Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels and other agriculture officials and leaders celebrated Ohio Agriculture Day Thursday with visits to three Ohio agribusinesses: Blue Grass Farms, Central Ohio Logistics Center, and Feed the World, LLC. All three businesses play a large role in Ohio’s global agriculture reach.
The Agriculture Day celebration included the announcement that Bluegrass Farms has received the largest contract for food-grade soybeans that South Korea has ever awarded to a U.S. company. South Korean officials were on hand to take part in the announcement.
Bluegrass Farms will produce 735,000 bushels of identity-preserved, non-genetically modified, food-grade soybeans this year. About 45 growers are contracted by Bluegrass Farms, adding jobs and money to the local economy. After harvest, the soybeans are delivered to Bluegrass Farms’ processing facility to be cleaned, sorted and put into containers for shipping.
“Without this facility, this process would be done overseas. We are bringing those jobs back, and bringing them here to Ohio,” said Dave Martin, founder of Bluegrass Farms.
The soybeans are then shipped from Central Ohio Logistics Center, a state of the art agricultural commodity transloading facility. Transloading is the process of transferring a shipment from one mode of transportation to another. Central Ohio Logistics Center utilizes rail, water and truck transportation, and has access to air transportation as well.
“Handling this type of volume will result in additional jobs being added at both of these agribusinesses, and the Ohio farmers growing these soybeans will be paid a premium above the standard price of the commodity, which are all great positive impacts on the community,” said Director Daniels.
“When Ohio farmers and agribusinesses are successful, we all benefit. This is exactly the kind of activity (Ohio) Governor Kasich was talking about when he said he wanted agriculture to help strengthen our economy,” he added.
The day also highlighted Feed the World, LLC’s livestock inspection facility. It provides international livestock shipments to Turkey, China, Russia and other regions. Since the facility opened in 2011, Ohio exports of livestock grew from 7,034 animals in 2010 to 25,836 animals in 2011. This volume of livestock exports brings an estimated $3.1 million in economic activity to the state in feed costs alone.
“Central Ohio is opened up to the world by these facilities. The strength of Ohio is our agriculture, and because we have places like these throughout Ohio that make Ohio agriculture so special,” said Rep. Bob Peterson, (R-Sabina) and a past Ohio Farm Bureau president.
Ohio Agriculture Day is celebrated the second week in March to recognize the importance of the $107 billion food and agriculture industry. Ohio’s farmers provide not only food, but also fiber, lumber, and even fuel.
Visit the Feed the World, LLC website
Visit Bluegrass Farms’ website
Watch a video that highlights the Central Ohio Logistics Center and its importance
Read Director Daniels opinion on Ohio agriculture‘s impact on the world