Author: wnc-lia

Celebrating OpenTEAM’s Second Anniversary
This October, we are celebrating OpenTEAM’s second anniversary! Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management was founded in 2019, by Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, Stonyfield, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s LandPKS. Based here at the farm, OpenTEAM is a farmer-driven, collaborative community of farmers, ranchers, scientists, researchers, technologists, farm service providers, and food companies who are co-creating an interoperable suite of tools that provide farmers around the world with the best possible knowledge to improve soil health. 
Read More →
Meet Our New Dairy Grazing Apprentice
Originally from the great state of Connecticut, I've lived on two continents, traveled in four; but, I keep coming back to Maine and its irreplaceable mountains, forests, and seacoasts. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, I've taught many subjects and both at home and abroad. This time, it's my turn to be taught again.
Read More →
New England Dairy Farmers Face Uncertainty
Wolfe’s Neck Center was disappointed to learn of Danone North America’s decision to end the contracts of 89 organic milk producers in New England, including 14 family farms in Maine. Danone, which operates the Horizon Organic brand, recently decided to move away from New England as part of a cost-cutting consolidation. This blow will have devasting effects on Maine’s organic dairy sector, as well as other economic implications across the region. It is disheartening to think of the potential consequences on these farms’ soils, which have been managed for biodiversity and carbon health.  
Read More →
A Ride to the Past
On Saturday, September 18, 2021 I hopped aboard the history wagon ride offered through Wolfe’s Neck Center’s community & visitor programs, hoping to learn more about the history of this land and its people. In my communications role on Wolfe’s Neck Center’s team, it is my responsibility to help tell the stories of the current-day farm, but of course, so much of the present has deep ties to our past. 
Read More →
MAPSS Annual Field Workshop
MAPSS recently held their annual field workshop at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment, so we tagged along to see what they were up to! Forty members and soil scientists descended on the property to assess soil pits that had been excavated in our pastures, in our campground, and in Wolfe's Neck State Park. The workshop focused on soil parent materials, human-altered or human-transported materials, and hydric soil characteristics and determinations. 
Read More →
Meet the Newest Member of OpenTEAM
Sienna Zuco joins us in the role of OpenTEAM's Communications & Membership Coordinator. This new role will help share OpenTeam's work and vision to Wolfe's Neck Center's audiences and beyond. Growing up in North Carolina, Sienna felt lucky to be surrounded by local foods, good southern cooking, and such a beautiful environment. She lived just a few hours from both the beach and the mountains; two of the things she has found in Maine thus far, and then some! 
Read More →
“Why Did You Move to Maine?”
Ben Gotschall, Wolfe's Neck Center's dairy and livestock manager, made the trek from Nebraska to Maine in November 2020. Soon after, he was joined by his wife, Tammy, and their daughter, Charlotte. In May 2021, his herd of cattle made the 1,800-mile journey to Freeport, as well. In a piece written for Field Notes, our annual print and online newsletter, Ben shared his thoughts on what the relocation meant for him, his family, and his cows. 
Read More →
(Re)Vision the Future of Solar
In 2017, ReVision Energy installed two large solar projects on Wolfe’s Neck Center’s campus: one at the dairy facility and the other at the Pote Barn, making us 50% solar powered. With a new operations center currently under construction and more infrastructure projects on the horizon, our end goal is to be entirely solar-powered.
Read More →
Meet Our Fruit & Vegetable Apprentices
Wolfe’s Neck Center’s Fruit & Vegetable Farmer Training Program is a unique apprenticeship program that covers all aspects of organic fruit & vegetable crop production with a focus on regenerative agriculture techniques.
Read More →
A Deeper Dig: Soil Health
Climate change threatens the health of our planet and jeopardizes our ability to grow food. At Wolfe’s Neck Center, we are committed to creating solutions to these problems to build a healthier planet for our future generations. A Deeper Dig aims to highlight terminology, practices, and ideas, both in our backyard and globally, through monthly … <a href="https://www.wolfesneck.org/blog/a-deeper-dig-soil-health/">Continued</a>
Read More →

This October, we are celebrating OpenTEAM’s second anniversary! Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management was founded in 2019, by Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, Stonyfield, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s LandPKS. Based here at the farm, OpenTEAM is a farmer-driven, collaborative community of farmers, ranchers, scientists, researchers, technologists, farm service providers, and food companies who are co-creating an interoperable suite of tools that provide farmers around the world with the best possible knowledge to improve soil health.

Why OpenTEAM?

Agriculture is responsible for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The way we manage our land has to change dramatically in order to combat climate change. Improving soil health through regenerative agriculture practices can help our soils to capture more carbon, benefiting the farmer, the plants and animals they cultivate, and the food we eat. Wolfe’s Neck Center believes farming has to be a part of the solution to climate change. By creating an interoperable technology ecosystem and supporting a global network of farmers, the OpenTEAM initiative is working toward improving soil health measures and sequestering more carbon into the soil across the globe.

What does “interoperable” mean?

The word interoperable refers to the ability of different systems, such as computers or technological tools, to exchange and share information with one another. Making agricultural technology more interoperable means farmers and ranchers can use multiple tools to track things like their farm management or organic certification without having to enter data multiple times. Instead, they can enter it once and the interoperability of their tools will allow them to use that data multiple times.

What kind of tools does OpenTEAM share with farmers and ranchers?

OpenTEAM collaborates with a wide variety of tech partners who design, develop, and co-create tools for the benefit of farmers and ranchers. Some help land stewards to measure the amount of carbon in their soil, others help them to better manage their farms and ranches. OpenTEAM is constantly working with its Hubs and network farms to test these tools and make them better.

What is soil health?

Healthy soil is critical to cooling the planet. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a key part of the solution to this global problem. Soil is a living ecosystem that contains bacteria, fungi, insects, and organic matter that thrive when the other soil elements are in balance. If these elements are thriving, the plants and animals that we eat will as well. By minimizing erosion, maximizing water infiltration, and improving nutrient cycling through regenerative farming practices, farmers and ranchers can enhance the resiliency of their land. By building better soil health, our soils can absorb more carbon and support our growing food system.

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services through practices such as managed grazing by livestock, cover crops, no-till, and crop diversity. Finding solutions to the growing climate crisis relies on both limiting greenhouse gas emissions AND capturing carbon in the soil. The world’s soils store several times the amount of carbon as does the atmosphere, acting as a natural “carbon sink.” Healthy soil captures more carbon. By building soil health through regenerative practices, we can farm in a way that solves the problems we face now and makes our farmland more resilient for the future of food and our planet.

How does OpenTEAM work?

OpenTEAM’s Hub farms, members, and network farmers primarily collaborate through working groups, which meet on a regular basis to tackle top priorities in technology, equity, field methods, and human centered design. This work is grounded through our Hub and Network working group, where farmers and ranchers test OpenTEAM’s suite of tools on the ground and provide feedback for growth and improvement.

Another way OpenTEAM works together is through Collabathons. These are sustained collaboration efforts with short sprints in service of long range shared goals. Each series of Collabathons have a defined goal, outcome, and proposed output shaped by a community co-hosts. Members come together over structured 8 week sessions that bridge across our diverse membership and enable us to bring in key folks around particular questions and long-term goals such as the creation of overarching field methods for testing soil carbon to the development of an agricultural data wallet where farmers can manage how they share and protect their own data.

Help shape the future of farming and food by joining the team at Wolfe’s Neck Center! We are hiring for multiple positions. Check them out below!

View Open Positions