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Natural Resources & Energy

University Of Wyoming Extension Creates Directory Of Local Food Producers

Farmer bending down to tend plants in his farm.
Rowena Harbridge/AusAID under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
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The University of Wyoming Extension recently published the 2021 Specialty Crop Directory.

"Our goal with the directory was to link buyers to sellers, and also to connect farmers to other farmers so that they could be mentors," said Cole Ehmke, University of Wyoming Extension specialist and coordinator for this project.

The directory is divided up by county and lists over 800 producers of specialty crops statewide. Ehmke said the term "specialty crops" is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and includes things like fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and homemade goods that are made of specialty crops, like jams or fruit pies. Specialty crops aren't big commodity crops, like wheat or corn.

Ehmke said that over the last decade he's seen fruits and vegetables become a more prominent part of Wyoming's agriculture, which has traditionally been mainly cattle and hay.

"We saw a need to really help consumers find their farmer because even in our most sparsely populated counties, it's a little tricky to know who's doing what. So we thought a directory would help solve some of those problems," said Ehmke.

He said the plan is to regularly update the directory at least every two years.

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