Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication

The Extension Spirit Guides Open-Source Thinking

Dennis Buckmaster is helping develop advanced technology and he wants to give it away.

He's not crazy. The professor of agricultural and biological engineering just believes strongly in the land-grant mission. The land-grants are public universities (like Purdue) that were founded in order to bring education, research, and outreach to the citizens of each state. For Buckmaster, the land-grant ideal isn't just a relic, it's a reality.

With the Open Agriculture Technologies and Systems (OATS), Buckmaster and others aim to use open-source technology to the agriculture industry. But to be successful, the center has to give away the code to developers. OATS members allow other people and companies to take their codes and produce them further.

And it was the land-grant mission that really inspired Buckmaster's idealism.

In an era where researchers race to get the latest patent, Buckmaster's ideal is to simply advance knowledge for the common good. His agenda is to ensure that the researchers and programmers who follow him will create something even more useful for the agriculture and farming industries.

Buckmaster places a lot of time and effort into making sure the students involved with OATS are doing their job and correctly constructing the codes.

Without the land-grant mission, it would unlikely that Purdue University would be agriculture-centered and that OATS would have developed into what it is currently.

About Visionaries

This video is part of the Visionaries series, which highlights the work and lives of researchers in the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Visionaries is a collaboration with Envision magazine.

Read out a related Envision story about phenotyping and agricultural technology, "The Big Idea - Phenotyping"

Learn more about OATS

Other Visionaries videos about Dennis Buckmaster and OATS

What Is the Open-Source Mindset?

The Extension Spirit Guides Open-Source Thinking

Using Technology to Improve Farming Operations

See the complete playlist on our YouTube channel

The videos were created by the student filmmakers of YDAE 491 (Digital Storytelling), part of the agricultural communication program in the Purdue Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

The team members for this video are: Khyleigh North (leader for this video), Danae Baskin, Courtney Maxwell, and Caitlin Yoder.