Cole Ehmke1 and Dr. Mariah Ehmke1
1Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wyoming
Blockchain is emerging as a new tool agricultural producers, supply chain managers, food suppliers, and retailers may use to coordinate supply networks, facilitate financing, and provide customers with product information. Blockchain provides a decentralized, immutable, and secure verification system for food and agricultural products, from local farms to the global table. The objective of this work is to trace the potential role of blockchain in Wyoming agricultural products and marketing options. While the applications are in the early stages of development, we find that farms or ranches may benefit from a thorough understanding of this technology. Recent changes in Wyoming state law facilitate the development of blockchain. This paper describes the technology, reviews applications within the food system, describes state law changes, and identifies considerations associated with the technology for advisors.
Cole Ehmke is an Extension Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension based in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His work covers agricultural entrepreneurship topics as well as personal financial resource management. Recent projects have included coordinating the Annie’s Project program of management classes for women in agriculture, creating a regulatory guide for foods ventures, creating a business startup guide for value-added food producers, and helping business managers transition ownership and management to a new generation.