Southwest Iowa producers and consumers have a new tool to help connect them to each other through a free Iowa State University service.

The directory is available to southwest Iowa’s producers who are seeking to expand their markets and increase profitability. Consumers can search the Web site to find producers in their area that are selling home-grown produce, meats, dairy and craft items.

You can access the Southwest Iowa Family Farms directory at: http://www.wallacechair.iastate.edu/endeavors/swiowa.html.

The directory allows producers to set up an account and answer a short questionnaire to create a profile for their operation. They then can search the directory for information about other producers in their area, including what products they raise, transportation options, processing and storage, marketing and interest in cooperating with other producers. It’s a good example of agriculture’s innovative business options today.