A letter to the community on the day of our Fall 2020 release
Dear community members,
We live in unprecedented times. Humanity faces immense challenges right now, from a global pandemic that has claimed over a million lives to widespread political and social unrest. It’s all too easy to allow these urgent and unfolding disasters to claim our mindspace, but indifferent to it all, climate change marches on. Biodiversity is declining, sustainable farming continues to be financially challenging, and yet the number of individuals needing access to healthy fruit and vegetables continues to grow. How can we feed current and future generations while protecting biodiversity and other ecosystem services?
If you are reading this letter, you are part of the solution. Four years ago, a small group of farmers and scientists posed two very important questions, “How can we build technology to help farmers using sustainable farming practices manage their farms more effectively?” and “How can we gather better evidence on the outcomes of sustainable farming practices, in order to drive change at scale?”. We’ve started to answer both these questions with LiteFarm. Please join us on this journey!
From day one, the guiding principle for the LiteFarm project is that farmers need to be at the centre of the design process in order for solutions to meet their needs. We’re proud of our mission:
To meet farmers where they are, and equip them with the tools they need, to make informed and responsible decisions about the health of their farm, their livelihood, their community, and the planet.
LiteFarm is the first open-access farm management application built exclusively for current and aspiring sustainable and diversified farmers. The application helps with real-time, within-season cost of production by crop, and also reports on a wide number of innovative socio-ecological metrics such as the number of people fed, labour happiness, soil organic matter, nitrogen and water use, and biodiversity. Farmers own and have immediate access to the data and insights they generate in the app and have sole authority to decide if or how it’s shared. We’ve worked hard to create LiteFarm as a true public good for farmers and the planet.
Right now, LiteFarm is being used by sustainable farms across North America. We have the ambitious goal to serve 10,000 farmers globally by 2023. Our strategy for expansion relies on and builds upon our present-day partnerships, and is outlined in detail later in this document. However, ensuring farmers have access to the application is only a small part of the equation. For farmers to use LiteFarm to support their sustainability goals, they need to see value in what we offer. To accomplish this, we’ve built a robust roadmap and are in the process of strengthening our feedback mechanisms to ensure we continue to build what farmers need most.
LiteFarm is a nascent, yet thriving and rapidly growing, community that has been built from the contributions of countless individuals. In a few short years, we’ve grown into a full-time, fully dedicated team of farmers, researchers, and software professionals actively contributing and collaborating with project teams across the globe. I’m honored and humbled to steward this product, team, and community as we transition to our next stage of growth. Thank you for joining us in this journey and being part of the answer our founders posed back in 2016.