2018 Ohio Signature Food Contest

The small business sector in Ohio is vital to many stakeholders.  The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the Ohio Signature Food Contest which showcases many new, innovative products ready to take that next step – actual product development.

CIFT President & CEO, Rebecca Singer announced the winners selected in recognition of their product concepts:

  • Sarah Steinbrunner and Taylor Crooks of Sandusky, Ohio with their Bean Nut Butter:  A delicious non-GMO and vegan nut butter that is free of the top eight allergens. Uniquely incorporates garbanzo beans which are high in protein and fiber, but lack high calorie and fat content association with regular nuts.
  • Tina Smith and Ashtabula Farm Bureau member Nate Bissell of Jefferson, Ohio with their Sweet and Spicy Maple BBQ Sauce: A unique, all-natural barbecue sauce made with a kick of hot peppers but offering a special ingredient – the sweetness of pure Ohio maple syrup.

Following a review of written applications and presentations by food entrepreneurs and chefs to a panel of judges, the highest scoring concepts were selected based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, and overall appeal to the marketplace.

As a result of the award, technical assistance from CIFT will be provided to the startup businesses ranging from business planning, product/process development, shelf stability testing, labeling review, regulatory assistance, and batch product preparations for sampling.  Later, production will take place at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) in Bowling Green, Ohio.  The NOCK is a commercially-licensed kitchen that educates and provides technical assistance to new and growing food businesses.

Ohio Farm Bureau has been a sponsor of the contest for the past four years.

 

CAPTION: Ohio Executive Vice President Adam Sharp, left, with Ohio Signature Food Contest winners Tina Smith of Jefferson who won with Sweet and Spicy Maple BBQ Sauce and Sarah Steinbrunner, Taylor Crooks and Collin Crooks of Sandusky who won with Bean Nut Butter and CIFT President and CEO Rebecca Singer.

 

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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