March 5, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) “Green Living Seminar Series” will continue on Thursday, March 8, with a presentation on “Innovating Open Source Technology for Small Scale Sustainable Agriculture,” by Dorn Cox, a Lee, N.H., farmer who is the founder of FarmOS, a new open-source software platform for farm management, planning, and record keeping.

All “Green Living” seminars will take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 121 of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, on the MCLA campus. Presented on Thursdays throughout the spring semester, this series is free and open to the public.

The theme of this 11-part series is “Sustainability and the Role of Technology,” which focuses on ways that technology can improve how we manage our food, energy, and water systems, and also how we conserve natural resources.

Cox is a farmer who works his 250-acre, four generation family farm in Lee, N.H. He has designed and constructed systems for small scale grain and oilseed processing and bio-fuel production, developed no-till and low-till equipment and associated cover cropping systems.

In addition, Cox is vice president of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts, and serves as a county supervisor and vice-chair of the Strafford County Conservation District. He also serves as the research director for the Wolfe’s Neck Center (WNC) for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport, Maine, which is committed to changing the ways people farm and eat through sustainable farming and education.

In partnership with Stonyfield Organic and under Cox’s leadership, Wolfe’s Neck Center is utilizing FarmOS’ software by spearheading the new Regenerative Farm Observatory and Network.  WNC’s Regenerative Farm Observatory will become a replicable model to demonstrate how agriculture can be a part of the solution for climate change, with a focus on building healthy soils, and will serve as a hub for regenerative agriculture research, demonstration, and education for farmers and the general public about opportunities to increase soil carbon capture and reduce emissions from agriculture.

In February, Cox was named the inaugural recipient of the Hugh Hammond Bennett Excellence in Conservation Award by the National Association of Conversation Districts’ (NACD) at their annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Named after Hugh Hammond Bennett, a pioneer of the modern soil conservation movement and founder of the Soil Conservation Service, a federal program now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the award recognizes individuals for their extraordinary achievements in and contributions to the soil and water conservation movement in the United States.

A founding board member of the New England Farmers Union, Cox serves as a vice president to the New Hampshire Association of Conservation District and was awarded the 2007 NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award.  He is a Ph.D student at the University of New Hampshire, where he is developing biological, social and economic systems that return carbon to the soil.  

This spring’s Green Living Seminars will continue through April 12.

Every semester, MCLA’s Green Living Seminar Series hosts lectures by local, regional, and national experts. The seminars are organized around a central theme related to the environment and sustainability. The 2018 series is a presentation of the MCLA Environmental Studies Department and MCLA’s Berkshire Environmental Resource Center.

For more information, go to or contact associate professor Dr. Elena Traister, chair of MCLA’s Department of Environmental Studies, at (413) 662-5303.