Initiated by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, the Northeast Food Knowledge Ecosystem (NEFKE) is an ongoing cooperative effort supporting communication, coordination and collaboration among a broad range of agriculture and food systems stakeholders, researchers and supporters. We envision this evolving knowledge ecosystem fostering a “network of networks”, helping align and link private, public and civil society sector knowledge assets for collective impact, in support of shared goals for sustainable agriculture, healthy, equitable food systems and resilient communities in our region.
Farm Hack is a vital part of this knowledge ecosystem, providing critical R&D space supporting collaborative problem solving and open innovation. The NEFKE Open Shop has been created to share resources and ideas, and for presenting "problem statements" to the Farm Hack community.
A "Farm to Institution Open Data Standard" problem statement has been posted here.
One of the prerequisites for sharing and integrating data across actual and intellectual silos, and within larger decision making frameworks, are consistent and well documented open standards for creating/structuring and sharing/publishing that data. Here at Mann Library we've been working on that issue through our development of the VIVO network, which has evolved to include the USDA, and now internationally as AgriVIVO, using and extending the VIVO ontology (https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/VIVO/VIVO+Ontology). In several cases we've been able to capitalize on Drupal’s ability to both publish and ingest “linked data” like that generated through the [VIVO network](see http://impact.cals.cornell.edu/).
Related efforts like the Open Food Data and the Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development movements are working on this as well. Once we have agreed upon standards, it becomes much easier to develop shared tools and networks for using and repurposing data. This is illustrated through the explosion of easy to use GIS tools as the result of Geospatial Web Services.
I'd love to see the Farm Hack community take this up in earnest, perhaps partnering with NESAWG on our Food Knowledge Ecosystem project, and others like AgSquared, and Public Lab.