Building Collaborations for Technology-Driven Solutions in Agriculture

Year Awarded  2019

FFAR award amount   $5,000,000

Total award amount   $12,008,763

Location   Freeport, ME

Matching Funders   The Stonyfield Foundation, Stonyfield Organic, Wolfe's Neck Center, Our.Sci, Regen Network, UBC, MSU, AGS, CSU, Cool Farm Alliance, Soil Health Partnership, CU Boulder, General Mills

  • Soil Health

Aiding On-Farm Decisions Through Connections to Data & Knowledge:

Agriculture can heavily rely on technology, especially as the sector is rapidly becoming more data driven. More farmers are using technology, whether it is a spreadsheet for farm management or a decision support tool, to understand how their farm is doing and how it might be impacting the environment around them. These tools and systems are often disconnected from each other, causing additional burdens and duplication of information for farmers and their trusted advisors.

Through OpenTEAM, key agricultural stakeholders are collaborating to build connectivity across systems, tools and data.

Research Built Infrastructure to Connect Technologies & Increase Access to Data:

With Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) funding, OpenTEAM launched in 2019 to create an open-source technology ecosystem that enables farmer-control of data, knowledge sharing and access to programs and marketplace incentives through increased interoperability between various tools, functions and data.

The community establishes shared data frameworks and technical specifications for community-driven solutions that make data collection, sharing and analysis the most functional for farmers and ranchers. This includes building shared technical backend infrastructure and working with developers to provide the building blocks that can be utilized in farmer-facing platforms. Through this, the OpenTEAM community enables a system of connected technologies across the agricultural sector that allows farmers to enter data once and use it many times, increasing access to agricultural knowledge and fostering data sovereignty for farmers. This work is crucial in supporting farmers’ journeys toward implementing more regenerative practices that support agriculture’s transition to a more sustainable food system.

Through the power of open technology and collaboration, we aim to break down silos across the agricultural sector and empower landscape-level transformation that would not have been possible without FFAR’s initial investment. Dr. Dorn Cox
Chief Advisor for Technology and Research at Wolfe’s Neck Center and community steward for OpenTEAM

More recently, OpenTEAM’s host organization, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & Environment, received multi-million-dollar funding from USDA to expand initiatives fostered by FFAR’s initial $5 million investment. OpenTEAM maintains a public website and shares technical outputs for review and use through community documentation.

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