Thirteen Things We Love about Ohio Proud in 2013

Ohio Proud 20th blue circle

It is hard to believe that there are officially only two weeks left in 2013. Ohio Proud wants to look back at another wonderful year by highlighitng thirteen great memories that took place in 2013.

1. Ohio Power Show: Ohio Proud partners attended and exhibited their products in January for the Ohio Power Show at the Ohio Expo Center!

2. The Ohio Food Forum: Partners were invited to attend the Ohio Food Forum at the Nationwide 4-H Center that brought together companies and retailers for a great way to meet and make new contacts and business deals!


3. The Ohio State Fair: The Ohio State Fair took place at the end of July and hosted a beautful display of Ohio Proud products that promoted buying Ohio Proud!

4. Ohio Proud’s 20th Anniversary: The program celebrated their 20th anniversary this August by walking in the parade at the Ohio State Fair and were featured on TV!

5. The Ohio Proud Video Tour: Ohio Proud associates have been on the road visitng and taking video footage of Ohio Proud companies to promote our partners and their businesses through social media!

6. The Oh So Fresh Campaign: Ohio Proud partnered with the Ohio Grocer’s Foundation this summer to particiapte in the USDA Specialty Crop Grant for the Oh So Fresh marketing campaign that promoted buying locally grown produce.


7. Ohio Proud on the Menu: Ohio Proud was excited to create a new division of the program, Ohio Proud on the Menu, which promotes locally sourced restaurants and cafes.

8. The Ohio Proud Fall Harvest Famer’s Market: Ohio Proud partners came together on a beautiful fall, Saturday afternoon in September for the annual Ohio Proud Fall Harvest Farmer’s Market.

9. Farm Science Review: Ohio Proud companies and products were on display and sampled by thousands of Farm Science Review attendees in September.

10. Ohio Apple Taste Challenge: Ohio Proud held two Ohio Apple Taste Challange events this fall in conjuction with the Oh So Fresh campaign that encourged consumers to buy locally grown produce. One event took place at Riesbeck’s in Cambridge and one event took place at Buehler’s in Ashland.


11. Ohio Pumpkin Painting Day: Children were invited to paint Ohio pumpkins with Ohio Proud in October at Buehler’s in Delaware in conjuction with their Celebration Saturdays!

12. Ohio Proud’s 500th Partner: Ohio Proud was excited to welcome their 500th partner this fall, Olive Branch Ministries!

13. Ohio Proud’s Holiday Campaign: Ohio Proud has partnered with Celebrate Local to create holiday gift baskets to encourage holiday shoppers to buy local this season!


Give the Gift of Ohio Proud!

Ready or not, the holiday season has arrived! As you begin your shopping, we hope you will consider buying local this year by purchasing an Ohio Proud gift basket. What better way to celebrate than to give a gift that supports local businesses in your community, while getting unique and thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list?

Every product in these baskets is at least 50% raised, grown or produced in Ohio. Ohio Proud products can be found in your local grocery store, or specialty retailers such as Celebrate Local (Easton), Simply Vague (Tuttle), The North Market and the Ohio Statehouse Gift Shop (Downtown Columbus).

With a big help from Celebrate Local, we bring to you some amazing themed gift baskets. CL has an extensive variety of Ohio Proud products, assuring a gift for everyone on your holiday list. We have highlighted many of them below, and more will be showcased through Ohio Proud’s Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Do you have someone on your list with a serious sweet tooth? A sweet treat gift basket would be the perfect gift to satisfy their sugar craving!


Contents of this basket include:
• Joy’s Fairy Floss (Columbus), Gourmet Cotton Candy
• Three Kids and a Kitchen (Reynoldsburg), Caramels
• Dolce’ Pizzelles (Hammondsville), Cookie Company
• Figg’s Liquid Innovations (Mansfield), Hot Apple Pie Cider
• Hondel Haus (Columbus), Homemade Buckeyes
• Sheril Ann’s (Columbus), Peanut Chews
• JC’s Sweet Ice Tea, LLC (Gahanna), Southern Style Sweet Tea
TOTAL: $40

Have an early riser on your list? A breakfast-themed basket might be just the ticket. They can entertain themselves with it while you sleep in!


Contents of this basket include:
• The Toasted Oat (Columbus), No. 3 Blueberry + Flax Granola
• Bissell Maple Farm (Rock Creek), Pure Maple Syrup
• Cameo Rose’s Blueberry Cream Jam
• Crimson Cup Coffee (Columbus), Winter Wonderland Season Blend
• Aimee’s Blue Ribbon Spices (Granville), Cinnamon Apple Pie Bagel Spread
Total is $40

Who doesn’t love chips and dips? Give your friends and family the gift of the perfect snack pack! This basket includes something for everyone: sweet, salty, tangy and spicy.


