Chatham University creates Pa. farm directory

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Want to buy local, but don’t know where to start? Chatham University can help with that.

The university’s Center for Regional Agriculture, Food and Transformation, or CRAFT, created a Pennsylvania Farm Product Directory specifically aimed at helping people navigate local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The directory includes basic information like location, hours, contact information and product availability for farms. It also has details on additional cleaning or social distancing measures in place and ways to buy their products, as some are doing call-ahead ordering, curbside pickup and delivery.

The directory can be found here: Pennsylvania Farm Product Directory.

It has about 80 farms, so far, with a variety of things for sale, including beef, pork, poultry, produce, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, prepared foods, bakery items, maple syrup, beeswax, yarn, soap and seedlings.

Faculty and students created a survey that farms can fill out to have their information added to the directory. Farms are being added to the directory daily. If you want your farm on the list, you can fill out the survey here

Cassandra Malis, CRAFT program manager, said they already had an open-source website with data on local producers, processors and agricultural services in the tri-state area (find that here).

So they weren’t starting from the ground up, but they have been reaching out to farms directly to get updated information. Chatham students have been making those phone calls.

“We wanted to create this project as a way to for the community to learn where to eat local food,” Malis said. “But it’s an on-the-spot creative way for students to continue working.” 

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Rachel is a reporter with Farm and Dairy and a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She married a fourth-generation beef and sheep farmer and settled down in her hometown in Beaver County. Before coming to Farm and Dairy, she worked at several daily and weekly newspapers throughout Western Pennsylvania covering everything from education and community news to police and courts.

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