Change of Faces at the Ohio Cooperative Development Center

By: Hannah Scott, OCDC Program Manager
 
The Ohio Cooperative Development Center at the OSU South Centers welcomed Hannah Scott as the program manager on January 26, 2015. 
 
Hannah is from Georgetown, Ohio, where she and her family continue to farm.  Hannah earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University where she studied sociology, psychology and documentary studies. She was most recently a graduate associate in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources and is earning a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources with a specialization in rural sociology. 
 
Christie Welch, prior program manager of OCDC, is now a Direct Marketing Specialist with OSU Extension based at the OSU South Centers. Christie’s new role will involve working with individuals, groups, and businesses interested in direct marketing their food and agriculture products.  She also continues her extensive work with developing farmers’ markets throughout Ohio. We thank Christie for all of her hard work with OCDC and wish her luck in her new role! 
 
In other personnel changes, Dr. Tom Snyder recently retired from The Ohio State University South Centers after 8 years with OCDC and a career in public service exceeding 50 years!  Tom helped to develop many new and emerging cooperatives throughout Ohio and West Virginia and was instrumental in forging a successful partnership between OCDC and West Virginia University Extension. Tom was also a driving force behind the development of the Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network, which is focused on the cooperative development of local and regional food systems. We thank Tom for his great work and wish him well in his retirement! 
 
OCDC Highlight: Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network
Food hubs are enterprises that aggregate locally sourced food to meet wholesale, retail, institutional, and individual demand. The concept, and efforts to create food hubs in local communities, has gained a lot of interest in Ohio and West Virginia. The notion of producing more locally grown and processed food and creating new jobs and businesses is of interest to many communities. 
 
The Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) at The Ohio State University South Centers is leading an effort to work with new and emerging food hubs and incubator/training farms. The two-state Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network was formed in early 2014 and currently includes over twenty food hub efforts. The network is composed of food hub managers, directors, support partners and individuals working to form food hubs or incubator/training farms and is an effort to share information, develop linkages, and help these stakeholders gain tools for success to become active in institutional or wholesale food sales or distribution. Meetings of the network are focused on addressing the needs of these hubs and sharing information to help them overcome barriers. Meeting topics have included risk management, ensuring quality and safety of products, and available financial and technical resources. Members also participate in other related and network sponsored projects including special projects, participating in listserv emails, and in viewing webinars.