July 8, 2011

Ewe Decide

Here's an incredibly creative idea from across the pond that could surely inspire a similar effort by some well-endowed, agriculture-oriented charity in the U.S. The UK's National Trust is betting the farm on a participative program that connects regular folk with the rewards and (sometimes tough) realities of farming. As The Guardian newspaper explains:

"A large working farm will be taken over for the first time by web users ... who will vote on every key decision taken on its cattle, pigs, sheep and crops.

"The MyFarm experiment hands over power at The National Trust's 2,500-acre Wimpole Estate farm in Cambridgeshire, UK. Up to 10,000 farming novices will choose which bull to buy, which crop to plant and whether to spilt fields to resurrect lost hedgerows."

This month's highlight is a “You Choose the Ewes” vote, which gives the public an opportunity to decide whether Wimpole farm (so cute!) will expand its flock with 100 rare breed sheep or purchase the commercial, um, sort. This decision, obviously, is important in terms of “financial consequences, the implications for rare-breed bloodline and environmental impacts, as well as lambing rates and the time taken to rear lambs for market.”

The only mystery is why the pun in the headline above didn't occur to - or was considered but discarded by - the lucky bugger who was given the job of writing the press release.

No comments:

Post a Comment