Our aim is for PEP to be free and open to all individual users. However, to make the site run and be useful to users it will need time for management and driving engagement, there will be development costs and we would like to pay Stewards to distil summaries for Topics of interest to the community. It will take a minimum of ~£50k/year to maintain Farm-PEP.
We see 3 business models to support Farm-PEP
- Organisations pay a modest annual fee for their page, and for any pages with commercial content
- 'Public Good' support from Defra, AHDB, Charities, Philanthropists, crowd funding, commercial sponsors (eg retailers, banks, etc)
- In the medium term PEP can become a platform to make digital tools and services (eg data sharing, benchmarking, farm trials tools, carbon calculators) available to users or Groups, under license
There is always scope for further investment and development of PEP through R&D projects. We are in discussions with The Farming Forum, National Library for Agrifood, the agri-tech centres, AHDB, Defra, Innovate UK, KTN, Rothamsted and others about various possible initiatives, including embedding AI and developing What Works centre for agriculture.
What should be our next steps to grow engagement and seek revenues for the PEP community?
Employ a full time manager? Work with agencies like Hillsgreen and The Ad Plain? Focus efforts on securing large funding to do a proper job of adding relevant content and getting good summaries of Topics?
Or let the site and community grow organically from interested groups and subject areas, supported by the YENs, Farm-PEP FIP project with Crop Nutrition Clubs & Soil Carbon Clubs, Innovative Farmers Field Labs and other farm-centric projects?
If you have ideas or views, let us know below.