Sue Ujcic is an innovative farmer and a champion of what’s possible when communities work together. She is as adept in connecting people to good food, good health, and good times as she is harvesting potatoes.
As co-owner of Helsing Junction Farm in Rochester, Washington, just outside of Olympia, Sue and her business partner, Anna Salafsky, have worked since 1992 with almost the same crew of 12 people to farm and grow 30 acres of organic vegetables, fruit, and flowers to serve their 800-member CSA program, one of the most established in the country. Much of their produce throughout the growing season is also donated to the local food bank where they deliver weekly CSA shares directly to recipients, a program funded by donations from their members, which they match.
What issues have you been focused on?
Linking low-income people with fresh organic produce. Read more
Farmigo, a Web site devoted to helping Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers, is the latest innovation helping to build a bridge between consumers and farmers. Joining the ranks of other online food exchanges such as FoodHub, FarmsReach, Local Dirt, and Market Maker, Farmigo seeks to help improve farmers’ services to their CSA members, make their day-to-day operations easier, and increase their profitability.
Founder Benzi Ronen spent 15 years developing systems for Microsoft, Netscape, and SAP. Three years ago, he jumped off the corporate train to marry his passion for food to a sustainable business that he hopes will “make the world a better place.” Ronen delved into the world of food policy and emerged with a vision to share a hi-tech solution with farmers. He began his journey by visiting more than 100 CSA farms to learn firsthand what could make their businesses even more successful. Along the way, the farmers he met all shared common traits: an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to grow the best quality food possible. Enter Farmigo—a tool designed to help farmers do what they love best: be in the field and not behind a desk. Read more