Thanks for asking Charlotte as I had been meaning to post a reply. The good news is our grant application is moving forward. We have been invited to submit a full proposal for a Conservation Innovation Grant (a federal grant through the National Resource Conservation Service). The deadline is April 30 and we will find out Sept 1 if our project is selected for funding. We do not yet have all testers. At this point we have been refining the project plan in accordance with the grant criteria the main 2 criteria for anyone receiving compensation from this grant would be:
1. EQUIP Eligible (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/
) Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on the land may participate in EQIP. The requirement is you make at least $1,000/year from your land in some way.
2. Located in the western United States: This is because we are focusing on the Western U.S. for the pilot development of this tool.
I hesitate to put too many details about the project on a public forum while it is still being considered for funding but I will say we have two pending proposals and a strong team including a communications studio with decades of experience with environmental and social justice campaigns, a university professor os Sustainability who focuses on permaculture, and a technology developer who has developed technology for NASA. We have a highly capable team put together and a really exciting product that I believe the permaculture community will embrace.
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting project as a tester of the technology, and you meet the two criteria above, please be in touch. We need 40 people to sign up but not necessarily before the April 30 deadline. I will post updates here but it may be a while before the next update while our proposal is being considered.
Thanks for your interest!