Buying local getting more popular

Buying local is a fast moving trend across the U.S., but no other industry has experienced the benefits of this recent movement more than agriculture. Within Ohio, countless roadside stands, farmers markets, wineries, garden centers and U-pick locations all face strong competition from larger operations, but they have a big advantage by providing some of the freshest fruits and vegetables around. The distance food travels, or simply, food miles, is almost irrelevant when buying local.

To explain more about the buy local movement, the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum will host Janet Cassidy, senior director, marketing communications, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), Thursday, Apr. 19 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, Ohio.

OFBF has some excellent tools to link consumers with local growers. Namely, their Buying Local Directory is used to link farmer members selling agricultural products and experiences to consumers. Directory participants can also participate in a coupon program as well as other consumer-focused events including tours, demonstrations, dining events, hands-on workshops, and much more.

The Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum is an educational networking opportunity to provide information on current issues, trends and programs available to the agricultural community and those who support its advancement. Farmers, agribusiness owners and supporters of Ohio’s agricultural economy are encouraged to join CIFT on the third Thursday every month for this forum. The cost is just $10 per person (cash or check at the door) which includes a delicious breakfast and great informal networking opportunities.

The Agricultural Incubator Foundation is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (St. Rt. 582) in Bowling Green. Directions: I-75 to St. Rt. 582, exit 187 (Luckey/Haskins). Travel west on St. Rt. 582 approximately 2.2 miles. The Agricultural Incubator Foundation is located on the south side of St. Rt. 582.

Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by emailing rsvp@ciftinnovation.org.

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