CIFT small business mentoring group

New group offers enhanced food industry engagement

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] or visit