Reason #5: The Grant

posted in: Updates | 13

Overnight, Biofortified gained a few more votes, strolling up to 824 votes so far. Our competitor, the Non-GMO Project has 346 votes, and has been gaining faster than we have in the last day. And I just discovered last night that a stealth competitor that no one noticed has rapidly gained votes. On Monday it was at 2 votes, last night when I saw it it was at 218 votes. Right now it has passed the Non-GMO Project and is sporting 368 total votes!

This entry is the Orwellian-named Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, an initiative started by dance instructor and author Jeffrey Smith. Orwellian? Oh yes, it isn’t about getting people to eat more vegetables and cut down on saturated fat – it is about getting people to eat blue corn instead of yellow corn to avoid GE crops. In fact, on their website, Smith explains how manufacturers can advertise in his ‘shopping guide,’ for a nominal fee of course. What does the money go to?

Interestingly, Smith is on the Communications Committee of the Non-GMO Project.

Anyway, for my final reason why I think Biofortified deserves your vote, I will briefly discuss the grant that comes with the grand prize. When we entered, there was no such grant being awarded. Consequently after it was added, we have thought about what we would want to do with that money. Here are some of the ideas that we have come up with.

First, there is the constant cost of hosting the site and renewing the domain name. Currently, these costs are footed by myself, and this would relieve me of that pressure on my poor-grad-student finances. These aren’t very much, though so it leaves the vast majority of the grant money for other things.

Frank: "And what about my wardrobe and travel budget?"
Frank: "And what about my wardrobe and travel budget?"

Second, we would like to edit and upload some videos about the things we study, and issues we feel are important. A good video editing program would be a very nice thing to have to accomplish that. Windows movie maker just doesn’t cut it!

How about goodies to award to our readers? Periodic contests to win a book, DVD, T-shirt, sack of seeds or other creative prize might get the discussion going on this site. It would also be nice to give something to some of our guest contributors to thank them for their efforts.

And what about T-shirts? I have a T-shirt design in mind for a future fundraiser, and having some starting cash to buy the necessary supplies could make it possible to keep the wheels of Biofortified greased indefinitely.

Finally, we have the potential to significantly expand our capabilities to include more contributors to the blog. There is a plugin for WordPress, the program that runs this site, that can automatically grab posts from other feeds and repost them here. The problem is that the formatting of those posts will look very odd in our site. However, I have been in contact with the author of the plugin, and he is willing to specially tweak it to match our needs. It just might take a little money to do that.

So you can see, we have some ideas as to what we would do with the fortuitously-added $1,500 grant that comes with the grand prize. A Vote for Biofortified can be seen as a vote in favor of bringing these things to our site, to benefit our readers and the overall discussion. Let’s keep the pressure on and stay well ahead of the other entries. There are five hours left to vote – do it for the grant! Be a part of this victory!

Thanks for your support.

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:
Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.