- Energy: energy use
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, marketing management
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, community services, social networks, sustainability measures
An opportunity exists for farmers to connect with the growing home food processors market. These consumers require access to bulk quantities of farm products in order to can, freeze, ferment, dehydrate, and root-cellar food . The Farm-to-Pantry widget, which can be embedded into existing websites, will match produce growers and meat producers with home food processors within an online network. Via resource scheduling, a technology used in business project management, producers and consumers will be able to locate each other, reducing the time and money spent on both sides. The widget will be piloted on the website of IthaCan, an online social network of home food preservers in Tompkins County, NY, and will be embeddable for other sites that have database support. Direct access to regular, bulk-buying customers is a profitable situation for farmers, as both marketing and market hours are minimized. Producing farm goods to meet a known, defined need is a great advantage, allowing farmers to order seed and plant, or bring animals to market, accordingly.
Project objectives from proposal:
Results will be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively: first, by Authentrics Inc., through an automated quantitative project report tracking system designed for Farm-to-Pantry; and second, through a qualitative user feedback form administered by the IthaCan Outreach Coordinator. The automated tracking system will collect the following:
1. the number and dollar total of agreements made
2. the number of interactions via social networking features
3. the number of searches
4. the number of registered farmers and consumers
5. the number of outreach contacts made
The Farm-to-Pantry feedback form will allow users to give us useful information about the experience of using the widget.