Idea pitches push Shoals toward digital innovation

Community Category - First Place 2016

The community category winner brought together two farmers and a web developer with the goal of connecting consumers with locally grown foods through a smartphone app that allows farmers to input available products and send alerts to consumers.

Jason Strayhorn, of Hog on the Range, and Hope Lowery, of Cottonwood Farm, teamed with tech developer Brian Williams to solve the supply chain disconnect between consumers who want locally sourced foods and farmers.

“The problem is most farmers, like myself, are really good farmers and really good at raising hogs and stuff like that, but the problem is we are not sales people and we are not marketers,” Strayhorn said. “People need to know what we have available and where you can actually get it.”

The app would close that gap by providing a routine update of products and allow consumers to purchase products using the app and set up a pick up time that works for both sides.

“You’re going to get better quality food,” Strayhorn said. “Hopefully we are going to be able to get better prices for our farmers so they can continue doing what they do and (consumers) will have reliable information about what is available every single week.”

jennifer.edwards@TimesDaily.com or 256-740-5754. Twitter @TD_JEdwards.