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South Carolina NRCS Helps Launch MarketMaker

From land and sea – the freshest products in South Carolina are just a click away at http://sc.marketmaker.uiuc.edu

 

SC NRCS Assistant State Conservationist Doug Deaderick participated in a press conference highlighting SC's new MarketMaker website on April 29, 2009.

SC NRCS Assistant State Conservationist
Doug Deaderick participated in a press
conference highlighting SC's new
MarketMaker website on April 29, 2009.

The Palmetto State’s freshest seafood and agricultural produce is just a mouse click away through an interactive tool now available in South Carolina.

S.C. Market Maker is an online resource that puts the state’s freshest agricultural products and from-the-boat seafood in the hands of consumers. Bringing Market Maker to South Carolina is a cooperative effort between Clemson University Public Service Activities, S.C. Department of Agriculture, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From a farmer looking for a place to sell fresh-grown baby greens to a grocery store manager who wants to stock his coolers with locally caught shrimp, Market Maker’s online interactive mapping system can locate businesses and products across the Palmetto State.

The innovative tool provides an important link for producers and consumers, said David Lamie, Extension specialist at the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, who is leading the project in South Carolina. Details can be summarized on a map to show concentrations of consumer markets and strategic business partners. Providing the information in a map-based format, in addition to lists and tables, makes for a more effective and user-friendly tool, Lamie said.

Census and other data to help producers identify niche markets is also a feature of the site. For example, a producer wanting to sell lamb or goat meat to Hispanic consumers can request a map showing the greatest concentration of Hispanic households, and then request a complete demographic profile of those locations. Or, a chef who wants to buy wild caught fish for his restaurant can search for local commercial operators in the state.

“This online tool will help the state’s agriculture and seafood industries reach new markets and help consumers find just what they are looking for,” Lamie said.

At an unveiling at the State House on April 29, 2009, the new tool was demonstrated on a large screen television. SC NRCS State Conservationist Niles Glasgow said, “NRCS works with small and limited resource farmers to help them meet specific market niches. Market Maker is a great tool that will expand their opportunities for exposure and profit.”

To register a business or search the Market Maker database, visithttp://sc.marketmaker.uiuc.edu

NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve South Carolina’s natural resources and environment.