Eco Farm 2024 registration just went live and a few of us were wondering if we should bring GOAT conference box back for another stint at the Eco Farm Expo. Eco Farm will be in Monterey, CA from Jan 17-20 and expo details can be found in this pdf. A booth costs approx $1800 (if we get the same as last year).
Last we we saw tools with producers as a user group garner the most interest. So farmOS and Open Food Network received a lot of attention. If you’ve got a producer facing tool or tech and want to join or be represented respond to this thread!
The expo was a great way to connect with producers and with other vendors. It was also valuable to meet folks at events and sessions who didn’t make their way to the expo, so attending as a non-expo person has an appeal too. With our minuscule budget and uncertain future, I’m not sure it’s responsible for OFN to sponsor a human presence there at the expo, even with a shared booth and mutualized resources, which is 100% the way to go and a great idea for folks who can make it work (your thoughts, @AmberS?). That said, I am hoping to figure out how to catch a ride with colleagues from UC, and if I were to go I would definitely pitch in time at a potential expo booth. So not “hell no”, but “alas, probably no” for me personally. Of course OFN would love to connect with folks who could benefit from our software offering and community, so if that were possible it would be great and we could totally offer cool OFN tshirts to folks at any potential booth!
There was definitely a lot of interest in farmOS and the Open Food Network last year. And we did have several farmers that showed interest in GOAT as well. I definitely think it would be worth it to have a presence at the conference. Our Sci would like to help contribute toward the cost.