SMALL FARM TECH
Tools and technology can help farmers improve efficiency, save labor and connect with their customers. But many of the innovations in agriculture today are built for large-scale production, out of reach for most family farms and contribute to mono-cropping, ecological degradation and consolidation in the industry. Here in America, despite our technological progress, we lose 4 farms a day, the average age of farmers has crept up to nearly 60 years old and in 2017, over 50% of farms reported negative net income. Coupled with a "get big or get out" ideology, much of this progress has left smaller farms behind to the detriment of rural economies, social equity and even the health, sustainability and quality of our food.
Whether you're an engineer or just a crafty farmer, a startup or a team of grad students, this year we're challenging you to develop a new innovation that can help smaller-scale farms compete, survive and thrive. From hardware to software, mechanical harvesters to marketing apps, we're seeking proposals for technologies that will help level the playing field, strengthen local food systems and promote on-farm sustainability. As part of this year's Small Farm Tech Expo in Sonoma County, submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges representing farmers, ag business reps, entrepreneurs and the tech industry. Winners will be showcased at our event on December 9th, 2019 as well as at both the EcoFarm and Small Farm Conferences in early 2020, and in video and online with the aim of helping you make your bright idea a reality.
All challenge entrants will be provided the results of our farm tech needs survey, feedback from California-based farms explaining their challenges and interests.
Submissions will be judged based on the following attributes:
EXAMPLES OF RELEVANT CATEGORIES & FARMER NEEDS:
Monitoring: soil moisture, nitrogen, etc.
Sales: CSA, online markets, wholesale tracking
Wash & Pack
Irrigation & water systems
Livestock / grazing management tools
Fill out the below form to register for the Challenge. This is NOT the final submission. After completing this form you will receive updates, an invite to the official application and be provided the results of our farm tech needs survey to help guide your project.
THE SMALL FARM TECH INNOVATION CHALLENGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Founded in 1978, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and The Farmers Guild is a California-based nonprofit that builds sustainable food and farming systems through local and statewide policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs in an effort to initiate institutionalized change.
For more information, contact Evan Wiig at firstname.lastname@example.org and 415-710-5692