about 1 year ago

Announcing the winners

The votes are in! Go to the gallery to congratulate the winners and check out all of the excellent submissions.

Even though the competition is over, you don't have to stop hacking. Use your portfolio to keep your project up to date and get feedback from fellow hackers.


over 1 year ago

Winners Announcement Update

Hello Everyone!

This is just a short note to let you know that the USDA and Microsoft are moving the USDA Innovation Challenge winners announcement date to January 26th, 2016.

The intense discussions at the climate summit in Paris last week interfered with the previously planned activities. Sincerest apologies for this additional change – we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding. Like you, we are incredibly excited for the final unveiling of the winning applications.

Sincerely,
The USDA Innovation Challenge team


over 1 year ago

Winners Announcement Date Change

Hello Everyone!

Please be advised that the winners announcement date for the USDA Innovation Challenge has been changed to December 17th. Microsoft and the USDA will be holding a live event to announce the winners and the results will be posted on the competition site immediately following the announcement.

We can’t wait to honor our winners!

The USDA Innovation Challenge Team


over 1 year ago

Last call for votes!

There's still time to help choose the winner of the Popular Choice Award. Cast your ballot for your favorite new ag tech app! The polls close at 5pm on November 17.

- The USDA Innovation Challenge Team

 

 


over 1 year ago

Public voting is now open

The public voting period for USDA Innovation Challenge has begun. Browse the Submission Gallery and vote for your favorites!

If you’ve entered a submission, be sure to spread the word through your social networks.

Thanks,

The USDA Innovation Challenge team


over 1 year ago

Final call: Submissions close on Tuesday!

Just a final shout-out that you have two days remaining in the USDA Innovation Challenge. Submissions are due October 27 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

Questions?

We’re here to help. If you have any questions about the hackathon, post on the discussion forum or email support@devpost.com and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

 


over 1 year ago

One week to go – the deadline is almost here!

Whew, it’s the home stretch! There’s only one week left to submit your agriculture app or data visualization to the USDA Innovation Challenge. Submissions are due October 27 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

Questions?

We’re here to help. If you have any questions about the hackathon, post on the discussion forum or email support@devpost.com and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

 


over 1 year ago

Mini-hack session at our NYC office 10/21

Happy Monday, data farmers!

We're excited to be co-hosting an evening hack session with the Agtech NYC Meetup at our New York office this Wednesday, 10/21, at 7pm

This is a chance to meet other members of the New York ag tech community, find teammates, and work on your agriculture data apps and visualizations. Plus, hang out in our sweet duplex office in the Meatpacking District and have a slice (or two or three) on us!

You can RSVP for the Meetup here. We'll see you there!

What: Agtech NYC Meetup & hack session @ Devpost offices 

When: Wednesday, October 21, 7pm

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over 1 year ago

Two weeks to go – submit early!

There are two weeks remaining in the USDA Innovation Challenge. Submissions are due October 27 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

If you haven't started a submission yet, please do so now. And if you've just recently joined the hackathon, explore the quick-start guide and draw some inspiration from the competition resources and data sets.

Submission checklist

Before you say "ship it!", make sure you run through this list:

  • Have you explained how your app or data visualization helps support farmers and build a sustainable U.S. food supply? Have you demonstrated your…

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over 1 year ago

Fresh farm metadata documentation

New Farm Data Dashboard metadata API function

The newly released API requests for the NASS and ARMS data sets enable you to return metadata associated with potential queries. Unlike the other available APIs, these do not return actual record values (such as the number of acres planted) but list the distinct values of other columns (such as a list of distinct states available).

For example, if you wanted to know in which states (state_name) apples are grown, the API request will use the filter 'commodity_desc=apples':

http://nass-api.azurewebsites.net/api/get_dependent_param_values?distinctParams=state_name&commodity_desc=APPLES

Which will result in the returned value:

{"data":[{"Name":"STATE_NAME","Keys":[],"Values":["","ALABAMA","ALASKA","ARIZONA","ARKANSAS","CALIFORNIA","COLORADO","CONNECTICUT","DELAWARE","FLORIDA","GEORGIA","HAWAII","IDAHO","ILLINOIS","INDIANA","IOWA","KANSAS","KENTUCKY","LOUISIANA","MAINE","MARYLAND","MASSACHUSETTS","MICHIGAN","MINNESOTA","MISSISSIPPI","MISSOURI","MONTANA","NEBRASKA","NEVADA","NEW HAMPSHIRE","NEW JERSEY","NEW MEXICO","NEW YORK","NORTH CAROLINA","NORTH DAKOTA","OHIO","OKLAHOMA","OREGON","PENNSYLVANIA","RHODE…

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over 1 year ago

Three weeks to go — start your submission now!

There are three weeks left in the USDA Innovation Challenge! Beat the deadline rush by getting your submission ready early. Submissions are due October 27 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

If you haven’t already started a submission, you should do it now. And if you’re just getting started, read the official rules and follow the quick-start guide.

