Penn State Extension has released a smart phone app to connect consumers with connecting with local farm-food businesses – more than 2,500 direct-to-consumer farm marketers.
The Farm Fresh mobile app makes it easy for fresh food searchers to locate the abundant local food sources nearby, says John Berry, Penn State Extension ag marketing specialist. The app's database is being actively compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, PaFarm and Penn State Extension to bring users up-to-date results from thousands of local farms. These partners have also worked together to actively expand the database to include Delaware, Maryland, New York and New Jersey, as well as an upcoming launch of a version for the Android.
The Farm Fresh app connects consumers to fresh fruits, vegetables, artisan cheese, varietal honey, wineries, seasonal activities and farmhouse baked goods -- grown, made and sold locally.
How it works
Farm Fresh is currently available for the iPhone and iPad in the app store. This new and evolving smart phone software lets users search by product, location or keyword. When users click on the farms they find, the app takes them to the farm's product page and gives them everything they will need to locate that farm.
Users can even call a farm or visit its website with just one click and can get directions easily, too. When users find retailers that look too good to pass up, they can save their favorites.
Pennsylvania has nearly eight million acres of farmland, and 91% of its farms are family-owned or sole proprietorships, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's website. Many of these farms are small -- they average 124 acres -- and some can be hard to find if consumers don't know they are there.
Being included in the data bases of recorded farm markets greatly improves the visibility and find-ability of these farms. New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are nationally ranked number two, six and seven, respectively, in the number of recorded farm markets.