Farmers Web is an 18-month-old start-up that aims to link local farms with local buyers through a wholesale “management tool,” and vibrant online marketplace that allows you to “shop and sell local online, anytime.”
The brainchild of co-founder and CEO, Jennifer Goggin, Farmers Web was born in downtown Manhattan from decidedly non-bucolic roots.
“I went into finance after college (Columbia University – political science), but my heart just wasn’t in it,” Goggin said. “So we decided that promoting small agriculture was something we could grab hold of.”
Employing web-based social networking technology to simulate old school neighbor-to-neighbor information share, Farm Hack is a farmer-driven, collaborative project that develops, builds, documents and shares tools for resilient, small-scale agriculture. The secret behind it all is its use of an open source web platform that allows users to edit all the pages on the site – it’s basically a wiki site for farm technology and innovation – resulting in a user-driven community that self-evolves according to the needs of its members.
“It’s not a new thing for farmers to repair their own equipment, adapt their equipment or design new tools – this is something that’s been happening for centuries on small family farms – but the idea of Farm Hack is to use new forms of communication technology and organization to accelerate that process,” explained Kristen Loria, Farm Hack Coordinator.
Two young mechanical engineers, Brian Falther, 24, a 2010 graduate of Kettering University (Flint, Mich.) and Austin Lawrence, 21, a senior at Kettering University, have teamed up to bring small aquaponic grow systems into people’s homes, with each system being connected to an online farm community. Their concept is at once a virtual world with online interaction and connectivity and an authentic reality where real, clean, healthy food grows in a large collection of personal micro-aquaponic systems in homes throughout the world. They call their idea Future Tech Farm.
“The way we have been describing our home grow system is as a ‘node’ of the farm. The sum of all the nodes equals the farm. In essence, the Future Tech Farm is a singular decentralized and distributed farm—what we are calling a farming platform with a physical and virtual representation,” says Falther.
You would think the only cloud a farmer would be interested in would be one that brings rain. However, with the start-up software company FarmLogs, farmers can now look to cloud-stored software to help organize, manage, research, and increase profitability on their farms. Co-Founders Jesse Vollmar and Brad Koch aim to change the way farmers keep and view their data, in the simplest and most effective way possible.
Based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Farmlogs was founded in January of 2012 by Jesse (CEO) and Brad (CTO) a year after the two graduated from Saginaw Valley State University.
While working for a Uruguay-based multi-national software company, Eddie Rodriguez von der Becke, whose in-laws raise livestock in Argentina, realized that the same level of technology sophistication that he employed at his company could be used to develop a livestock management system to help his family’s operations run more smoothly and efficiently.
The solution that he came up with was Tambero.com, a free global software solution for agriculture and cattle management.
Online Exchange Enables Local Food Buyers and Suppliers of all Shapes and Sizes to Unite and TransactSeptember 17, 2012 | Missy Smith
The Internet has opened the door to many business relationships and transactions that otherwise would not have occurred. To encourage such transactions among the various participants in the local food sector, Local Food Systems, Inc. (LFS) of Philadelphia recently unveiled The LFS Exchange, a trading platform with process automation that allows buyers and suppliers of different shapes and sizes, from small to industrial scale, to do business within one online platform.
The company’s Exchange product, the LFS Exchange, enables buyers and suppliers who might not have process automation, inventory control tools, or products to connect, for example, to a high-volume buyer’s backend system, to seamlessly engage in business transactions.
News Release — UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A free mobile app developed by Penn State researchers can help dairy farmers plow through financial planning by helping them track feed costs and income.
The DairyCents app, currently available on the Apple iPhone, helps farmers estimate income over feed cost per cow, a number that tells farmers how much money is left over to pay other expenses minus the feed costs, according to Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist and dairy complex manager in animal science. Another function compares feed prices in several locations across the country.
A brand-new “niche e-marketplace,” Sproutrade is looking to connect farmers, growers and agriculture companies around the world. The platform, which just went live in July 2012, along with sister product Crowdstocker, aims to bring buyers and sellers of particular products together on a local and international scale. Their founder, Laura Wei, has been busy attending funding meetings, but she was able to correspond with Seedstock through email.
A “bumper crop” is defined as an unusually large crop growth and harvest. That’s great news for the farmer who has customers to sell to, but maybe not for the home gardener who’s growing more tomatoes than he can eat.
Tampa Bay, Fla.-based startup company BumperCrop is developing a hyper-local solution to that problem. The company plans to launch a website where its users will be able to connect with home food gardeners right in their own neighborhoods and purchase their excess produce.
The folks over at Indianapolis-based AquaSpy see their company as a sort of cell phone service that allows your crops to call home and tell growers when they’re hungry or thirsty. The Software as a Service (SaaS) company installs technology on growers’ land that closely monitors the soil’s moisture and chemical levels and the crops’ root uptake. The technology then collects the data using communication towers, analyzes it and sends it in easy-to-understand reports that are accessible right on grower’s computers and smartphones. As a byproduct of the advanced monitoring systems, many customers have touted water, energy and financial savings, said Bruce Moeller, the company’s CEO.
Ag Tech Firm, Solum, Raises $17 Million; Funding to Support Mission to Optimize Sustainable Food ProductionJune 27, 2012 | seedstock
News Release – MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jun 27, 2012 – Solum Inc., a leader in advanced field measurement technology for commercial agriculture, today announced the completion of $17 million in financing to support the company’s continued expansion in the global food production industry. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and General Partner John O’Farrell is joining the board. Existing investors including Khosla Ventures also participated in this round.
For beekeepers, it takes more than just the honey to make the money—and a viable beekeeping operation.
Good record keeping is necessary for efficient and sustainable beekeeping, industry professionals say. When a beekeeper goes out to his yard to inspect his hives, there are many details to track—how many hives are in each yard, which queens are in which hives, which medical treatments were applied and much more. When left to memory, facts can easily be forgotten. Meanwhile, paper notebooks can be misplaced or become disorganized.
Running a dairy or cattle operation efficiently requires the management, tracking and assessment of complex sets of data ranging from animal feeding cycles and health to overall production performance. Farmers and their teams often spend an inordinate amount of time and money shuffling through spreadsheets, manually cobbling together data to insure that their operations run smoothly.
To solve this problem and increase the efficiency of data management, a company called Farmeron has developed an online software product that enables livestock farmers to easily track the ins and outs of their animals. The company’s software program allows farmers to manage such data sets as the number of animals on the farm, feeding cycles, milk production, medical treatments, location transfers and much more. Through Farmeron’s cloud-based web application, farmers can update their data as they go and later create reports and analytics that keep their farms running more efficiently.