Questions?
We’re here to help. If you have any questions about the hackathon, post on the discussion forum or email support@devpost.com and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

 


over 1 year ago

One month left – start your submission

There’s one month left in the USDA Innovation Challenge! Submissions are due October 27 before 5pm ET.

Start your submission now

Starting a submission is a good way to make sure that your solution meets the requirements. There’s nothing worse than getting to the deadline, only to realize that you’re missing a key component. Remember: once you submit a project, you can keep editing it as needed at any time prior to the submission deadline.

Prepare your video

Don’t forget, your submission must include a video showing your app or data visualization. Too often, participants leave this video to the…

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over 1 year ago

What do you know about wireless irrigation? Plus, co-working space and workshops for food startups

One of our favorite things about hosting this online hackathon, apart from eagerly anticipating the cool ways your projects will utilize the USDA’s data, is the interesting people and organizations we’ve gotten a chance to talk to and learn from. We wanted to share a couple of things they passed along to us — thought you might like to know about them!

Preventing weather-related agricultural losses w/ new technology

This whitepaper from our partner Hortau (they make wireless, web-based irrigation management systems) delves into how advances in ag tech can mitigate crop loss due to meteorological events.

Co-working space + food

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over 1 year ago

Important Eligibility Update

Hi Ag Data Hackers & Engineers,

After additional legal review from Microsoft, there has been a change to how prizes will be awarded to winners who are employed by public sector organizations (including but not limited to educational institutions).

In order to adhere to public sector regulations around the ethics of receiving gifts, Microsoft can not award cash prizes directly to an employee of a public sector entity. A cash prize won by an individual participant employed by a public sector entity will be awarded to the individual’s public sector employer. If a team includes public sector employees and individuals…

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over 1 year ago

A note from Rick Mueller, head researcher at the National Agricultural Statistics Service

There are many obstacles and challenges facing new growers as they enter the farming profession. How can these entrepreneurs, who are assuming a great deal of financial and professional risk, reduce their barriers and risks through the use of innovative ideas and tools that can help mentor, educate, lead, and support them? There is a deep need for knowledge exchange and innovative thought — how can we best pass it on to the next generation of farmers, and how can this best be facilitated?

Can technology be applied to leverage “big data” to connect data sets and discrete data streams…

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over 1 year ago

Making a great submission video

We know you’re focused on your app or data visualization right now, but don't forget about your submission video. It's often the first (and sometimes only) thing that judges and voters review.

A good video tells the story behind your submission, providing a clear and concise explanation of what your app is and does. Here are some tips and a list of screencasting tools:

  •   Establish your elevator pitch. In the first few seconds of your video, explain why your app is awesome. You can get into the details of how it works later on in the video, but…

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over 1 year ago

A note from the USDA's CIO for Policy & Planning

Dear agro-innovators,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is excited to be partnering with Microsoft for this Innovation Challenge to address the future of food. As you're already aware, this competition is designed to explore how climate change will impact the U.S. food system so we can achieve better long-term food resiliency. We encourage you to develop and publish new applications and tools that have the ability to analyze the agricultural data sets we’ve made available on the Azure-hosted Farm Data Dashboard.

For over a hundred years, the USDA has compiled data from economic reports and farm production surveys,…

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over 1 year ago

Here’s what USDA and Microsoft scientists think about the challenge

Several scientists from the USDA and Microsoft gathered last month at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association to discuss our hackathon, the available data tools, and the kinds of solutions they hope participants will build.

Here’s a brief digest of what they had to say:

  • This is the first time the USDA is making so much of their data publicly available.
  • The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has opened up access to their CropScape and VegScape APIs. CropScape provides geospatial data through annual land cover data sets from the past seven years. VegScape is a vegetative condition database compiled…

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over 1 year ago

Getting started with the Farm Data Dashboard

Some questions have cropped up (pun totally intended — hey, we’re all nerds here) regarding the Farm Data Dashboard. Here are some insights to help you get started.

Q: Do the data sets included on the Farm Data Dashboard contain real-time data?

A: The data hosted on the dashboard is made up of snapshots of real USDA data sets gathered specifically for our hackathon. These data set snapshots are representative of a large portion of the real-time data the USDA continually collects, but they are static snapshots. The dashboard exists to provide an easy access point and tools for…

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over 1 year ago

Quick-start guide

Thanks for joining the USDA Innovation Challenge! You're officially registered now, and we’ll be sending you regular updates throughout the hackathon.

Here’s how to get started on your project today. Submissions are due October 27, 2015, at 5pm ET.

  1. Plan your attack. Visit the resources page to learn more about submission categories, required data sets, and brainstorming questions to get your ideas flowing.
  2. Get a head start on your submission. Fill out the basic fields on the application form and save it as a draft today. This will give you a good idea of what you'll need to put together before…

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