Session: missing voices from the ag tech space

Session Notes:


Summary from discussion:

  • More regional, decentralized systems and events to bring people together. Like GOAT in regions.
  • Cooperatives can work as a successful model to house ag tech efforts where trust has been established and growers can participate in the way they would like - without causing more burden on them. Ecuador co-op example of how 400 farmers have 10 smart phones to share amongst them and leads visit
  • GOAT can be the bridge to provide valuable technologies that are based in justice and support co-shaping our digital futures vs having the tech ship being driven at us.

Action Item - Justice orientation around Tech Sovereignty - further exploration needed to define this so everyone understands it. Other organizations have used this such as

French org that has open commons, book published on “Taking Back the land from the Machine” L’Atelier Paysan - Coopérative d’autoconstruction co-op that Samuel represents

Transcription from discussion
What brought you here to this conversation?
Matthew- what is it about a community that makes people feel welcome, encouraged, etc. The question that he wants to anser?
Samuel - a farmer, farmers are missing from Ag Tech Conversations. Work actively to incorporate. Farm Hack.
Mica - Precision Sustainable Agriculture. software engineers, stereotypes, not all developers, good developers who aren’t the typical stereotype. Taking complex problems and solving them. Taking a bigger idea and breaking them down into smaller pieces. Get new/fresh ideas to the table.
Steve - just picked one.
Genna - OpenTeam.
Elizabeth -
Will - Regen Foundation, just here for the day. Western Mass. Regen Network working on a Web3 includes blockchain, crypto, etc… Web2 - current chain of internet. Working with lots of land stewards.
From stickies -
How to invite more young people
How to support program developers
How can growers and non-technologist participate, best shape and inform ag tech?
How do farmers maintain power? When world become more digital
Voices missing from the conversation
Who/How is collecting data and how is it managed?
Technology assessment process for just innovation - Samuel.
Where are the farmers and workers?
We need users involved from the start?
How to bring in the needs and concerns of people not in this room?

We are in this room because of privilege? We have all been filtered into this room?

Samuel - assumptions that we are moving to digital agriculture. No obligation to adopt digital technologies. It is a foregone conclusion. Where does technology best into the agricultural landscape? They farm to escape technology? Market Channels?

What are appropriate interfaces between farmers.

What are the problems:
Software developers: farmers aren’t in the loop at all?
Get farmers into the design sessions. Farmers don’t want to. Many farmers don’t want agricultural digital driven approach.
Farmers can self address needs to supporters.
Eat from Farms and GrownBy.
Steve - need to convince them that they want to be involved? Technology shouldn’t be developed just because they can. If they aren’t here because they don’t know about it vs abstaining.
People who want it who aren’t here and people who alienate themselves?
Steve - aren’t aware a technology solution exists for something.
Canadian co-op - 300 Quebec farmers in open-source hardware (L’Atelier Paysan - Coopérative d’autoconstruction) . He has a lot of distrust. “Harvest our data” for profit. Concerns from the user is governance model, make a unicorn and sell it. What is the governance model that he can trust? They will work with them if they are co-op, not extraction, restrictions on who they partner with.
Samuel’s need is how to interface with other networks, and how to best develop their network, governance mechanisms. Sharing more
Limitations for software cooperative with governance structure. Global cooperative - work with an organization to learn more from them and maybe share how they can do it.
LeCAPAY. [get name from SAMUEL!]
What is the vision for GOAT? How does this tie in with that conversation? Defining that is a challenge. Who are we targeting? People have different ideas on
Many farmers don’t want to do specific tasks - it would be awesome to employ people to do these things. Services could be provided.
Mica - they receive grants to collect and analyze the data. They have obtained trust with the farmers. Field techs are the

People being pushed out from technology, different levels of technology,
Related to conversation, “What is it about a community that makes people feel welcome, encouraged, etc. The question that he wants to anser.
Generational. Socio-economic status.
Matthew - Political interest in underlying politics of the technology being used. Thinking of 70s. Will - 15 years ago, friends who lived off grid, Agriculture is one of the last terrains of getting away from screens, etc. Co-hort of young friends who are screen heavy but off grid - unplugging from corporations/capitilism.
Samuel - not anti-technology, framing as food sovereignty as tech sovereignty. Different tech.
Give people sovereign ID. Register people on a blockchain - who don’t have access to get an ID. Not participating in digital technology is to not exist - folks will need access to proof of existence.
My question to Matthew - how is their crowd sourced funding model different from Kiva/Heffer, etc.
OpenTeam Network in CO - Terra genasis. 400 cacao farmers in Ecudaor - only 10 phones to share amongst growers. Regenerative farming certification -
Solution - a GOAT herder to help direct interest towards appropriate scale and technology of using different things.
NFT issued to a farmer - give $3K to farm co-ops across the world. Every place has a different way to doing things.
Samuel’s - farmers don’t want to use it. Resources allotted and government support transition. But justice has to be included.
Taking back the land from the Machine - French Title