FarmHack: Iowa hopes to open source a small-farming movement
The entrepreneurial spirit of a Startup Weekend is coming soon to a farm in Iowa. FarmHack: Iowa, a project of the National Young Farmers' Coalition, will bring small farmers together to connect and solve problems. They'll convene in Mechanicsville and Iowa City, June 20-21.
"I've always been an entrepreneur," presenter Grant Schultz said on Tuesday. "I think a lot of people who have had more conventional jobs kind of rebel from that. Farming gives you more freedom."
That rebellious spirit is paired with an ever-growing interest in food culture to form a groundswell movement. Schultz said even people who have no family background in farming are getting into it now.
One of the biggest challenges faced by small farmers is a lack of appropriate equipment. As agriculture has gotten bigger and bigger (especially in the Midwest), the tools needed to run a small, independent farm have grown scarce — some items have been out of production since the 1920s.
Schultz will be presenting his electric tractor (left), which was a 1952 model he converted to run off of eight go-kart batteries. Participants can learn how to build a similar model, as well as develop and share their own projects.
"We want to open source the movement, make it easy for everyone," Schultz said.
You don’t have to be a farmer to attend the Hack — to register, fill out the Farm Hack: Iowa form.
Credits: Event photo courtesy FarmHack. Tractor photo courtesy Grant Schultz.