1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Grassroots Electronic NewsYou don't need a computer to take advantage of Grassroots, a first-of-its-kind electronic farm news and information service. Unlike other in-home electronic information systems, Grassroots can be picked up by your ordinary TV and a "decoder" box that sells for under $250 (prices continue to drop). The new information system, which is also the first to feature state-of-the-art full color graphics, can be received through a home computer as well.
To get "on line" you simply dial a toll free 800 numer. The decoder box is equipped with a portable keyboard that calls up any of over 30,000 different "screens" of information that include all commodities (ag and non-ag), Commodity News Service, weather (worldwide and state-by-state), USDA reports, Associated Press newswire, newsletters (15 in all, including Doanes & ASA Soynet), extension service information, stock markets, and news from many other sources. The system also contains "calculator" programs that let you punch in data from your farm operation and figure "what if" options with different crops and livestock, as well as games and educational programs.
"It is like an encyclopedia. You can call up whatever you need in seconds; all information is continuously updated 24 hours a day so you can be on top of every change in markets, weather, worldwide events, ag research, and so on," says company president, Bruno Leps.
Grassroots is also the first electronic information system to sell advertising. Companies buy space along the bottom of the screen. If you want more information on a product, you simply punch it up. If you decide you want to order - an herbicide, for instance - just punch in the command and it'll be delivered to your door.
"Advertisers help defray the cost of the system and they provide valuable information to subscribers if they want it," notes Leps.
The system costs $39.95 per month which includes 2 hours of access time. Additional time costs $9 per hour. The company recommends taping needed information on a VCR for more leisurely viewing which keeps costs to a minimum. During the first month access time is unlimited to allow time to familiarize yourself with the system.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grassroots America, 1001 Jefferson St. Suite 100 , Wilmington, Dele., 19801. (ph toll free 800 441-2128 or
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