West Hills freshman earns trip to Europe for Apps for Ag Hackathon

From West Hills College

West Hills College Coalinga freshman Alejandro Avalos recently came out on top as a member of the first place team at an Apps for Ag Hackathon hosted at UC Davis. The team won a trip to the Thought for Food Global Summit in Zurich, Switzerland in April 2016, $5,000 and complimentary startup incorporation services for their app from Royse Law.

Avalos competed at the Food, Ag and Health Solution Summit in an Apps for Ag Hackathon from Dec. 2 to 3, working with a team of other competitors to build what he calls “an agricultural version of Uber.”

“My role in developing this app was to give them some insight as a farm worker myself and find resources to attack any issues that we encountered with the app,” Avalos said. “This app is still a prototype and is under development as we speak but will be efficient for both employers and employees.”

The app, Ag for Hire, helps to connect agricultural workers and farmers and provides a space for workers to find jobs and farmers to find workers.

Avalos signed up to compete at the suggestion of Clint Cowden, the Director of the WHCC Farm of the Future, after Cowden learned that Avalos had some computer programming experience.

“It’s a phenomenal achievement,” Cowden said. “Not only is he really intelligent but he comes from an ag background and that base, that foundation is key. I knew they weren’t going to have people that understand it from that side. The coders actually found him and recruited him into their group.”

The hackathon is the second of its kind held in the state, following an inaugural competition that was held at West Hills College Coalinga earlier this year. The winning team at that event also featured a representative from WHCC, staff member Joy Cowden. 

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