Custom operators in six Eastern states can promote their businesses for free in an online directory sponsored by the Penn State Dairy Alliance.

The Custom Operators Directory (COD), at cod.aers.psu.edu, was developed by Sarah Roth.

“Farmers who have thought about hiring a custom operator can use the site as a search tool,” says Roth, a Penn State University senior extension associate. “For custom operators, this is another place to put their information before potential clients.”

Custom operators in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont can sign up. Currently, 83 custom operators are in the directory. “I would like to add additional states if there's a considerable amount of interest,” says Roth.

It's a three-step process to be included in the directory, says Roth. The first step is to create a password if the custom operator wants to provide and update information on line. “If custom operators don't have email access, they can still sign up using paper forms.”

The next step is to provide contact information, services offered and any additional comments, such as the type of equipment used.

The database allows searches by county among seven categories of custom animal services and eight categories of crop services, such as harvesting and bale wrapping. A miscellaneous category is also listed. The final step is to indicate which of the services the operator provides and the states and counties he will travel to.

For more info, contact Roth at 814-863-8645 or sar243@psu.edu.