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Seeking Your Input for USDA’s Digital Strategy

On May 23, 2012, the White House released the Federal Digital Strategy aimed at building a 21st century government provides open data and digital services to the American people and its employees.

As part of our Digital Strategy, USDA has identified several first-move candidates that can be improved to meet the call for web APIs and mobile optimized services by May 23, 2013.

We’d like your input in deciding which two candidates in each category we will commit to completing by OMB’s May 23, 2013 deadline. We’d love to hear your feedback – which of these candidates would be most useful to you? What should we consider when creating web APIs and optimizing for mobile? Did we miss anything?

We have identified the following first-move candidates to make available as web Application Programming Interfaces (APIs):

Name: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
Description
: Provides USDA’s comprehensive forecasts of supply and demand for major U.S. and global crops and U.S. livestock. The report gathers information from a number of statistical reports published by USDA and other government agencies, and provides a framework for additional USDA reports.
Main Customers:
Government, Business, Media, Education Institutions, Consumers

Name: National Farmers Market Directory
Description:
Agricultural Marketing Service-produced directory containing information about U.S. farmers market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, and accepted forms of payment. Supports local and regional food systems, as well as development of local economies.
Main Customers:
Consumers, Business, Community leaders

Name: List of Disaster Counties
Description:
Farm Service Agency list of Counties with a specific disaster designation.
Main Customers:
Producers, Farmers, Government, Media

Name: Office Information Profile System
Description:
USDA Service Centers are designed to be a single location where customers can access the services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies. This tool provides the address of a USDA Service Center and other Agency offices serving your area along with information on how to contact them.
Main Customers:
Government, Business, Public

Name: SNAP Retailer Locator information
Description:
Find a retailer welcomes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) customers. Currently available as an interactive map with geocoded information available by download as a .CSV file. Locations updated monthly
Main Customers:
Public

The following list includes high-value USDA service candidates to potentially be optimized for mobile use:

Name: Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory
Description:
The Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory is a listing of establishments that produce meat, poultry, and/or egg products regulated by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) pursuant to the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act. Directory is updated monthly.
Main Customers:
Business, Industry, Government, Consumers

Name: USDA Newsroom
Description:
The USDA Newsroom holds official news releases, statements, transcripts and speeches released by the Department.
Main Customers:
Government, Public, Media

Name: USDA Blog
Description:
The Blog features content from all USDA agencies and features the latest news, events and features. The Blog also provides the public an opportunity to ask questions or share their thoughts about the latest issues.
Main Customers:
Government, Public, Media

Name: AmberWaves eZine
Description:
As the Economic Research Service’s (ERS) flagship publication, Amber Waves provides a window into ERS research through highly readable articles geared to educated but non-specialized audiences. Amber Waves covers important issues on U.S. markets & trade, diet & health, resources & environment, rural issues in easy to digest articles, with comprehensive links to ERS website for more details.
Main Customers:
Government, Media, Researchers, Education Institutions

Name: Office Information Profile System
Description:
USDA Service Centers are designed to be a single location where customers can access the services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies. This tool provides the address of a USDA Service Center and other Agency offices serving your area along with information on how to contact them.
Main Customers:
Government, Business, Public

28 Responses to “Seeking Your Input for USDA’s Digital Strategy”

  1. Vernon Fuller says:

    I would recommend the following two candidates:

    1. National Farmers Market Directory

    2. Meat Poultry and Egg Product Inspection

    I believe that these two candidates will have the widest appeal, especially for healhty eating interest.

  2. Joe Anne Ward-Cottrell says:

    Responding to your request for input on the Federal Digital Strategy (can not respond digitally from work!) From a consumer perspective, my two top picks are:
    Name: SNAP Retailer Locator information
    Name: National Farmers Market Directory

  3. Kip Kolesinskas says:

    1. National Farmers Market Directory
    2. Office Information Profile System

  4. Leada Dietz says:

    1. National farmers market directory
    2. SNAP retailer locator information

  5. David Miller says:

    Where does the funding for this project come from?

  6. Ozarks Farm & Neighbor Newspaper says:

    As a media outlet serving farmers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma we would recommend:

    1) Office Information Profile System
    2) List of Disaster Counties

    These would work well together to help producers and farmers discover programs and information available to them.

