Innovation That Matters

MyFarm lets the crowds take control of a real-world farm

Publishing & Media

The crowds have changed the shape of many enterprises over the years, be it through crowd-management, crowdfunding or crowdsourcing. However, MyFarm — a new project from the UK’s National Trust — takes crowd-management to an area we’ve never seen it before: farming. The 2,500-acre farm, which belongs to the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire, is calling for 10,000 online farmers to govern every aspect of its operations. These subscribers need have no previous farming experience, and will become official “MyFarmers” once they have paid their GBP 30 annual subscription. They will then be able to work with farm manager Richard Morris and the other subscribers to discuss issues and vote once a month on the farm’s major decisions. These decisions are divided into three broad categories: crops being grown, the livestock being bred and general wider issues regarding the farm’s interaction with the environment. Morris will establish the context for these decisions by providing the choices the MyFarmers can vote for, and he will also share his knowledge and offer advice through the MyFarm blog and videos. Subscribers will also receive a free family ticket to the estate and its farm, which usually retails at GBP 38.70, as well as access to the farm’s webcams and radios. An article in The Guardian reports that there are also plans in place for a smartphone app, which will enable Morris to get near-instant decisions from the farmers on a day to day basis — particularly on issues arising from changes in weather. We saw Tweetland taking social network activity and applying it to a game environment, and now My Farm has taken an online gaming model and applied it to the real world. We have no doubt that bridging the gap between online and offline worlds will continue to provide a rich source of innovation for businesses far and wide! (Related: Urban farming expands onto school groundsConnecting buyers and sellers of agricultural goods & servicesScottish barley farm builds onsite brewery.)



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