I saw a huge need at the farm today that is available to some extinct, but not usable for all farmers, especially small farmers. The Davidson College farm specifically relies on volunteers and donations in order to produce local, healthy food for campus. This can be a management nightmare after a never-ending issue of crop plan changes. Producers must accommodate their consumers in order to stay in business, so although a crop plan is necessary, it isn’t always followed because of the changing interest and preferences of consumers. To be able to create an efficient environment, farmers must have a crop plan because they need to think many months in advance, while also keeping up with what is in their fields at any given time. Good management will increase efficiency and productivity, which will lead to more profit.
Another technological need for Theresa, the Davidson College Farm Manager, is coordinating volunteers and have them work as effectively as possible. With all of responsibilities and task management, volunteer coordinating is almost impossible to balance as a single entity at the farm. A digital coordinator that could provide times and task needs at the farm for volunteers to see and sign up for could both allow Theresa to focus on her responsibilities as well as keeping the volunteer work as efficient and effective as possible. One problem with this is that many volunteers need to be educated on the proper techniques of various tasks, which Theresa usually does in person, but with online tutorials connected to volunteer sign-ups, this time could also be put to better use while also creating an educational environment. Today, I saw a dire need for digital management and coordinating at the Davidson College Farm, and I imagine that this is true in other small farms as well.