i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Smart Farmers Markets

Whitney Danhof

Extension Agent

University of Tennessee

Matt Horsman

County Director and Agricultural Extension Agent

University of Tennessee, Extension

Margarita Velandia

Associate Professor

University of Tennessee

Megan Leffew

Extension Specialist – Value-Added Marketing

University of Tennessee, Center for Profitable Agriculture

Christopher Sneed

Extension Specialist I – UT Extension

University of Tennessee, Family and Consumer Sciences

From Team Member Matt Horsman:

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

We seek to reduce price risk of farmers’ market vendors and increase profitability.

How will you measure that change?

Short-term measures will be assessed during producer educational session held by the University of Tennessee Extension. Short-term measures include: awareness of mobile website and change in knowledge regarding pricing fundamentals . Long term measures include: number of producers using price data, and online evaluations providing information about how the use of price reports have changed their pricing decisions, price risk, and profitability.

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

Our innovative component is a mobile responsive website for collecting weekly produce prices at farmers’ markets and generating price reports. The website can be accessed by producers where they will find pricing data as well as educational materials related to pricing strategies for specific seasonal products.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

It totally transformed our original idea and thought, for the better. Gave us a tremendous opportunity to sit with our team and focus. Key informants gave us new information to form a new path for our idea.

Summary:

The Smart Farmers Markets team will design and develop a mobile app for consumers and farmers market partners to promote farmers market patronage and increase farm profitability. The app will facilitate collection and distribution of information and will enable:

• Reporting and retrieval of farmers market prices

• Vendor and customer access to farmers market prices

• Distribution of GPS-based push notifications to consumers near farmers market locations

• Access to informational videos and websites about selection and preparation of common Tennessee produce items

The team will educate consumers and farmers market partners on the availability and use of app.

Project Blog Posts

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