“We’re looking for 10,000 people to take control of one of our working farms at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire as part of an online public experiment to connect tens of thousands of people with how food is produced on a real working farm.
The MyFarm project will give an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into how the 1,200 acre organic farm operates and our 10,000 Farmers will help make farming decisions throughout the year.
From whether to grow wheat, barley or oats, through to which animals to buy and rear, the Farmers’ decisions will be put into practice by Wimpole Farm Manager, Richard Morris.
As the country’s biggest farmer – more than 80 per cent of the 250,000 hectares of land under our care is farmed in some way – it is our role to re-connect people with farming to promote care for the land.
MyFarm will be a bit like Farmville for real, giving consumers the chance to get involved in the real business of farming, deepening their relationship with how food is produced so they can participate beyond just being consumers.
How will it work?
Wimpole Home Farm – the farm at the centre of this experiment – is a 1,200 acre mixed farm and home to a range of rare breed animals. Our Farm Manager will be the man responsible for setting the decisions, feeding in information and then carrying out the wishes of his 10,000 new bosses.
Though facilitated online, the Farmers’ decisions will affect everything from the crops that are grown and animals that are stocked, through to investments in new facilities and machinery. Each major decision will be made within the framework of our sustainable approach as Europe’s largest conservation organisation and will be debated by the community and then voted on.
Each time a major decision is needed Richard will set the context, pose the options – with the pros and cons of each – and start an online discussion with the Farmers. Farmers will have two weeks to debate the issue, feed in information and ask questions of Richard and his team. The majority vote will be carried out on farm so that they see the real life consequences of that decision play out.
To help with the decisions there will be a lot of online content, including live webchats and comment and opinion from both well known farming experts and our tenant farmers.
Farmers will be asked to pay a one-year subscription fee of £30 to cover the costs of running the experiment. We will receive no money – every penny will be invested into the project.
By the end of the first year, we aim to have significantly boosted the Farmers’ understanding of the realities of food and farming throughout the seasons, with the debates they engage in having an even broader reach into their networks of friends and families.
Who’s it for?
MyFarm will appeal to people who want their influence over how food is produced to go beyond what they choose to put in their supermarket trolley. It’s the next stage on from the grow your own movement and will appeal to anyone with any interest in food and farming.
Anyone over the age of 13 can join and it’s open to everyone (Trust membership not required).
We hope you’ll join us for a real taste of real farming life. With only 10,000 Farmer places available, interested parties should sign up now.
Visit MyFarm to find out more.”