According to a Research from the US Department of Agriculture, 60% of farmers nationwide lose money each year while 17,000 family farms go out of business, “The Grapes of Wrath” are not that obsolete after all. In an effort to support local farming, Heather Hilleren founded Local Dirt in 2005, a Saas (Software as a Service) platform that connects sellers and buyers of locally-grown produce and animal products. While individual can use the LocalDirt website for free to search local sellers by type, kind of product and mileage range, larger farms, farmer’s cooperatives and distributors pay an annual subscription fee ranging from $360 to $720. In addition to subscriptions, Local Dirt will soon introduce fee-based value-added services for sellers and fee-based matching services for haulers with unused truck capacity.
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