Having now thought hard about what Farm-PEP could be, discussed widely and posted many updates, we have been challenged to bring our current thoughts together into a punchy proposal that we can use to 'sell' Farm-PEP to potential sponsors. Below is a first attempt, incorporating latest thinking on content here - please help us improve this:
Farmers make decisions every day. Where can they go for help in making those decisions? They may ask advisors, or speak with peers. The Farming Forum is a good place to pose questions and look for answers online. Lots of people post useful experiences on Twitter, but they are rarely preserved for the long term. And there is much useful information and guides available from AHDB & others. Agricultural shows bring together experts and organisations but only come round once a year. But there is nowhere that provides relevant trusted information across agriculture all year round. Farm-PEP aims to provide an online space to help inform the decisions that farmers make to help improve performance and productivity.
Farm-PEP will work by recognising that useful knowledge and experience can come from many sources; from farmers and practitioners through advisors and industry to researchers and academics. The key is to summarise the information available into relevant nuggets of knowledge that farmers can use with confidence.
Farm-PEP will be open to any Person or any organisation (Partner) to post Pages. The Pages can contain anything that someone deems useful, whether a project, a product, an idea, an experience, an event, a video or a resource. People can react to Pages, by commenting, liking, rating, following, sharing, reporting or flagging. Pages can be tagged to Topics. The Topics will link together the content and People and Partners. Topics will be managed by Stewards. Topics have a structure and hierarchy so that closely matched Topics sit together. Each Topic will have a page that distills the available evidence, giving trusted knowledge nuggets written by Stewards. The Topic page will preview the most highly rated Pages, People and Partners associated with that Topic. We believe that this approach can provide useful knowledge to practitioners that is relevant, robust and dynamic. It allows anyone interested to find out more, or add experiences and to challenge what's written, so that 'best practice' advice is continually improved and updated.
For Farm-PEP to succeed it will need to engage with a wide audience of users. There will be a big job for Stewards in marshaling, curating and distilling content & Topics. Farm-PEP needs to be primed with sufficient content from the outset to make it of value to farmers and practitioners, which will take time and money. The ultimate outputs of Farm-PEP will be a 'public good', free to all. We are therefore seeking public funding for Farm-PEP. However, we believe that Farm-PEP will benefit from industry involvement from the outset. We therefore seek sponsorship for founding PEP Partners to exhibit their organisations with Pages as they would with stands at an Agricultural Show - The funds will help develop the infrastructure of Farm-PEP and to pay the costs of Stewards to create and curate Farm-PEP knowledge.
If you would be interested in becoming a Founding Farm-PEP Partner then please get in touch.
We've now updated the Wire frames for PEP - view here. Let us know what you think.