  7. Lenora Tooher says:

    DEFinitely #1. Don’t ‘PUSH’ info re. SNAP. SNAP is good, but just like the heightened media coverage for cigarettes…
    Office Information Profile System
    Give people the tools…they can use the internet!

  8. Terrence Downs, York PA says:

    1.) National Farmers’ Market Directory
    2.) Office Information Profile System

    Wish number 1, as the ‘Buy Fresh – Buy Local’ iniative has proven a good resource; to put on a National level would be good interface to other market operations to connect.

  9. Gail Eggeman says:

    For the top two picks:

    National Farmers Market Directory Include those that offer EBT in directory
    USDA Newsroom for consumers to understand and follow food issues

    This should not be a priority
    SNAP retail locator information – if it would be possible to list those selling real food – In my county this would mostly be gas stations, and “quiki” marts where many just buy their cigarettes

  10. Nelly Yunta says:

    Thank you for asking for input.
    I would like to suggest to give priority to:
    World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and
    Office Information Profile System
    These items are valuable for logistics and international business in general. Thank you

  11. Adam Schroeder - Pearl Market Manager says:

    I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. My votes would be for:

    National Farmers Market Directory

    SNAP Retailer Locator information.

  12. Laurie Gharis says:

    1. Office Information Profile System
    2. National Farmers Market Directory

  13. S. Brentrup, Dickinson ND says:

    My vote is for world ag supply and the USDA newsroom.

  14. Nori Naylor says:

    Found the link to this page on Twitter.

    National Farmers Market Directory with link to SNAP
    Office informational profile system

    It’s great to have one place to source information.

  15. David Gerhard says:

    The farmers’ market directory gets my vote. I had the experience of moving from an area with comprehensive information on farmers’ markets to a region without similar resources. Most of my neighbors don’t know what’s available. The API would make it easy to spread the knowledge.

  16. Mike Smith says:

    The Farmers Market Directory is not only useful, but technically snazzy. It is also a good candidate for a useful tool to carry around on your mobile phone.

  17. Joyce Bullivant says:

    1) National Farmers Market Directory
    2) SNAP Retailer Locator information

    Thank you!

  18. Benjamin @ Food Genius says:

    We can build some really cool tools on top of the services we are already working with to help people discover food with the National Farmers Market Directory. I think the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates would be interesting to experiment with too.

  19. Judy @ Platte Valley Farms says:

    1. USDA Newsroom
    2. Office Information Profile System
    Both for their broad based coverage of current topics.

  20. Erin says:

    Ones that relate to business and consumer use seem like they would be the best start.
    API:
    1) World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates
    2) Office Info Profile System
    Mobile:
    1) AmberWaves eZine
    2) Office Info Profile System

  21. wjhuie says:

    Don’t you think “List of Disaster Countries” should just be “list of countries” (perhaps done in partnership with State or someone…).

    Seems like a country could be “on” or “off” the list at any time, and what you want is for that info to be listed along side other relevant facts about the country, not as a separate API call…

  22. Christine Rueter says:

    I would argue for FSA’s List of Disaster Counties, especially if the county disaster data could be linked with Disaster Assistance Program resources in the mobile app. This would enable impacted producers and farmers to access critical resources–the Disaster Assistance Eligibility Tool, Emergency Loan Programs, local emergency management resources–through their mobile device if a natural disaster hits (especially tornado, hurricane, flood).

  23. Pat Stieren says:

    National Farmers Market Directory is top priority for consumers finding local food!

  24. Lauren S. says:

    In terms of consumers, I feel there could be substantial value in mobilizing the SNAP Retailer Locator Information interface.

  25. Kristen K says:

    1) SNAP Retailer Locator Information

  26. Ian Thompson says:

    The Program that can have the biggest impact on the service to the broadest spectrum of citizens, at the lowest cost to USDA is not listed here, but should be strongly considered. That program is SuperTracker.

  27. Ryan S says:

    How about an API or OData feed for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones?

  28. Todd says:

    I would really like to see an API for the nutrition database. Is this on the roadmap at all?

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