By: Brad Bergefurd, MS, Horticulture Specialist and Extension Educator
Ohio MarketMaker was named second runner-up at the 2014 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Awards announced at the National Value Added Agriculture Conference held May 13-15, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Brad Bergefurd, Charissa McGlothin, and Julie Moose of The Ohio State University accepted the $4,000 award on behalf of the Ohio MarketMaker program, "Expanding MarketMaker Visibility, Value, and Usage by Reaching Local Communities through Local Ohio State University Extension Educators." This honor applauds outstanding efforts to improve state-wide MarketMaker programs and expand MarketMaker’s online database of food industry and market data through the National MarketMaker Partners Network. Gary Matteson, Vice President of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, represented Farm Credit at the awards and acknowledged the ingenuity of each program. "We are pleased to support and recognize the worthy efforts of this year’s Innovation Award winners," said Matteson. "It is gratifying to see their good ideas brought to life and spread among other members of the MarketMaker community. Their contributions are helping MarketMaker accomplish their goals to connect producers to markets and improve consumers’ access to fresh, healthy, local foods. " Ohio MarketMaker embarked on a campaign to actively engage and support the efforts of local Extension educators to produce customized marketing resources. Ohio’s marketing campaign successfully linked area growers with countless new markets to pursue, while educating both the producers and consumers about the advantages of the tool.