Positive economic impact in Appalachia – Buckeye Voices

(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

The Ohio State University
Buckeye Voices
August 31, 2015

Click Positive economic impact in Appalachia to view story.

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(Screenshot of online article.)

Meet the BizTeam featuring: Patrick Dengel

(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

Small Business Development Specialist,
Small Business Development Center and
Adjunct Instructor,
University of Rio Grande MBA Program/
OSU South Centers Collaboration

Patrick Dengel

1864 Shyville Road
Piketon, Oh 45661
740-289-2071 x221


Certified Business Advisor from the University of Toledo

Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Findlay focus on Organizational Management

Bachelor of Arts from Pontifical College of Josephinum in Philosophy

Professional Experience:

Patrick has served as a Business Specialist with the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Ohio State University South Centers since 1995, providing program leadership, as well as in-depth consulting and training to new and existing business owners throughout rural southern Ohio. Patrick counsels small business owners and personnel in financial, marketing, and management services.

In 2001, the Ohio SBDC presented Patrick with the “Spirit Award” and recognized his dedication in fulfilling the mission of the SBDC of Ohio. In 2009, Patrick took the lead to coordinator the Ohio State University South Centers / University of Rio Grande Collaboration, which provides experiential learning experiences to both undergraduate and graduate students. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor for those collaboration efforts. In 2010, Patrick was the recipient of the “Innovator of the Year Award” from the SBDC of Ohio for his work with students in learning Pod-casting and using Social Media for marketing.

Community/Personal Business Experience:

Earlier in Patrick’s career, he owned and operated a data management business so he understands first-hand what small business owners face daily.

Why do you think OSU South Centers is so successful?

“People are our best resource and at OSU South Centers, behind our different and great educational programs are knowledgeable and caring individuals who greatly enhance the spirit of these programs.” ~Patrick Dengel

Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE)

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

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The Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE), funded by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Small Business Administration, is designed to increase exports and create jobs. The IMAGE grant offers financial assistance for small business to promote their products and services in international markets. The grant will provide a 50 percent reimbursement up to $10,000 per fiscal year for qualifying activities.

All eligible activities must be completed by September 30, 2015.

For more information about the AEG grant and how to apply, contact Kelly O’Bryant District 7 International Trade and Assistance Center Director, at 740-289-2071 Ext. 235 or email at obryant.6@osu.edu.

Ohio Appalachia Export Grant

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

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The Ohio Appalachia Export Grant (AEG) is now available to companies in Appalachia Ohio.

AEG funds will reimburse companies a maximum of $3,000 (50% reimbursement on qualifying expenditures up to $6,000) for qualifying activities. The minimum reimbursement amount is $500 (50% of expenditures of $1,000). Grant applications must be pre-approved prior to the start of the activities. Grant dollars must be utilized by September 30, 2015.

The purpose of this program is to assist businesses located in the Appalachian region to promote their products and services in international markets by attending international trade shows. Exporting enables companies to extend their product life cycles, take advantage of seasonality in products, and create global brand awareness.

An eligible applicant must:
• Operate a licensed business in Appalachian Ohio to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service
• Be in good standing with all State of Ohio agencies
• Meet the requirements of the Small Business Size Regulations set forth by the SBA
• Must be operating profitably, based on operation in the U.S. from the firm’s most recently completed fiscal year.

For more information about the AEG grant and how to apply, contact Kelly O’Bryant District 7 International Trade and Assistance Center Director, at 740-289-2071 Ext. 235 or email at obryant.6@osu.edu.

09-14-2015 – 09-18-2015 Lumber Grading Short Course (Flex Day)

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

ScreenHunter_599 Jul. 22 15.36The value of “rules conscious” employees is a more carefully manufactured product, a more profitable yield from the log, and a better sense of the value of the lumber being handled. This four, five or one-day workshop will include a thorough study and explanation of the NHLA Rules Book, emphasizing the basics of hardwood lumber inspection. This popular workshop gives yardmen, sawyers, edgermen, sales and office staff, and management level personnel an introduction to lumber inspection. Classes will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. EDT (excerpt taken from http://nhla.com/default.aspx?p=77246&evtid=420075:9/14/2015).

This four, five, or one-day short course will be taught by Barry Kibbey, NHLA National Inspector.

Dates: 09/14/2015 through 09/18/2015

Location: Ohio State University South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661

For more information or to fill out an application click here for the application and daily agenda (screenshot of application to right).

Course contact is: Becky Miller, b.miller@nhla.com, 901-399-7569

Meet the BizTeam featuring: Melissa Carter

(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

Business Specialist,
Small Business Development Center

Melissa Carter - Office

1864 Shyville Road
Piketon, Oh 45661
740-289-2071 x222


Certified Trade and Export Counselor by the Small Business Administration
Certified Business Advisor from the University of Toledo

Masters of Business Administration from The Ohio State University

Bachelor’s in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from The Ohio State University

Professional Experience:

She has been an employee of the Ohio State University South Centers Business Development Network since 2006. Melissa, currently, serves as a Business Development Specialist, where she assists Southern Ohio companies with all aspects of entrepreneurship and business growth including pre-venture and startup. Melissa also focuses on helping small businesses with web-based marketing and developing a social media presence.

