Ohio State University Extension local foods programs advance the well-being of individuals, families, organizations and communities by holistically addressing multiple issues related to a local food system from production through consumption.
Why Ohio and your neighborhood is right and ready for Local Foods...
Ohio’s #1 Industry
The food and agriculture cluster is the largest sector of Ohio’s economy (farms, processing, wholesaling, retailing, & food service). Ohio’s food and agriculture cluster contributed $105 billion to Ohio’s economy every year and accounts for 14% of Ohio’s employment, or 1 in 7 jobs (Sporleder, 2012 OHFOOD model) .
Ohio is ideal for community food systems
Ohio is an ideal place for local food for a number of reasons:
- Ohio has a unique proximity of metropolitan and micropolitan areas, linking rural and urban consumers, growers and communities.
- Producers in Ohio raise many species of livestock and grow more than 200 different crops that include an increasing variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, nuts, eggs, dairy products and more. Farms that direct market these products come in all sizes (Lev & Gwin, 2010).
- Ohio ranks in the top ten states for direct-to-consumer marketing (2007 Census of Ag.).
- Ohio is among the top five states for food production of bakery, dairy, snacks, spices, maple syrup and other products.
- Ohio has a growing number of wineries, breweries and distilleries – many located in urban areas and using local product in their production.
- Ohio has some outstanding food entrepreneurs.
- For additional information, visit Farm Management Data and Statistics