Real-Life FarmVille Expands To Educate About Modern Agriculture

Unless people really understand the differences between conventional and organic farming, they can’t make informed decisions. Now that MyFarm users can make the farming decisions themselves, their choices at the grocery store will be a lot more educated.

Despite a burgeoning urban farming movement, most people in the developed world have no idea what goes into running a successful farm. For the last few months, MyFarm, an experiment led by the United Kingdom's (UK) National Trust, has given armchair farmers in the UK the opportunity to vote on major decisions at a 2,500-acre organic farm (the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire, UK) online. Now, with 3,000 online participants voting on everything from wheat varieties to sowing methods, MyFarm is expanding into a conventional farm, where users can deal with all sorts of farm chemical fun--and find out what goes into most of their food.

"One of the criticisms we got at launch is that only 4% of UK farms are organic. Lots of trade press were saying this a great idea but it’s not a true representation of how farming is in this country," explains Jeannette Heard, press officer at the National Trust. When the tenant at a 250-acre conventional farm near the Wimpole Estate decided to retire, MyFarm seized the opportunity.

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