It has been a full and productive winter at the BFA this year, with much to report. After a very successful 6th Soil & Nutrition Conference in December, we have been touring the country giving two-day courses, offering lectures, speaking at conferences, and some very interesting meetings in between.
It feels like the BFA is really coming into its own at the national level as a grassroots organization. In addition to already existing and established Chapters, new groups are coalescing in Vermont, Delaware, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico and California. If you are interested in joining or even starting a chapter locally, don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to all who have been involved in these efforts.
Beyond this organizational growth, we have been actively taking the necessary steps this winter to bring to fruition our vision of a handheld device for discerning crop quality. Many are aware of our goal to give consumers the ability to test quality at the point of purchase, and to use that as a driver to facilitate systemic evolution in harmony with biological systems. In our organizational retreat last August, we decided to stop just talking about this vision, and to set about creating it!
We subsequently spent last fall identifying the key components necessary, and laid out what we had put together to an assembled audience of members and allies on the third day of the Soil & Nutrition Conference in December. The consensus from that meeting was to move forward with the project, and that process has been proceeding this winter.
We have built a team of allies, and drafted the documents to achieve and explain the process, and have been sharing them across the country, engaging with very influential collaborators in the process.
I have been waiting until the proper time to publicly announce these developments, and feel that moment has arrived.
Our objective is multi-purpose: It is not only to develop a tool that can be used by consumers to choose the best quality crops with a flash of light at point of purchase, but to identify what the variation is in crop quality in the food supply, and to identify what environmental conditions are necessary to produce high quality crops.
This entire process is being performed in and for the commons, with no proprietary data or engineering.
We are in active conversation with foundations, agronomic and nutrition researchers, numerous organizations, companies, and thought leaders across the country about support for this project. Watch for public announcements of formal endorsement from these allies and others in the coming weeks.
We are looking to raise $10 million in the next 3-5 years to accomplish this effort, and we are very optimistic about the prospects of securing the necessary funding to manifest our vision.
This brings me to the "ask" part of this missive.
A final piece of this project, and in fact a primary one, is one where most of those reading this can be of assistance.
The BFA has thus far in its existence operated primarily through word of mouth, and has not had much of a presence in either the traditional media or social media.
As the time has come for us to actively take on the next stage of our mission, we are ready to change our relationship to media and the larger collective consciousness.
In the coming weeks, you will see a marked uptick in our presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as we prepare to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise the initial funds to support this research/platform/tool project.
We plan to clearly lay out our vision, strategy and plan through these media and others, and expect that that process will greatly increase the broader public awareness and support for our objectives.
If you have social media accounts, and have not followed or friended the BFA, please consider doing so. If you see posts we put out that you would like to share and send on to your communities, please do.
When the crowdfunding campaign is launched please consider sharing with your networks. If you would like to suggest groups that we should follow or be linked with, let us know. Jessica Smith, Chapter leader from Virginia, has generously offered to coordinate this project, and can be reached at email@example.com.
If you are interested in the larger project and would like to read the plan, and offer comment or support, please reach out to me. And of course, if there are introductions that you can offer, again, please reach out.
The time has come for this to be realized, and through the collective it flows effortlessly.