Simon grew up on a small farm in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania before pursuing a degree in Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. Soon after college, Simon helped a long-time western Colorado fruit farmer expand his operation to include vegetable production and a CSA program. The project grew to serve five area farmers markets and a 130-member CSA.
During his tenure at the farm, Simon took advantage of his education in information technology to develop a highly interactive website for the CSA. In retrospect, this website was a prototype for what Small Farm Central would eventually become. After leaving the farm in the Fall of 2006, Simon started Small Farm Central with a core group of 10 farmers from across the country. In four years, Small Farm Central has grown to serve more than 1000 farmers (as of October 2015) across the U.S. and Canada.
Outside of Small Farm Central, Simon is kept active by his two sons, Eliot (age 4) and Theo (age 1). He enjoys food experimentation projects like beer making, fermenting various vegetables, and whatever other challenges come up. The 70 acre family farm is still in the family, so there is a chance of returning to growing food some day!
IN THIS PODCAST: Simon shares his story with Greg about how he went from avoiding the farm as a kid, to now using his technology skills to help farmers promote their farms online. Farmers who are just starting out with a small farm, are the people that Simon is focusing on helping and he shares what some of the techniques and tools he has developed specifically for this unique market. With this they also discuss the differences between social media and email marketing.
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