The challenge

FarmBuild is a unique distribution model for Agriculture Victoria science. The challenge was finding an effective and efficient way to engage with a broad range of users including researchers, software developers and agribusiness managers. A Hack Day, on August 17, used agile project development to successfully engage participants with FarmBuild’s open source repositories in a supported team environment. Three teams worked hard for several hours to prototype three new apps.

The audience

The Hack Day attracted participants from Devondale Murray Goulburn, Rubicon Water, EnviroEye, AgriWebb, Department of Environment Lane Water and Planning, and Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources.

The participants demonstrated an enthusiasm for FarmBuild, with positive evaluation statements such as "great use of open source in Government", "showcased how easy to develop applications", and "great experience working in an agile approach". Sixty percent of participants intend to keep using FarmBuild after the Hack Day, with the remaining 40% likely to keep using FarmBuild.

The solutions

At the end of the day, the three teams had three working prototype applications to demonstrate: soil mapping by soil type, chemical spray management including withholding periods, and animal health risk assessment for Cow Downer Syndrome.

Each of these prototypes will be extended, with work continuing with the Hack Day participants. These prototypes will also demonstrate the vast potential of FarmBuild to agribusiness and software developers that could not be present at the Hack Day.

The collaborators

FarmBuild is funded by Agriculture Victoria. The Hack Day was successfully run with the guidance of Spatial Vision.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford MP boosted the profile of FarmBuild using her social media accounts with a tweet at approximately 1pm, and a FaceBook post at 6pm. Twitter read "Turning @VicGovAg science into useful digital tools for farmers at the FarmBuild Hack Day".

Benefit to Industry

FarmBuild provides a unique solution to the growing demand for "open source" and "freely available" data and information. Agribusiness and industry can develop easy-to-use online tools using FarmBuild that can then be delivered to farmers and advisers to make better operational decisions for their farm. Application of our science is essential to support primary industries and meet the demands of growing markets, as well as responsible management of natural resources.

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