Building a Local Food Cooperative Through an Interactive Website

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Sarahlee Lawrence
Rainshadow Organics


Not commodity specific


  • Farm Business Management: marketing management
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Proposal summary:

    Central Oregon is a vast arid region with short growing seasons, keeping diversity of products limited and rendering communication among ranchers, farmers and consumers inadequate. A cooperative network between producers and consumers would increase food marketing and production. This project proposes to create a virtual, interactive food cooperative website connecting small local farmers and ranchers with consumers. If the project succeeds, the local food economy will increase with a central place for information, products and events. Additionally, the website would contain a discussion forum for farmers to exchange information about crops and experiments, thus increasing site-specific knowledge for improved sustainable production.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    An objective of this project was to form a virtual cooperative to bridge the gap between producers and consumers in Central Oregon.

    Secondly, we aimed to make a place where local producers could pool their resources to meet local demands.

    Lastly, we worked to create a viable system of information exchange.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.