Built upon the central tenant of providing information to farmers, Your Farm, a new online community designed for production agriculture, launched this week. Building on the success of social networks in other industries, Your Farm is a destination where producers, agribusinesses, professors, agri-marketers, grower associations and members of the farm media can interact, contribute and benefit. The company was developed to be a resource for those who spend their lives in and around production agriculture.
“By integrating the knowledge and experience of producers everywhere with cutting-edge technology, we have created a platform for farmers to interact, learn and share ideas,” says Joel Jaeger, Your Farm co-founder. “The concept is unlike anything available in agriculture today. Your Farm is about connecting producers with each other and with the best information and ideas in the industry.”
With the launch of Your Farm, the company has produced the first online publishing of the USDA/Farm Service Agency 1614 Database, which is available at www.yourfarm.com.
Previously published farm subsidy information has provided payment information that often stopped at the partnership or other entity level. In contrast, the 1614 Database discloses payment information with specific attribution to the individual who received the payment. The information was released publicly by the FSA on Dec. 19, 2006, but has not been available online until now.
"Any time we get a new look at data like this it is important, not only for farmers but for the non-farm person,” says Ken McCauley, National Corn Growers Association's president, when asked his opinion on the matter. “It would be good for farmers to visit Your Farm to compare it and see if the farmer is portrayed in a positive way. The non-farm public needs to be able to understand the real value of farm support. The way data has been compiled in the past has not always been in our favor."
Echoing this perspective, Jaeger adds, “Historically, payment data has been published by lobbying organizations who have often presented it in ways that support their agendas. We know there are many who have well founded perspectives that differ from those propagated by these groups and our objective at Your Farm is to provide a venue for those views to be expressed.”
The 1614 Database contains approximately 64 million records with information related to more than 2.3 million entities and individuals. The database provides information for $56 billion worth of benefits. Due to the size of the 1614 Database, FSA has indicated an inability to make the information available online.
“We like big ideas,” says Jaeger. “So we figured out how to put the information online. It’s about farmers. We believe they should have access to it.”
For more information visit www.yourfarm.com.