Farm Canada strives to be a central hub for Canadian farmers to get all of the information they need in one place. Farmers today are forced to scour the internet for the data they need to make informed decisions, visiting Bloomberg for prices, Kijiji for buy & sell, Agriville for discussion, the list goes on. Growing up in a grain farming family in rural Manitoba, I know that farmers are extremely busy people and their time is valuable. I also know that farmers these days are not given enough credit for their use of technology. Farm Canada fills the gap that current agricultural websites have fallen behind on. These websites have not taken advantage of the latest technologies, making them frustrating to use, with farmers often sifting through large amounts of useless data that does not pertain to them.
Farm Canada wants to change this. The app has been built with the latest web development frameworks, hosted in the cloud for maximum scalability regardless of how big our user base gets. Using the latest style frameworks, we are able to have a responsive, intuitive user interface that is not only easy to grasp, but looks great on any kind of device, which we believe is crucial in today's world of phones, tablets and PC's. Farm Canada has a fully secure user login, allowing farmers to register and have a personalized experience on our app.
Farm Canada provides a fully interactive "Data Centre" which allows farmers to view the latest open data, based on which province is selected. Government released open data for agriculture has long gone unused, but we believe it has tremendous potential to be harnessed and visualized. Farmers aren't going to spend hours trying to decipher a government released CSV file, but they will visit our web app and view geographical data through our interactive maps, or come to their own conclusions viewing certain datasets on our interactive graphs. Apps for Alberta has given us a great opportunity to show the level of detail we'd like to accomplish with every province across the country.
Farm Canada provides up-to-the-minute commodity pricing for markets that actually matter to Canadian farmers. Browse the data that is coming in every minute, compare different markets, zoom and scale timelines, and even print out an image of the graph once you've customized the information the way you want. Sign up for market updates so you can get the latest prices that matter to you sent directly to your email inbox, or SMS to your phone while you are out combining.
Farm Canada provides a simple grain bin tracker, that allows farmers to plot where their bins are in an interactive map. We envision this feature to be our biggest growth potential, with it evolving into a full blown farm management service. With farmers providing more specific data about their farm, we can tailor the data to be more relevant to them. The less clicks, the better.
One thing I have learned from many years on the farm is that farmers always have an opinion, and a strong one at that. We want to grow a community that keeps users coming back. Using the latest techniques for on-line message boards, Farm Canada will be a community with self-moderated content. Our slogan "Built by farmers, for farmers" is especially true here. Farmers can submit links to news articles they they believe the community would be interested. The community can vote whether they are relevant or interesting, and comment on the article to start a discussion. This kind of voting system will allow the best community additions to appear in less clicks for the user. We believe this type of self moderated community will drive participation and get people coming back.