Together with Farmers Member Spotlight: Ronald Ciancutti

At Ohio Farm Bureau, we care about telling the stories of the diverse group of more than 180,000 Ohioans who make up our membership, including those members who don’t work on the farm.

This week we spotlight long-time Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau member Ronald Ciancutti. Find out about his connection to Farm Bureau and favorite spots in Ohio, including his suggestions for the perfect day at Cleveland Metroparks.

Ronald Ciancutti, Cleveland Metroparks director of procurement

Ron has worked with Cleveland Metroparks for the past 35 years. Currently, he oversees the continuous and uninterrupted flow of goods and services within the Cleveland Metroparks system, including 27,000 acres of natural land, several lakefront marinas, nature centers, golf courses, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a variety of other amenities.

“We buy koala food and we buy staplers,” said Ron, who works within an annual budget of around $150,000,000.

Connection to Farm Bureau

When Ron was first advised by his Nationwide insurance agent (more than 40 years ago) to join Farm Bureau to achieve certain discounts, he never imagined how that resource would one day bring him closer to the people he admired, including their way of life. He and his family try many of the recipes and visit various markets and farms all over Ohio that are recommended in issues of Our Ohio magazine. They also do their own canning.

Tell us about your family: Cynthia and I have five children, one still in college and four with Ohio families of their own.

Why do you enjoy living in your community? Berea, then Lakewood and Cuyahoga County has been home all my life. We love the change of seasons, beautiful winters and the crisp autumns.

What is your favorite Ohio restaurant? The Rustic (downtown Rocky River)

What is your favorite Ohio farm? Mapleside Apple Farm

What is your favorite Ohio farmers market? Frostville Museum Farmers Market in the Rocky River Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks

What would you say your connection to the farm is? I was raised in a century home in Berea (a retired farmhouse that we renovated).

Best life advice? Be honest with yourself and see it for what it is.

What are your hobbies? Drummer in the church band and a freelance columnist for magazines.

What will you be growing in your garden this year? Tomatoes, peppers and scallions

What is your favorite meal to cook? Mama’s Pasta and Meatballs

Describe the perfect day spent at Cleveland Metroparks. There are endless versions of “perfect days” in Cleveland Metroparks. For my wife and I, one of those perfect days begins at the Emerald Necklace Marina in Rocky River Reservation which is less than a mile from our home. At a waterside table we enjoy a terrific breakfast at the chef’s recommendation and watch the morning mist burn off the river. Heading down the parkway we arrive at the nature center where we choose a hiking trail of moderate difficulty and walk off a bit of the breakfast. As the sun warms the day we jump on I-90 for five minutes and arrive at the zoo in no time. It’s feeding time for the elephants and after watching them we go visit the new tiger exhibit on the other side of the park. We lunch on a “cosmic sub” from one of the vendors and head back down I-71. We stop at the new Edgewater Beach House and grab a cold drink. From the upper deck you can see long vistas of Lake Erie and the temperature is at least 10–15 degrees cooler as the wind blows off the lake. We take bikes from the car and follow the path (all-purpose trail) to Huntington Reservation where we park and swim.  Amazing ice cream awaits us at the top of the beach ledge and we devour that before we mount up again and return to Edgewater in time for a romantic peaceful sunset.  
You could be our next member spotlight! Help us share your story by filling out our Together With Farmers Member Spotlight Form.