Community Picks: CropMobster, AgLocal, and PastureScout

These folks are all about supporting farmers, and they’re taking new approaches to solve some real issues for the farming and ranching community.  We’ve met with all of them the past few months, and we want to share the great work they’re doing!

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 3.40.54 PMCropMobster transforms what might be considered food waste, into value. Tons of produce not fit for the produce shelves in a supermarket are often left in the fields to rot. CropMobster is an online platform giving farmers the opportunity to offer this surplus and ‘seconds’ to those in their community who need it. We’re particularly moved by how this organization enables communities to take an active role in supporting their local food system. Watch the video where founder Nick Papadopolous explains how CropMobster works and see how you could use their services selling or donating product, or accessing some affordable bounty.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 3.41.34 PMAgLocal has a pretty audacious goal to transform the regional meat supply chain with mobile apps and technology. But, they have three great things going for them: 1) they’re smart;  2) they seem to have humble open-minds (which is so essential to understand and reform the ever-complex food system); and  3) they have solid technology backgrounds. AgLocal also seems to have great connections in the restaurant community, and growing relationships with ranchers on both the East and West Coasts. Their business model?  Well, let’s just say they’re in discovery mode. But, with what they call their “patient investors”, they are taking some time to see how they can make the best impact, and we wish them the utmost success.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 3.41.07 PMPastureScout is a platform to help existing and aspiring ranchers access more available pasture. It’s a new startup founded by Jen Livsey, a fifth generation cattle rancher who went to Princeton University and then went on to get her Masters degree in Ranch Management.  Her “day job” is selling drought insurance to ranchers in the MidWest. Let’s just say that when it comes to ranching, she knows what she’s talking about. She educated us on how many absentee land owners there are who simply don’t know how to lease land to an agriculture operation.  Her model is to educate land owners on the process and legalities, and then provide a match-making service through standard listings and eventually an online auction system.  We’ll be sure to announce when their platform launches later this Summer!

Written by Melanie Cheng & Shanti Christensen.

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