Title: Sponsor farmOS as an exhibitor at the 43rd EcoFarm Conference
Submitted by: Paul Weidner
OpenCollective account: Open Source at Eco-Farm - Open Collective
Cost: $800, maximum of $1400
With a stable release of farmOS version 2 just around the corner, now is an exciting time for the farmOS project. This release brings technical improvements to the core of farmOS and represents the many efforts and contributions of our larger community. Over the past year we have seeded initiatives to increase community engagement through weekly development calls, a community blog, social media, and an upcoming newsletter. With these initiatives I believe we are better prepared to actively engage and reach out to our target audience.
As farmOS is built and guided by our community, increasing engagement is important as we continue to grow. A larger community brings users with diverse use cases and ideas that benefit us all. In an effort to carry this momentum into the new year, let’s reinvest in expanding our community and engage with our audience where they are: winter conferences! To start, I propose we sponsor myself to represent farmOS as an exhibitor at the 43rd EcoFarm conference.
EcoFarm is the oldest and largest sustainable farming conference in the West and “brings together farmers, ranchers, and food system workers to inspire each other, and to be the change that makes a difference.” EcoFarm draws 1,500+ attendees made up of 50% farmers & ranchers and 50% distributors, activists, gardeners, researchers, educators, and students. Three days of the conference consist of workshops and keynotes with an “exhibitor hall for businesses and organizations serving the agricultural community.”
Myself and others have represented farmOS at conferences in the past (I believe all 2+ years ago!) and found it to be worthwhile; there is always interest in what we are building and useful connections to be made. Some challenges I’ve faced in the past were the ability to provide succinct demos, demonstrate existing use-cases and provide useful ways for people to stay up to date on the project. Fast forward to now, it feels much easier to demonstrate version 2 and the use-cases we have built in collaboration with other groups and if possible, I would love to have “demo data” prepared on our demo site. I’m also hopeful that the community blog and newsletter will provide useful ways for people to follow the project. Following the conference I would be happy to prepare a blog post summarizing how it went.
In addition to representing farmOS, the plan is to share an exhibitor booth with Laurie Wayne from Open Food Network USA and Amber Subers from OurSci/Farmers Coffee Shop. Collectively we plan to represent the GOAT community, too. Sharing an exhibitor booth with these projects allows us to share cost but is also a unique way to help us stand out at the conference and demonstrate how we work together. The booth space will help us welcome farmers to the Open Source community, do demos and hands-on experiences, talk to those interested in using or contributing to our tools, and learn about each others’ tools too.
Our projects are a great fit for EcoFarm’s audience and we expect a few individual members of our broader communities will be attending. Additionally, I’m seeing that we have already worked with some of the conference sponsors directly (Paicines Ranch) or via our broader OpenTEAM network (General Mills, Tomkat Ranch) as well.
I propose that farmOS contribute $800 to help sponsor farmOS as an exhibitor at the 43rd EcoFarm conference. This will be contributed to a larger Open Collective project where we are seeking additional funding to cover all of our expenses. If our community would like to donate more, that is great, but I’m hoping we can cover all of our expenses with additional funding too.
Outline of total $1400 expenses:
- 1/3rd booth + wifi: $600
- Shared accommodations + food: $400
- Marketing materials: $200
- Travel stipend: $200
Do you support funding this proposal?