How Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy Attracted Their First 1,000 Customers

(Shared by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

Posted on July 13, 2016
by HBS Working Knowledge – Harvard Business School
Michael Blanding

New businesses often struggle finding their first customers. The challenge is even more difficult with startups in the sharing economy that launch as platforms connecting independent service providers with consumers.

Take Uber. Its platform is two-sided, connecting people who need rides with people who have rides to offer. (Same idea as Airbnb, which connects people needing rooms with home-owners.) So to launch as a platform service, these companies need to find users on both the supply and demand sides. More

Ohio Creates New “Farm Winery” Liquor Permit

(Shared by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

Originally Posted on the OSUE Agricultural Law & Taxation Blog:
on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Peggy Kirk Hall, Asst. Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

Governor Kasich has signed legislation to create a new “Ohio Farm Winery Liquor Permit.” While wine makers in Ohio may currently obtain a general liquor permit to make and sell wine on a farm, the general permit does not distinguish the source of the wine. The new Ohio Farm Winery Permit legally designates the wine as being made from grapes grown on the wine maker’s farm. Sponsors and supporters of the legislation claim that the special designation will help consumers know a wine’s localized nature, bring recognition to Ohio’s wine growing regions, keep Ohio competitive with other states that designate farm-produced wines, and ensure that farm wineries continue to receive property tax treatment as agricultural operations. Wineries that qualify for the new permit would “be able to present themselves as true farming operations,” according to sponsor Ron Young (R-Leroy Township).

Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control may issue an Ohio Farm Winery Permit only to wine makers who meet two requirements: the manufacturer produces wine from grapes, fruit or other agricultural products grown on the manufacturer’s property, and the property qualifies as “land devoted exclusively to agricultural use” under Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program, which requires that the land be used for commercial agricultural production and be at least 10 acres in size or, if less than 10 acres, generates a minimum average of $2500 in gross income.

Under the new law, an Ohio Farm Winery Permit holder may sell its wine products for consumption on the premises where manufactured, for consumption off the premises in sealed containers, or to a wholesale permit holder. An Ohio Farm Winery Permit holder may also manufacture, purchase and import brandy for fortifying wine and may import and purchase wine for blending purposes, but the total amount of wine used for blending cannot exceed 40% of all wine manufactured by the wine maker. More…

Cottage Foods & Farmers Markets Workshop–Canfield, Ohio

(Submitted by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

ScreenHunter_775 Jul. 07 12.06Friday, July 15, 2016
11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Join us for a workshop for food entrepreneurs, farmers market managers, farmers market managers and more!

This three-hour workshop will focus on cottage foods and home bakery licenses. Learn the food safety reasons behind Ohio law for Cottage Foods, including why certain foods are able to be made in the home without inspection and some are not. This program also helps food producers understand labeling and ways to determine if a recipe is ready for the market.

Questions: 330-533-5538

4-12-2016 Value-Added Grant Application Workshop

(Submitted by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

The Value Added Grant Application window will be announced soon. In anticipation of your Value Added Grant Application submission, workshops have been schedule to assist you. The final workshop is scheduled for:

April 12 at 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
USDA Rural Development Office
7868 C. R. 140, Suite D
Findlay, Ohio

You can find more information about the program here. Or email Debbie Rausch, Business Program Specialist, USDA Rural Development at to make sure there are enough materials for all who plan to participate.

Direct Marketing Food & Agriculture Blog

(Submitted by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

marketing-strategies-426545_1280 (2)The direct marketing blog brings you the latest marketing news and trends as well as training opportunities.

2016 Marketing Workshops in Ohio
February 17, 2016 at 10:30pm by
Having trouble keeping up marketing your business on social media?

Join us to learn free and low-cost tools to assist you in managing your on-line presence to maximize your business opportunities. Learn practical tools, trends, and strategies for 2016. This session is brought to you by Ohio Proud and OSU Extension.

There will be 4 locations to choose from, each location will be held from 9 AM—1 PM. The cost is $15 per person.

March 16 – ODA in Reynoldsburg, OH
March 17 – OSU Extension, Clermont County
March 22 – Agricultural Incubator Foundation, Bowling Green, OH
March 24 – OSU Extension, Summit County

For a copy of the flyer with more details and registration information, go to: