COVID-19 has many consumers thinking differently about where they source their food and, because of that, a new resource developed by Ohio State University Extension is helping consumers looking for locally grown products connect with farmers in their area.
Brooke Beam, Highland County Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Community Development, and her colleagues created a survey to collect information from farmers in Highland County and surrounding counties to create the Directory of Local Food Producers. In just a few short weeks, it was obvious that there was a need for a statewide directory.
“We have been receiving a lot of interest at the Extension offices about where consumers can purchase fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs locally,” Beam said. “This directory is open to any farmer who would like to add their name, location and items they produce.”
Farmers can be added to the directory by filling out a short survey. There also is an option to upload pictures of the farm and the products the farm specializes in.
There are currently over 300 farms that are a part of the directory, which is updated daily.
“There are many challenges out there today that agriculture is facing,” Beam said. “For those farmers that already sell directly to consumers, this situation is presenting several opportunities for them to expand their businesses.”
The Directory of Local Food Producers and the farmer survey can be found at u.osu.edu/localfoodproducers.