Session: Revision / Reimagine Our Rural Experience

Facilitator: @courtney.king
Documentor: @Paul-Harris


Shared Understandings

De-commodifying and building a collaborative community based on respect, autonomy, and sharing of resources

Farmer first – maximizing value to producers

No or little consensus about basic conditions
• What is being grown
• Where
• How much
• What activity lends to desired end state

What does the future of farming look like in an open ag tech ecosystem?


@courtney.king – grew up north of Rhinebeck, now lives in Colorado, mostly in small ag / college towns. Thinking of assumptions around resources in small towns. Are farmers receptive to changes brought by younger urban in-movers – Facilitator

@Paul-Harris – Hastings-on-Hudson – working on Maple Hill Creamery CSC grant project. Scribe, Note-taker

TIka – Regen Network – Tahoe, Baja

@nedhorning – Regen Network – science team – Vermont

@ChristopheJ – Hotchkiss Colorado – helping people avoid carbon markets scam – city slicker who moved to the country for a more wholesome life

@JeffPiestrak – near Ithaca, NY; interested in young people interested in rural lives, particularly agroforestry.

@DEON – Uganda – works with data, mostly from forests; UN trying to change definition of forest to include urban forest; most of the people they collect data from are in rural areas. Definition of forest intrigued a lot of people


Finger Lakes area is turning into Napa Valley, affordability of real estate is a real issue now as urbanites move in.

Negative reactions of long-time rural people to urban people moving in.

Strong family and friend networks of people who’ve lived in a rural place for generations, and contrast and tension with people moving in.

Farms doing regen ag because they love sustainability, others because they want carbon credits.

Middle class is disappearing, us/them cultural divide.

Finding common ground through not being an asshole.

Driving a pickup – sign of respect, or impostering?

In Uganda, people know their roots are in the rural areas. They get educated and take a job in the city, but go to the rurality often. Everyone has a link to their rural area. Income comes from the city, some goes out to the country.

In the US, connecting people in rural communities to their nearby small urban areas.

Highly-desirable rural areas: people moving in but
But declining areas have a problem, but three people are farming 15,000 acres, but it’s so lonely, and people don’t want to move there.

Two problems
• Highly desirable rural areas – vibrant communities attract urbanites, raise prices beyond local affordability
• Declining rural areas – lack of community

Co-Housing – near Christophe – trying to create access

Strangers: Netflix documentary about a town in Oregon – Rajneesh – problem of ‘strangers’ coming to a community

“Reimagining the Rural Experience” – whose rural experience?

Closing roads so cattle can cross the roads

Peyonia [spelling?] Colorado – blues night at Louie’s pizzeria. Possibilities of connecting over things like food and music.

Education is key, so is experience.

Cultural richness v Cultural desert

for 90% of farmers, the main

Uganda: problem of carbon credits and what’s required – if you plant trees for carbon credits, you can’t grow other crops intermixed.

What could GOAT do?


Work with rural teachers on open ag tech

Field days – in-person connection
• Seed swap event
• Regional GOATs and GOSHs (Gathering of Open

Source Hardware) show up at field days
• Show up at a person’s farm

Develop materials, sharable with our communities, that could explain why open tech is valuable for communities

Open tech – how the Right to Repair act (John Tester) connects to Open Tech
• “How I changed my own field margins rather than having to get the tractor manufacturer do it”

Piggyback on an existing ag conference to connect with farmers