Farmwave Is Building an Online Community for Data-Driven Farming

Guest post by Refresh Working Group members Craig Gannsle and Chris Chan from Farmwave

At Farmwave, we have had the pleasure of meeting with academics, governments, farmers, agronomists, technicians, and farm workers from all over the world. Their feedback has been invaluable to our work. We’ve seen first-hand how bringing together people can lead to new and often better ways of getting things done.

A big part of why we’re building Farmwave is to connect people who grow, plant, harvest, distribute, and eat food around the globe with each other. Together, we can solve the challenges facing the global food supply network: technical interoperability, food waste, food deserts, and more. Technology can only get us so far; people will get us the rest of the way.

Recently, we opened up a Slack channel, called the Global Community, that we introduced in a Medium post excerpted below. It is free, open to all, and custom-made to promote discussions about agriculture. Feel free to join us! We look forward to some interesting conversations.

Farmwave is not here to waste your time so we’ll get right to the point.

Time is a commodity we can’t get back. We’re not going to tell you how to farm; you know that. What we can help with is how to run your operation more effectively and in constant communication with others and solve problems in real time.

Why?

Because agriculture is one big logistics business with decisions to make every hour and those decisions can change in an instant due to a multitude of reasons!

In a nutshell, Farmwave allows you to create Field Reports; that’s it. But it’s what’s in those reports and where they go that’s key.

A Field Report is any combination of photos, videos, notes, or the use of our AI tools like disease and pest recognition or counting app. It automatically captures your location, date, time, weather, and soon growing degree days. When you create a Field Report where should it go? That’s up to you! Share it with groups of people, keep it to yourself, particular teams, university ag extensions… anyone else in Farmwave you choose.

We’ve teamed up with Slack as the backend communications portal for agriculture and integrated right within it. Why Slack? Why another chat tool? Why do I need to now learn this?

Because you told us to… that’s why.

Over the years we’ve been told by farmers, agronomists, crop consultants, and many others about the broken and fragmented communications within agriculture. Some people text. Some people just call. We use WhatsApp. The university just tells us to post to Twitter and tag them in the post and they’ll get back to us ASAP. We’ve used Instagram. They use e-mail… and so on.

THIS is why we’re bringing Slack to you. THIS is why we chose to build a responsive progressive web application to integrate into the daily communications and decisions you make. The key to success in battle is effective communications.

Why don’t we just start our own communities in Slack? Why do we need Farmwave?

Because for us Slack is just the beginning. The Farmwave web app will integrate only with the Slack workspaces we allow. Because we’ve done the hard work on building the communities, bridging the channels, and monitoring and managing it.

Ready to get involved? Join here.

Ben Thelen
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