Oct 23, 2015
AgMRC, MarketMaker plan food mapping tool, resources

Finding food-related businesses and related educational information on a single website will soon get a lot easier. Thanks to collaboration between the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) and MarketMaker, an interactive mapping tool and enterprise-specific portals will offer a focused site with subject matter tools and resources of interest to users.

Over the next two years, AgMRC will fund the development of added features and functions to the MarketMaker website, including updates to the searchable mapping tool that will help users convert data into information. Using the latest cloud-based technology, the market research tool’s new mapping application will offer more functions and a better experience for users. Beginning this fall, users will be able to execute scalable and complex searches that display business locations, consumer demographic and preference data, and other data overlays in a user friendly way.

“Collaboration between two national web platforms will strengthen both sites, but more importantly, it will make accessing reliable information by our producers and processors easier and quicker,” said Ray Hansen, Director of AgMRC. “The ultimate goal is to provide timely technical assistance and resources that help our users make informed business decisions.”

Enterprise-specific portals offering focused subject matter tools and resources of interest to the user are also under development. The new web-based platforms will be co-branded with data and information that is appropriate to the targeted audience from both AgMRC and MarketMaker. The first platform to be created will be beef-specific.

“MarketMaker has included interactive maps since the very beginning,” said Dar Knipe, co-founder of MarketMaker. “We think it is a powerful way to visualize information that can help support better decisions for entrepreneurs and policy makers alike. Thanks to our partnership with AgMRC, we will be able to map even more information and allow the user to build customized maps that suit their individual needs.”

Based out of Iowa State University, AgMRC is a national center for value-added agriculture resources, business development, and consulting resources for producers. For more information, visit www.agmrc.org.

About MarketMaker

MarketMaker is a national network of states that connect farmers and fishermen with food retailers, grocery stores, processors, caterers, chefs, and consumers. It is an ever-growing partnership of Land Grant Universities, Departments of Agriculture, and food and agricultural organizations investing in a coordinated effort to build a virtual infrastructure that brings healthier, fresher, and more flavorful food to the average consumer. MarketMaker was created at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and is licensed to Riverside Research, an independent not-for-profit organization. Riverside Research is investing in additional research and development to expand MarketMaker’s capabilities to new markets and regions, both nationally and potentially globally. MarketMaker is hosted and maintained by Riverside Research and is guided by an advisory board made up of representatives from participating partner states.

About Riverside Research

Riverside Research is a not-for-profit organization chartered to advance scientific research in the public interest and in support of the United States government. Comprised of leading engineering, technology, and operations experts, Riverside Research delivers trusted solutions in Biomedical Engineering, Cyber,Electromagnetic Sciences, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. These Centers of Excellence are supported by five integrated research laboratories that conduct independent and mission-focused research in critical technology areas. Originating as part of Columbia University in the 1950s and established as an independent corporation in 1967, Riverside Research remains dedicated to its academic heritage by working with colleges and universities from across the nation to advance science, technology, engineering, and math through education, research, and workforce development. Learn more at www.riversideresearch.org.

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