In the short term, our goal is to map the functional capacity of current technologies to be able to match the needs of farmers and consumers with appropriate tooling, identify opportunities for design, and identify broader infrastructural challenges.
The outputs of this process will allow for us to do things like:
- Develop materials to guide people to the right tools for their needs.
- Identify missing functionality that we should design and build as part of the next phase of this project.
- Provide tool builders with guidance about critical user needs, in times of pandemic, and beyond.
- Provide the broader local foods community with guidance on how technologies bump up against infrastructural, societal, political, and other non-digital world challenges!
Different types of people are looking for different functionality in a tool. Farmers may want to easily manage inventory, while a market manager may be looking for a tool that allows them to provide consumers with an aggregate purchasing options. Consumers may be looking for tools that make it easy to find local food, while folks coordinating groups of users, whether through food hubs or purchasing on behalf of a group may be looking for functionality that allows them to manage many individual orders and optimize distribution.
We’re looking to evaluate software with respect to its usability and utility for four critical users groups:
Folks producing food for human consumption!
Folks handling the logistics of aggregating food for distribution to consumers.
Folks who eat.
Folks handling the logistics of bringing together consumers for handling food challenges as a community.
Software Evaluation Process
We will be updating this section make progress! Last updated: May 13, 2020.
Aggregating Software reviews
We are currently going through the following software reviews to identify critical functionality for Farmers, as identified by the National Young Farmers Coalition, Oregon Tilth, Lake Pepin Local. Some of this information is out of date, and all of this information is geared toward Farmers only. By aggregating this information into our Resilient Food & Tech Library, we will be able to have an updateable collection of software evaluated with respect to usability and utility for our four user groups: Farmers, Farm Coordinators, Consumers, and Consumer Coordinators.
Know of a software review that we should look at? Submit it here!
We’d like to avoid creating yet-another-tool or yet-another-process. Tools for community food resilience are not a one-size-fit’s all solution, and the goal of this work is to be able to point farmers, farmer coordinators, consumers, and consumer coordinators to the right technological pathway.
Develop Evaluation Criteria
The software leadership team is currently putting together a set of evaluation criteria to determine usability and utility of software designed for community food coordination. The existing software reviews have provided valuable guidance on what functionality Farmers are looking for, but don’t yet consider functionality for our other three user groups: Farm Coordinators, Consumers, and Consumer Coordinators.
More next week!
Software List (so far)
Missing software that we should look at? Submit it here!
Leadership Team (Join us!)
Asst. Prof. @ Agricultural Informatics Lab, Purdue University
Post-Doc @ Agricultural Informatics Lab, Purdue University
Farmer & Local Food Advocate
FarmOS Developer & Open Food Systems Advocate
Associate Manager of Research, U.S. Potato Board
Friends of the Farmers Market, Rochester, MN