis as it applies to agriculture. Commercial agriculture creates (or has the potential to create) huge data sets, and these have historically been very underutilized. If we can clean the data and make simple trials in every field and barn, we can begin to isolate trends. For instance, with application maps and thought out trials in every field, we could find the average yield boost from applying fungicide over a thousand acres. Or, we could take carcass data on 20,000 hogs to determine the impacts of differing feed mixes. The applications of well utilized data are immense, and can serve well to reshape the way we make decisions in agriculture.