Market experience

Market Wagon offers an online farmer’s market experience

The new online tool is a combination of agriculture and technology, and lets you know exactly where your food comes from.

MINNEAPOLIS — Taking a trip to buy locally grown and produced food is changing. Now, instead of jumping in the car or on your bike to get to the farmers market, it comes to you through the Market Wagon app.

That means fresh, local food any time of the year, but this new tool is also about building a relationship with where your food is coming from.

Nick Carter came up with the concept of combining agriculture with the web out of necessity. He’s a fourth-generation celebrity who realized that if he had anything to pass on to his son, things would have to change.

“It’s a passionate business,” Carter said. “So in order to save the family farm, we had to create an online marketplace.”

There are now over 2,000 food artisans and farmers, just like Nick on market cart. The service continues to grow as interest in locally grown and produced foods continues to grow.

Bruce and LeeAnn Waugh of Cannon Valley Ranch in Goodhue have gained more exposure on Market Wagon than they could ever have dreamed of achieving on their own. Not only do they sell directly to buyers, but they also learn how to adapt their business to people’s changing needs. “It taught us a lot about consumer wants and needs,” LeeAnn said. “We learned about what products people love and what sizes work.”

According to the USDA, 70% of Americans would spend more if they could source locally sourced food, but logistics and pricing have traditionally been a challenge for family operations. With Market Wagon, farmers know exactly what their crop needs and drop it all off at a hub. From there, items are delivered to individual customers for a flat fee of $6.95, whether you buy one item from a single farmer or 100 items from 20 different farmers.

“The thing is, technology is always advancing and farmers have used new technologies to innovate, and this is no different,” Carter said.

Farmers and food artisans can easily register directly on the website, and Carter encourages everyone to share their story to let the consumer know who they are.

“That transparency builds trust, it builds the value of the food and it’s also what producers are looking for – they want to know about the community they are feeding.”