Iowa entrepreneurs develop Farmmee app to connect farmers to services
Farmmee’s goal is to aid farmers in finding services and providers that can meet their needs
From left: Molly Woodruff, Cindy Rockwell and Becky McCrae, developers of Farmmee. (Rick Purnell)
With backgrounds in farming and agriculture, the trio behind a new farming app know the challenges that can come with farming on tight deadlines — haulers breaking down or storms threatening crops right before harvest.
These challenges led three Iowa entrepreneurs to create Farmmee, an app aimed at helping connect farmers to people and companies that can provide necessary services.
Farmmee connects farmers with providers who can perform services they may need, including spreading manure, hauling hay or a range of other tasks. Farmers also can list themselves as providers, offering their expertise and services to other farmers.
Molly Woodruff, Cindy Rockwell and Becky McCrea have decades of experience in tech and IT among them. The trio own AppLifts, a Des Moines-based tech company. All three of them also have agriculture backgrounds.
Rockwell, Farmmee’s director of business development, owns a corn and soybean farm in Carlisle, and Woodruff, the CEO, operates a 100-year-old family farm with her husband in Indianola.
McCrea, the chief technology officer, has worked at crop insurance and agriculture start-ups.
The inspiration for the app came when the team was exploring ways to improve their own operations and trying to expand it out to other farmers.
They landed on a model that connected farmers to providers, modeling apps such as Uber that allow for direct connection of consumers and service providers.
“The app is very simple,” Rockwell said. “One side is, ‘I need help,’ and the other side is ‘I can provide help.’ And it’s really those two buttons.”
The app launched in early May. Thus far, the app has had seen only a handful of downloads, but Rockwell said interest has been rising.
“People are hitting our website, they’re signing up for our newsletter, we’re getting a few people starting to sign up this week,” she said.
The app is free to use for farmers and doesn’t take a cut of the payments. Providers will pay a monthly subscription after a free trial period, and farmers and providers will be able to negotiate rates and pay on their own.
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