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Web site designed to connect farmers to custom operators

July 06, 2004|by BOB KESSLER/Penn State Extension Office

Are you looking for someone to raise your heifers, house your dry cows, or wrap hay bales?

Producers will find custom operators who perform these services - and many more - in the newly expanded online Custom Operator Directory.

The directory, formerly known as the Custom Operator Database, has undergone a name change to better reflect its purpose, said Sarah Roth, extension associate in farm business management with Dairy Alliance, a Penn State Cooperative Extension initiative.

"The Web site is designed to connect agricultural and dairy producers with custom operators in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio and Vermont. The new name promotes its use as a convenient listing of custom operator services," said Roth, who developed the site.

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The directory allows custom agricultural operators to enter their business information into a database that can be searched by producers.

"Producers who want to hire a custom operator to fill a particular need can search the site for service providers in their area," Roth explained.

"For custom operators, the Web site is another place to market their information before potential new clients."

Clickable maps allow for searching by state or county.

Searches can also be performed by service type. And it's all free. There is no charge to producers to use the directory, or for custom operators to enter their business information.

In addition to the new name, the site has been expanded to include more service areas. Now, d producers can search among nine categories of animal services: dry-transition cow housing, heifer raising, hoof trimming, and reproduction.

Searches can also be conducted under nine categories of crop services, such as: harvesting, grinding/shredding, hay bale wrapping, harvesting, planting and drilling, grain drying, spraying/fertilizing, tillage and cultivation, and TMR/feed sales.

The "miscellaneous services" category has been expanded to add excavating and bull-dozing, rock picking, to motor repair, sharpening, and skid-loading.

An "other" category provides listings for services not found under the animal and crop services subcategories.




For more information about the Custom Operators Directory, contact Roth at (814) 863-8645 or by e-mail at sarahroth@psu.edu

You can reach the Custom Operators Directory at cod.aer.psu.edu/

Bob Kessler is an Extension agent, specializing in farm and garden, for Penn State University. He is based in Franklin County, Pa. He can be reached weekdays at 1-717-263-9226.

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