Danny R. Aspirations

I think I mentioned this in my skill sets post, but my background is pretty diverse, and it’s been a long road to the point where I have an idea what I might like to do after school. But here goes.

I did my undergrad in Environmental Studies here at CU, and I focused primarily on sustainable agriculture. I currently live and work on a small organic farm here in Boulder, which I sort of stumbled into as a result of my undergraduate thesis research, but now is a huge part of my life. I love farming, and I want to keep doing it in the long term.

However, I am also a maker/tinkerer/hacker, and my other primary interest involves tearing things apart and putting them back together. When I discovered the ATLAS BTU Lab during my undergrad, I fell in love with the space and the people in it. I was also exposed to some excellent mentorship in the lab, which helped me synthesize my interests into a unified topic: developing open-source hardware and software solutions for farmers, specifically for small farmers like myself.

I entered grad school last semester with this focus in mind. Although I also enjoy using technology for creativity, particularly in the realms of music and sculpture, my primary aspiration as a work through my program is to develop a broad-scale platform for agricultural technology- one that allows farmers to modernize, automate, monitor and communicate, all without the current financial and technical barriers that prevent them from doing so in large numbers. This means developing both durable, hackable hardware solutions and an open, intuitive software platform to help control and implement these machines. It’s an ambitious project, and I know that I’ll barely be started on it before I finish grad school. My goal at CU isn’t to complete this dream- I just want to develop the clear vision for what that dream really looks like, and develop a network of talented people that share my passion for sustainable farming and open technology.

So- are you interested in helping me start a revolution?

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Danny, I don’t know if I ever mentioned it but I grew up in Southern Colorado on a ranch surrounded by farm land. As you know, there are so many things that can impact a farm: bugs, drought, prices, weather . . . There are so many things that can be, and often are, completely beyond the farmer’s control. I think one of the hardest things I’ve witnessed in my life was the depression and view of their own self worth and value draining away as farmers accepted subsidies for not working their trade. Many still struggle. There is an art and certainly a skill to farming and I applaud your efforts to educate others and make sustainable farming more accessible. I believe you mentioned at one point that the average age of a farmer today is about 62-years-old, so your work in this area is particularly valuable to the next generation of farmers.


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