Building a Local Food Cooperative Through an Interactive Website

Project Overview

FW09-040
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

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

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

    Summary:

    Over the past year we have created a virtual, interactive food cooperative website that has connected small local farmers and ranchers with the consumers of Central Oregon. It has enabled our community to build a local food economy with a central place for information, products and events. This website is a place where growers can post their products as they become available. It has enabled farmers and ranchers to better meet volume needs for grocery stores and restaurants. The website also provides a discussion forum for farmers to exchange information about crops and experiments; pool resources such as bulk purchase of seeds and organic fertilizers to reduce input costs; a directory for harvest days, farmers market, seasonal products and supportive restaurants and stores; and postings of events, workshops, news, instructional videos, photo galleries, classifieds and other useful links.

    Project objectives:

    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.