CIFT small business mentoring group

Jump start your food and farm business! Ohio Farm Bureau is excited to offer two complimentary tickets to the Mid-America Restaurant Expo for members who join CIFT’s Small Business Mentorship Group during the month of January (while supplies last). This is nearly a $200 value that will give your company an immediate advantage at the Expo and a year’s worth of connectivity and development with the Mentorship Group, which is explained below. Don’t get left behind in a constantly evolving industry landscape. Sign up today!

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), with assistance from Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, has created an initiative designed to support the aspirations of food small business owners who are trying to take their businesses to the next level. 

CIFT’s Small Business Mentoring Group (SBMG) is for businesses that are making a product in an Ohio Department of Agriculture licensed facility with less than $1 million in sales. The aim is to provide unique insights and enhance the development of value-added food products in Ohio. 

“We are excited to partner with CIFT to deliver a truly unique member value opportunity. This group, with CIFT’s leadership, will help our members gain business insights and networking to help them grow and be more successful,” said Tim Hicks, Ohio Farm Bureau business development field director. “We appreciate strategic partners like CIFT. In furthering our mission to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities, this collaboration will strengthen Ohio’s food community in ways that each organization independently would be challenged to achieve.”

Participants in SBMG receive:

  • Company logo and basic information displayed on the CIFT website and included in promotional materials for SBMG;
  • At least one in-person networking event to meet and engage with fellow businesses from across Ohio; and
  • Access to a private, interactive engagement via Facebook related to:
    • Networking opportunities with similar businesses and industry experts
    • Materials and information representing best practices for food companies
    • Activities to test knowledge and identify growth/scaling opportunities
    • Insights and updates from others in the food processing industry

The group is free for Ohio Farm Bureau members, but space is limited. To find out more and apply to join the Small Business Mentoring Group, contact CIFT at [email protected]iftinnovation.org or visit ciftinnovation.org.

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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