Silicon Valley contest enhances ag sustainability

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Food industry leaders met with entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley for a three-day event to discuss sustainable agriculture and seek solutions through digital technology.

The 48-hour meeting gathered entrepreneurs, technologists and creatives in a “hackathon.” Experts in the food industry presented challenges facing sustainable meat production and consumption, and assisted teams as they developed hardware and software solutions.

Winning projects connect resources and products to farmers and consumers alike.

Projects receiving awards were:

  • Grand Prize Winner: FarmStacker, an eHarmony or AirBnb-like tool that connects young farmers to land and capital.
  • Best Business: Cow Share With Us, a purchasing platform that facilitates group buying of whole animals.
  • Best Social Good: Buyotic, a mobile app that helps consumers shop their values by locating antibiotic-free chicken and make pledges to purchase it.
  • Best Use of Technology: Agent Yum, a Google glass application that allows shoppers to scan food products in the grocery store to deliver GMO and antibiotic ratings.
  • Best Design: Beefopedia, a web-based portal that educates consumers on and celebrates the qualities of heritage beef.

Winning teams received prize money and consulting services from professionals to further develop their ideas.

"There has never been more interest in sustainable meat production, but the challenges of scaling it to the population are huge,” said Danielle Gould, founder of Food+Tech Connect and event organizer. Danielle was appreciative of the participating companies working together to address challenges and build a better future for food.

To educate the 24 participating teams, Butchers Ryan Farr and Kent Schoberle from 4505 Meats conducted a live butchery demo. Meals for the weekend included a spit-roasted pork tasting and other sustainable food and drink.

The event was hosted at the Institute of Design at Stanford by Food+Tech Connect in partnership with Applegate and GRACE Communications Foundation.



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