Monday, July 9, 2012

Iowa Market Maker

This helpful tool is designed for, "connecting willing markets and quality sources of food from farms and fisheries to fork in Iowa."  There are two types of searches: 1) Market Research and 2) Business Search.  

The Market Research tab allows a user to quickly learn about the demographics of the state and find out where there are clusters of a certain demographic.  The tab includes basic demographic information for each census tract around the state including: age, income, education, household type, foreign born as well as food preferences.

The example below shows a map of the average number of dollars spent on dinners away from home by census tract.  This could be useful for helping someone decide where to locate a new restaurant.

The Iowa Market Maker also has a Business Search tab which allows users to search for farms, buyers, eating/drinking place, wholesaler, and six other categories either statewide or to specify a certain distance from a specific zip code.  

In the example shown above, the search criteria are showing all the registered farms within 50 miles of Ames selling lettuce.  The level of detail that is provided with this tool is fantastic!  Then when you click on the name of a farm it takes you to a profile of that vendor with their contact information, website, and location on a map.

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