Plovgh is a cooperative of farmers, growers, and ranchers that sell directly to their customers.
Ah, the food system. It’s a mess, huh? Seems like farms, trucking companies, commodity brokers, even retailers that get to gargantuan scale really muck things up for everyone else. That’s why we’re excited to bring small businesses like Matthew Clancy’s into the Plovgh network. Have a look at this local transporter who got your crops into your neighborhood this week.
Transporter’s name: Matthew J. Clancy, Clancy’s Transportation Solutions
Homebase: Rotterdam Junction, New York
Years in operation: We are a newly formed business.
What do you drive? 2010 Chevrolet Express van.
What do you do? We offer the best solution to people and businesses that need something moved across town or across country. We provide our clients with a low cost alternative to the big name companies (emphasis added) with the care only a family owned small business can offer!
Why did you start this business? What’s unique or compelling about how you operate? I started this business to find a more fulfilling way to provide for my family’s quality of life. After years of working for the State of New York as a manager, the time spent away from my wife and children coupled with the fact that I felt uninspired by my work led me to leave it behind in order to focus on making Clancy’s Transportation Solutions (CTS) a success. CTS is a family owned and operated small business aimed at helping our local community and beyond. We are focused on providing custom transportation solutions to our clients that result in the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Welcome, Matthew! The maiden voyage was a success and we look forward to many more.
Below is a snapshot of where Plovgh members are beginning to organize. Do you see your neighborhood or city or borough on the map? No? Well, here’s where to get started.
Next week Plovgh is headed to Austin for SXSW Eco. The conference, now in it’s second year, was started to help move the many conversations surrounding sustainability toward progressive solutions. We’ll be there to participate in the Startup Showcase, but there are plenty of panels and discussions that we are psyched to see. The following is just an overview of some of the talks we plan to check out. For a full list of speakers and events you can view the schedule here.
This panel covers how software developers are aiding local food systems and how these new tech tools are fueling rural-urban economics and better regional food economies.
Companies are finding that there is excess capacity in cities and communities that can be repurposed for the greater good. This talk shares how pop up street improvement projects are helping to motivate change throughout cities.
“Straight to the Point” is a series of 15 minute sessions given by thought leaders in different fields from around the world. “The Sharing Economy” is one such session given by Jennifer Schmitt that discusses “collaborative consumption” and how it can change the way traditional systems operate.
“Most sustainability challenges are rooted in systemic problems and need to be solved by a new form of approach: system innovation.” This panel will discuss the theory and practice of creating change at a system level.
Anna Lappé will cover the divisive argument over whether sustainable or industrial agriculture is the answer to world food security. Along with the screening of her new video, Anna will “explore the role of sustainable food systems, share emergent global innovations and expose food industry flacks.”
I’m personally looking forward to checking out this panel on how social media trends can influence sustainable systems. The dialogue will touch on data insights, content development, brand management and more.
How will collaboration and community shift the standards of a “successful” business? The topic of “collaborative consumption” is revisited and pondered by a group of entrepreneurs including Casey Caplowe, Micki Krimmel, and Elizabeth Stewart.
We get excited about data at Plovgh. This panel will examine different scenarios of “how data is being collected, analyzed and visualized for planning and designing sustainable cities.” Panelists will also identify the ways crowd sourcing and mobile phone sensors are being leveraged in areas where data does not yet exist.
We’re looking forward to hear from some of our peers and agricultural leaders on this panel as they discuss the emerging new generation of farmers and what can be done to help make direct from producer economies more viable.
While we are developing big ideas here at Plovgh and building for what we think Plovgh has the potential to become we’re also revisiting the details. We’ve given our blog a bit of a face lift and added features that enable a higher level of engagement and a way for us to connect with you.
Now you can share an article with friends on Facebook. Repin a picture of a cute goat. Or retweet an infographic. While these updates may seem like old news, for us it’s a big step toward better connecting with you and it’s important that we hear what you think because you’re a part of this.
To say that the Plovgh team likes to geek out over data is probably an understatement. Given that, we wanted to share this new project from our friends at Brooklyn Brainery. They collected and compiled old data visualizations and documents from 19th century census data and created an online resource of everything from agriculture to insanity and made it easy for everyone to explore.
Below are some of the agricultural based documents that give insight into data on crop production, land use, rainfall, wages and more in America from 1870 and 1890.
Average size of farms: 1890
Production of buckwheat, barley and cotton, 1890
Value of farm products per acre, 1890
We’re excited to present a new project: A Handsome Atlas:
Check it out for some lovely, modern and awesome data visualizations based on 19th Century census data.
What’s the story? After the Civil War, the US doubled down on the Census, cranking out stunning maps, charts, and graphs.
About what? Literally everything. Liquor, lumber, Methodists, malaria, insanity, Irishmen: everything!
We’ve heard a lot of interpretive pronunciations of Plovgh in recent months: “plov-gah”, “ploe”, “plahv”. Our favorite questions so far have been: Does the “L-O-V” stand for “love”? And, is Plovgh Russian for…(we’re not sure what)?
Nope, none of the above. In fact, the spelling was originally a function of the great URL conundrum that many startups face (see Svpply and Svbtle for prime examples). But the concept behind the name is a bit more meaningful than that.
Plovgh, which is pronounced “plow”, refers to a tool, an innovation that fueled a technological revolution in farming in the ancient world. We aim to apply technology in a way that has an equally transformative effect for the current and future generation of farmers, not on their production but on the economics of their markets. By eliminating the middleman, Plovgh producers and customers can both do better.
For the non-agrarians among you, the plough is an agricultural tool that is thought to have emerged in the 6th millennium B.C. when people began using draft animal power. It was not until 1837 that the first steel plough was introduced by a blacksmith and manufacturer named John Deere. Its arrow-shaped head is used to this day to cultivate the soil in preparation for sowing seeds or planting. Thus, the “v” in our name reflects the shape of the tool itself and calls on a rich history of humans working the land and forging new ground.
Last but not least, the plough had an impact on agriculture around the world, over the course of millennia. That it is also a constellation and a yoga pose speaks to its universality, cultural significance, and enduring quality. Our hope is that Plovgh too reaches hundreds of millions of farmers globally and has wide-reaching effect in reinventing markets for producers and people.
So, for historical, technical, and pragmatic reasons, we are Plovgh.