‘Farm Bill of Health’ Wins Civic-Minded Hackathon

This is a guest post by Brian Borger, director of content and strategy at Gojee. Follow him on Twitter at @BrianBorger.

When a sleepy 8:30 a.m. rolled around last Saturday, the labyrinthine co-working space that Cookstr calls home roared to life. Around 120 developers, designers, data crunchers, policy experts, and marketers participated in the Farm Bill Hack, hosted by Food+Tech Connect and Gojee to analyze and spread the word about the crucial piece of legislation that will be making its way through D.C. in the coming months. The bill determines funding for the agriculture industry, and influences which crops farmers produce, their quantities, and their prices.

Participants broke into teams to tackle 10 different topics tied to the Farm Bill, ranging from tracking government dollars to new farmers to facilitating communication between Hudson Valley apple orchardists. (Full list of proposed topics here.)

As tends to happen with research projects, a lofty analytical goal or two occasionally fell victim to the inherent difficulties of dealing with data. But as the deadline closed in, morale remained high and the hackers continued to fight the good fight. Ten hours in, each team was energetically pitching catchy ways to represent their findings.

In the end, the “Farm Bill of Health” walked away with top prize for the group’s accessible depiction of the funding disparity between commodity crops vs. fruits and vegetables. Second prize went to Meatlessly.com, a mobile app designed to encourage participation in Meatless Mondays.

For more information about the projects and winners from this amazingbunch of weekend warriors, read more at Food+Tech Connect. ‘Farm Bill of Health’ Wins Civic-Minded Hackathon