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In which contest does my project belong?

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Brent Ranalli

May 18, 2013
11:13

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I want to propose organizing a national voluntary service program to get youth to perform (esp. seasonal) agricultural labor in the U.S. For generations as agriculture has become more mechanized it has required fewer workers, but as we transition away from fossil fuels it will become MORE labor intensive. Youth, I believe, are the fittest sector of the workforce for the job--and a more efficient solution than transporting in temporary foreign workers, legal or illegal. Under the program I envision, participants would get scholarship credit in addition to the going wage. Co-benefits of the program would include: exercise, fitness, and health for participating youth; improved environmental literacy; opening participants' eyes to career opportunities in agriculture (necessary since we are facing a demographic cliff on existing farms, and we will need more small, geographically dispersed farms in the new economy); and more. My question is: where does this project belong (if it belongs at all)? Agriculture seems the obvious choice, but the criteria there seem focused on technical matters and CO2 emission reductions. Would a proposal about the emerging agriculture labor force fit there? Or better somewhere else? (civil society, local solutions?) Thanks, Brent

Rob Laubacher

May 20, 2013
04:31

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Hi Brent, Thanks for your thoughtful inquiry. First of all, you don't need to choose one over the others, you can enter the same basic idea in multiple contests if you like. That said, it's a bit cumbersome to enter multiple contests (though I'd think one could prepare a draft offline based on the template and then copy and paste into the new proposal form). But it's also a good idea to find a contest that seems aligned with the spirit behind your proposal. Agree that agriculture/forestry is a bit technically oriented, as is this field in the domain of climate change. I would think that adaptation and civil society might be a good fit, since there is certainly an adaptation/civil society angle in what you describe. Local solutions seems less apt, because that's focused on community based efforts, and what you describe would operate at a national scale. Another thought might be the contest on changing cultural attitudes or even reducing consumption, since the experience of agricultural labor may well lead young people to reexamine their relationship to the earth and to think twice before embarking on profligate consumption, see: https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/21 https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/25 Wishing you well with this intriguing idea. Rob Laubacher For the Climate CoLab team

Brent Ranalli

May 20, 2013
05:07

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Thanks, Rob! I'll pick one (or more). A follow-up question: Is there a minimum or maximum number of finalists that will be selected from each category? It seems (to my eyes anyway) that there is much stronger competition in some contests than in others. Brent

Rob Laubacher

May 20, 2013
05:50

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We're hoping to have 3-6 finalists per contests, but the actual number could go down or up slightly depending on overall quality of the submissions. For example, in 2011, there were 3 global finalists out of 57 submittals and 5 national finalists out of 16; in the opinion of the judges, there were more high quality submissions among the smaller number of national entries. Similarly, the actual numbers in this round are likely to be highly dependent on quality. RL For the Climate CoLab team
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