The hackathon about hacking meat

So what happens when this playbook is directed at something offbeat—like meat production and sustainability?

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“This was very different from hackathons I have seen before,” participant Will Turnage told Ars. Turnage is vice president of technology and invention for tech firm R/GA. He’s also an organizing member of the Food+Tech meetup. “It threw me for a loop. I was expecting a traditional hackathon. In traditional hackathons, you get there, teams form and work fast. You demo, then you’re done. In this case, we were tackling other people’s problems. We spent two days just learning what problems people had. No hacking, no coding. That couldn’t happen until we talked to the sponsor and learned about their issues.”

Turnage was the leader of the winning project team. His group worked with the Vermont Meat Processing Working Group (an organization bringing meat producers and processors together) to focus on challenges with the meat and food system at large. Turnage and his teammates looked specifically at the issues with current tech systems when farmers butcher their animals. The result was CARV, a Web-enabled meat scale that aims to improve the processes and tasks of both farmers and meat processors.

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