USDA Launches New API That Provides Developers Access to a Wealth of Farmers Market Data

Janet Wagner, Data Journalist / Full Stack Developer
May. 16 2013, 08:00AM EDT

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just launched the brand new USDA Farmers Market Directory API providing developers programmatic access to the USDA National Farmers Market Directory database. According to the USDA website, the National Farmers Market Directory has over 7,800 farmers market listings for all 50 states and provides consumers farmers market information such as market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, and accepted forms of payment.

USDA

The USDA Farmers Market Directory API makes it possible for developers to access market directory data using search and data retrieval functionality. The data can then be used in websites and third-party applications. The API is REST based and can be accessed by using C#, Visual Basic, or AJAX JavaScript. API responses are provided in JSON data format.

AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo, states for the USDA press release that:

"AMS continues to refine and improve the directory data, adding fields and honing our collection methods to yield clearer and more useful results. The API is the next step in our efforts to improve this resource, and we will continue to listen to the consumers and developers who use it daily to keep improving it."

To help encourage developers to use and support the new USDA Farmers Market Directory API, the USDA is also participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking taking place June 1-2, 2013.

The Farmers Market Directory Challenge asks developers to create mobile applications (Android, iPhone, Windows) that will help promote farmers markets and provide users innovative and unique farmers market experiences through mobile technology. Applications should also include visualizations and mapping features.

To find out more about the Farmers Market Directory Challenge visit the National Day of Civic Hacking website.

Janet Wagner Janet is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, open data, data visualization and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @webcodepro and on Google+

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