Canopy’s flagship product, the Program Evaluation and Reporting System (PEARS), and the team behind it are the recipients of a 2022 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Partnership Award. The team was selected as the winner in Category IV: Effective and Efficient Use of Resources. A virtual awards ceremony was held Thursday, October 6, 2022.
PEARS is a data management system built around the needs of Cooperative Extension and Nutrition Education programs. It brings simplicity and consistency to data collection while helping programs measure their effectiveness and better meet community needs. PEARS was originally developed at Kansas State University’s Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation (OEIE) in collaboration with K-State Research & Extension. It has since been adopted by Cooperative Extension programs in 9 states and SNAP-Ed programs in 40 states.
In 2021, the team behind PEARS, in collaboration with the K-State Innovation Partners, created public benefit company Canopy to focus on PEARS and other similar projects. “Our vision for PEARS has been a single application flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of extension and nutrition education programs across the country,” said Canopy President, Aaron Schroeder. “By pooling resources and learning from each other, we’ve been able to build a modern world-class system that continues to improve. We’re honored to be recognized by NIFA for this effort and look forward to continuing to serve the community.”
Canopy’s headquarters are in Manhattan, KS. The local start-up serves local, state, and federally funded programs with their technical and evaluation skills and are driven by their mission to empower social impact programs to do their best work. In addition to PEARS, the team is available to build custom software solutions as well as provide support and resources to build clients’ evaluation capacity. The team’s most recent endeavor is a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program to build a national system designed to facilitate program planning and reporting.
Visit canopyteam.org to learn more about PEARS and the Canopy team.