Have you ever found yourself standing in the grocery store aisle wishing you knew more about the farmer who grew those beautiful heirloom tomatoes or the bees who made that jar of honey? Well, now you can.
Welcome to Meet Your Farmer, a fun and easy way to use your smart phone to learn more about the people, places and stories behind your food.
Meet Your Farmer is a first of its kind project that launched at Great Basin Community Food Co-op (GBFC) in September.
Shoppers download the free Aurasma app to their smart phone then look for the Meet Your Farmer logo on food products sourced from 25 different local farmers throughout the store. When activated, the app plays a brief video introducing the shopper to the farmer and farm responsible for the food.
“I went on a farm tour and saw how people really enjoyed getting to know their farmers and seeing how their food was produced,” said Steve Cook, creative director for marketing agency NEON and the driving force behind the project. “This fun new technology allows you to virtually meet your farmer,” giving shoppers the farm tour experience without ever leaving the store.
Meet Your Farmer is funded through a Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA). As part of this grant, Meet Your Farmer has teamed up with Cowee Consulting to conduct a survey about Reno-area consumers’ reactions to Meet Your Farmer and perceptions of local food in general.
The anonymous online survey is open to all Reno-area residents age 18 and over and takes 10 minutes to complete. At the end, respondents have the option to enter into a drawing for one of three $50 gift cards to GBFC as a thank you for their time.
While it’s not required to use the Meet Your Farmer app before taking the survey, it is preferred.
“We hope people use the app before taking the survey so we can use their responses to improve and expand Meet Your Farmer in the future,” Maggie Cowee of Cowee Consulting said. “But anyone who takes the survey will provide valuable insight into northern Nevada’s local food market.”
Survey data will be used by the Co-op, NDA and farmers to create a better understanding of regional demand for local food.
GBFC recently added an in-store tablet that is available to shoppers who don’t have a smart phone but would like to view the Meet Your Farmer videos. GBFC is located at 240 Court St., Reno and is open 7 days per week from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The survey will be open through February 2016 and can be accessed here.
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