Week of 5/6/19

Staff Writer

May forum features sustainable farming, water quality
Stephanie Singer, outreach specialist, The Nature Conservancy, will highlight in-field, edge-of-field, and in-stream practices that can increase the sustainability of farming and improve water quality, at the Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, May 16, from 8-9:30 a.m.
The event is hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation (AIF), 13737 Middleton Pike (SR 582), Bowling Green.
With more than a million members across 72 countries and six continents, The Nature Conservancy strives to protect land and water, provide food and water sustainability, tackle climate change and build healthy cities.
Singer will also discuss strategies to reach the 40 percent phosphorus reduction goal, agriculture best management practices, and partnerships with the conservancy.
Breakfast and informal networking will start at 8 a.m., with the program to follow. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by visiting ciftinnovation.org.
The cost is $10 per person for those who RSVP in advance, or $12 per person (cash or check) at the door. Payment includes breakfast and networking opportunities.
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.

Compost Workshop
Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca County residents are invited to a Compost Workshop Wednesday, May 8 at Jason’s Pumpkin Patch, Laubacher Farms, 12629 Salem-Carroll Rd., Oak Harbor.
Sessions will be offered at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The cost is $5, payable at the event, which includes the workshop, tour of the farm (weather permitting), snacks and door prizes.
Registration is required by Tuesday, May 7. To sign up or obtain more info, contact the OSS Solid Waste District at 419-334-7222. Registration is available online at recycleoss.org (access the compost workshop registration from the scrolling banner on the homepage).
Event sponsors include the OSS Solid Waste District, Jason’s Pumpkin Patch, Ottawa County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Sandusky County Park District.

Contest seeks Ohio’s future food products
With an emphasis on new and innovative food products, Ohioans have the opportunity to land their product on store shelves with the Ohio Signature Food Contest, running through May 31.
Sponsored by the Center for Innovative Food Technology and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), the contest helps facilitate economic growth and job creation in the Ohio food/agriculture industry – the number one industry in the state that already contributes more than $107 billion to the economy.
Contestants complete an online form outlining the basic details of their product, and food industry experts will judge based on viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, marketability and overall appeal to the marketplace. Finalists will be invited to present their business concept and product to a panel of judges. The winner will be announced during a special ceremony in late July at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.
Following the announcement, the winner will receive:
• Technical and business development assistance to help advance a product to the marketplace
• Production of product to be used for consumer feedback
• Nutritional analysis
• Shelf life/stability testing
• Review of trademark and copyright components
• Coordination with Ohio Department of Agriculture for label approval
• Label design, packaging, and ingredient source consultation
• Attendance to training seminars for free
In addition to other benefits, production will be available at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen in Bowling Green, a nonprofit commercial facility that educates and advises new and growing businesses, provides access to a commercially-licensed kitchen, networking opportunities with other similar entities, and technical assistance. Due to the collaboration with OFBF, increased awareness of this opportunity will be shared with their network. Consideration of membership is encouraged based on the mutual interest in the advancement of local food products.
Products do not need to be fully designed or ready for market, rather an ability to communicate a specific vision. The entry form along with rules/regulations is available at ciftinnovation.org.



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