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Stewarding technological freedom in agriculture

Michael Stenta, Don Blair, Jamie Gaehring

Farming is one of humanity’s oldest technologies, and while the principles of free software may only seem relevant to the past 70 years of innovation, farmers have been struggling to keep their technology free for the last 12 millennia. In this session, we’ll look at some scenarios of where this truth has been borne out in our work creating free farm management software with farmOS, and deploying free hardware solutions with Edge Collective. These projects have shown us that the principles of free software can and do make a real difference to farming communities, both large and small, across the globe. Whether it’s by preserving the right to repair tractors, sensors and other equipment on their farm, or by enshrining their right to access, store, and share their valuable data when, where, and how they choose, granting farmers with more freedom leads to better outcomes for the communities who rely on them.


3 years, 7 months ago

Tagged with

FSF · video · lp2020 · LibrePlanet · LibrePlanet 2020 · LibrePlanet 2020 video · LibrePlanet conference · Free the Future · panel · Michael Stenta · Don Blair · Jamie Gaehring · agriculture


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.