Community/Personal Business Experience:

Melissa was raised in Ross County, Ohio, where she helped on her family’s farm. Melissa, her husband, Tristen, and daughter, Gracie, still live in Ross County and operate a construction business, specializing in water lines systems, septic systems, driveways, and more.
For the last 9 years, Melissa has been a Ross County, Ohio 4-H Advisor. She sits on the Ross County 4-H Advisory Committee that oversees multiple 4-H Programs within the county. Melissa also serves at Tri-Chair for the 4-H Halloween Campout Committee.

Why do you think OSU South Centers is so successful?

“The best part of working at OSU South Centers is meeting with new clients every day. We connect those clients with our team network and other industry agencies contacts.

Our team members live in local communities and have a vested interest in seeing businesses success. Working directly with local businesses has inspired me and other team members to shop locally first.” ~Melissa Carter

Celebrating Local Foods–Client Spotlight: Our Harvest Cooperative

(Submitted by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

OSU Extension is celebrating local foods in Ohio through special events and programming this week! The Ohio Cooperative Development Center supports local foods through work with a number of local food cooperative businesses. Check out the story of one such business, Our Harvest Cooperative, below and learn more at the Ohio Local Foods Week on the OSU Extension Local Foods Week website.

Our Harvest grows success

Our Harvest Cooperative is a collaborative effort started by a small, dedicated group — namely Phil Amadon, Ellen Vera, and Kristen Barker. In the spring of 2012, they formed Our Harvest Cooperative, a worker-owned cooperative focusing on sustainable agriculture and local food distribution. All have strong backgrounds in the labor movement: Ellen has been working for the UFCW for years, and Phil was highly involved with unions throughout his career as a railroad mechanic. They wanted to find a way to help create family-sustaining jobs that could transform communities. When the United Steelworkers announced a historic partnership with Mondragon to launch union co-ops in the United States, the group felt it was just the ticket.

Mondragon is the world’s most successful network of worker-owned co-ops.IIn the last 60 years it has grown from 5 worker owners to over 80,000. It is a model of a great nexus not an isolated cooperative doing its own thing, but composed of many connected entities. The Our Harvest founders connected with Mondragon’s North American delegate and the United Steelworkers; they were impressed by Mondragon’s structure and wanted to bring that concept to life in Cincinnati.

Our Harvest 2Our Harvest contacted the Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) at the Ohio State University (OSU) South Centers to do a feasibility study. Tom Snyder, Partnership Program Manager, OCDC, and Brad Bergefurd, Horticulture Specialist, Horticulture Extension Program, conducted the study. Part of that study was a survey of growers from surrounding counties, a 150 mile radius around Cincinnati, to see if growers were interested in working with Our Harvest, if they wanted to expand their production, if they wanted to scale down, what their struggles were among other things. Tom and Brad surveyed growers by phone and in small focus groups. They gathered information that was used to develop Our Harvest’s initial business plan. The feasibility study was instrumental in pointing out the best opportunities for success. If Our Harvest would have started only on the food aggregation and the distribution side, it would have been a real challenge because they did not have enough mid-sized growers to work with at that time. Tom and Brad suggested that Our Harvest start their own farm. That is a big piece of what Our Harvest does that is different than a lot of traditional food hubs.

According to Kristin Gangwer, Food Hub Manager, Our Harvest Cooperative, “Early in development, Tom and Brad identified some gaps in the system and encouraged us to be the solution to those gaps. One gap involved the need for training the next generation of growers. In partnership with Tom and Brad from the OSU South Centers, who had done a lot of work with the Ohio Apprenticeship Council in developing the curriculum for that early program, Our Harvest started a pilot program. The Apprenticeship Pilot Program had two graduates from Our Harvest in 2012 that went through the program and worked on the farm full-time. After the pilot, we partnered with Cincinnati State University to be the practicum site for their Sustainable Agriculture Management Certificate Program – a connection that came as a result of our previous farmer training efforts, which were initiated by Tom and Brad. To help increase farmer training opportunities, Our Harvest has now created a nonprofit (the Our Harvest Research and Education Institute) to lead these efforts.”

Kristin continues, “The information gathered from the Feasibility Study was also used to develop the original business plan. We started trying to capitalize the business in 2012. We also began a small CSA from our leased property in College Hill, the Bar Farm, that year. I came on board with some other staff at the end of 2012. We worked with Christie Welch, OSU OCDC, to develop a plan for the aggregation, marketing, and distribution work for our produce and the produce from many of the other local growers as part of the food hub side of the initiative. In 2013, we grew our CSA to about 200 members throughout that season, growing on 8 acres and developing wholesale accounts. Last year in 2014, we grew our CSA program to approximately 350 members. We grew produce on 15 acres, increased our wholesale accounts, and developed a lot of great relationships. We even started selling to Whole Foods and worked with other local producers to distribute value added items like honey and salsa.”

Our Harvest 1Reflecting on growth, Kristin shares, “We started farming on a second farm property last year, and this year we’ll be growing on a total of about 20 acres. We are planning to increase our CSA, which we call Our Weekly Harvest Box, to about 500 members. Plans are to increase our wholesale sales five fold and we are starting to work with other farmers to incorporate their produce into all of our sales channels. We are also moving our packing and distribution work into a standalone, centrally-located warehouse in Cincinnati, which will be very helpful.”

Kristin expresses appreciation for OSU input, “What we have gained by working with Tom Snyder, Brad Bergefurd, and Christie Welch has been invaluable — from the creation of the co-op, the feasibility studies, and the business planning, to the ongoing guidance and resources they have shared. Tom, Brad, and Christie provide support whenever we need them, and they continue to serve as great confidants and cheerleaders as we navigate this process.”