It is a good time to be an organic farmer, if Washington State University’s new Organic Grain Sales Bulletin Board is anything to go by.
Of 15 advertisements on the online board, created four months ago by WSU Extension, a dozen are from would-be buyers of organic crops like barley, oats, spelt and hay.
That’s encouraging, says Diana Roberts, Extension Educator for Spokane County. She created the online board as an evolution from an older email listserv linking growers and customers.
“It’s a community service connecting buyers and sellers,” Roberts said. “I was working with organic farmers, and they were saying, ‘I don’t know how to sell my crops.’”
While Roberts continues to send emails to the listserv, she wanted a site that was searchable and timely.
On the bulletin board, farmers and buyers submit their goods or needs, their location, and contact information. Roberts is the moderator. It’s up to buyers and sellers to work out the price, quality, certified organic status and delivery method of any deal.
Recently, Roberts has noticed a “definite increase” in demand for food and animal feed crops from Northwest buyers and people farther afield.
“I have not had requests for this amount, and this variety, before,” she said. “There’s an opportunity for people who want to go into organic production.”
Check out the Organic Grain Sales Bulletin Board at http://smallgrains.wsu.edu/organic-grain-sales-bulletin-board/.
To sign up to for the listserv, send an email to email@example.com.