Ever wonder where you can buy gooseberries directly from a local producer? What about hydroponically produced sweet corn? What if you want to find a local producer who will deliver certified organic, fresh dill right to your doorstep? Do you know where to find a farmer’s market in your county? What about a winery in the region?
The above questions can all be answered at the Ohio MarketMaker website at http://oh.foodmarketmaker.com. The website was developed by Ohio State University Extension in collaboration with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Farm Bureau and Our Ohio, and the Center of Innovative Food Technology. The website allows consumers to conduct searches for local producers, food retailers, restaurants, farmers’ markets, and other businesses who produce and sell various products. The website also allows for consumers to direct their searches at the multistate, state, county, or city levels for the business of interest. Consumers can even narrow their searches to very specific products if they choose to do so. Once the information is selected the website will generate a map and listing of local businesses of interest.
Another neat aspect of the website is that it allows for local producers and businesses to identify specific markets for their products. For example, a local livestock producer could identify a high end market (average household income of over $100,000) in the region to sell branded beef. Business owners simply enter specific demographic information of interest and the website will map out potential markets at city, county, state or multistate level. Also, businesses can use the tool to identify suppliers. For example, a chef at a gourmet restaurant could identify local producers who could deliver fresh herbs that are organically produced.
If you manage a business, farm, or farmer’s market make sure that you are registered with Ohio Marketmaker. It could be an excellent marketing tool for your product. Likewise, if you are a consumer, make sure you check out the website. It’s a lot of fun to find out where you can buy various products locally. Agriculture is still the top industry in Ohio contributing 79 billion to the economy. Currently though, only a fraction of all food dollars remains within the Buckeye state. If this fraction could be increased, it could generate much needed capital in these difficult times. Check out Ohio Marketmaker!
Author: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition and Wellness.
Reviewer: Tammy Jones, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Pike County, Ohio State University Extension.
Source: Ohio Market Maker accessed on 7/13/16 at http://oh.foodmarketmaker.com