Contents of this basket include:
• Dzalt Enterprices, LLC (Londonderry), Creamy Buffalo Ranch Dip
• Shagbark Seed & Mill Co. (Athens), Corn Chips
• A Bit of A Bite Salsa, LLC (Miamisburg), Medium Salsa
• Cottage Creations by Donna (Reynoldsburg), Twist N’ Shout Salsa
• Taste Weavers (Urbana), Key Lime Cheesecake Dip
TOTAL: $40

How about a gift for your furry friend? We have you covered with this adorable basket that will make the pups in your life drool, literally.


Contents of this basket include:
• Jackpot Treats
• Blissful Biscuits
• *Bandana*
TOTAL: $35

Other themed baskets include wine, hot and spicy and gluten free goodies.

For Wine Lovers.


Contents of this basket include:
• Maize Valley Winery (Hartville), Apple Pie Fruit Wine
• Mixology Marmalades (Reynoldsburg), Mulled Merlot
• Troutman Vineyards (Wooster), Farmer’s White Wine
• Firelands Winery (Sandusky), Pinot Noir
TOTAL: $55
***Alcohol cannot be shipped, but can be purchased in store.

Those looking for a hot, hot, hot gift!


Contents of this hot and spicy basket include:
• Honeyman Gourmet Products (Columbus),
• Royal Fireworks Sauce (Columbus), A spicy sweet Explosion sauce & A sweet crescendo
• Black Swamp Gourmet (Toldeo), Spicy Rub
• Mudflats Brand Sauces, Inc. (Galena), Ragin’ Cajun’ Sauce
• CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (Westerville), Blackbean and Corn Salsa
• Wishwell Farms, Sweet Pepper Relish
• RJ’s Pepper Pantry, Hot Peppers in Oil
• Szagorski’s, Hot Peppers
TOTAL: $50

Don’t forget about your gluten-free friends!


Contents of this basket include:
• The Brown and Blond (Marysville), Pumpkin Blondies
• Al’s Popcorn (Columbus), Vanilla Butternut
• The Ohio Relish Company, LLC (North Canton), Gourmet Hot Dog Mustard
• Plant Kingdom Bakery, LLC (Akron), Coconut Chocolate Hemp Bars
TOTAL: $20

We want to give a big thank you to the crew at Celebrate Local for putting together these baskets, particularly Heidi and Ruthie. We hear Ruthie is the gift basket guru at Celebrate Local, and boy did she do a great job!



To order these gift baskets and more, visit the Celebrate Local website and send them an email with what type of basket you are looking for, or visit them at Easton! For more information about the products seen here, all Ohio Proud products, more gift ideas and recipes, visit

“Ag is Cool” at the Ohio State Fair!




The 2013 Ohio State Fair took place over a beautiful 12 days from July 24th to August 4th! History was made at this year’s state fair with an estimated  903,824 guests breaking the attendance record! The “Ag is Cool” program hosted an exciting and educational agricultural education program for guests of all ages. Put together by the Ohio Department of Agricultre, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and Ohio’s Commodity groups, the program had stations set up across the entire fairgrounds, which helped to enlighten the public about agriculture and to redirect the focus of the fair back to it’s roots. From inspecting and climbing up the ladder of a John Deere combine, to visiting with real life farm animals, playing giant Jenga, and learning how to spin sheep’s wool, the program was a hit! Fair attendees had the opportunity to take part in activities such as milking a real life cow, and watch livestock such as hogs and dairy cattle give birth!

The “Ag is Cool” program is a great addition to the the educational programs at the Ohio State Fair because it helps to excite and educate children about agriculture. If a child is not from a rural area or around a community that hosts 4-H or agricultural education programs, they may not get the opportunity to learn about the industry. The program is open for people of all ages to particapte and recieve a scavenger hunt passport. 4th graders who participlate in the program and write an essay summarizing what they learned while at the fair are entered into a contest to win a scholarship! 4th grade teachers are also encouraged to participate in the program and submit completed passports in order to enter themselves to win an agricultural education based field-trip for their classroom!.


20 Years and Counting

Ohio Proud 20th blue circle
This August marks the 20th Anniversary of Ohio Proud! To celebrate we have came up with different activites that will showcase Ohio Proud and all of it’s partners. The one main activity that we are doing is making a tour video. For this video we will be visiting 20 partners all around the state of Ohio with all different kinds of products. It took many weeks to narrow down our list of almost 500 partners to 20 but we finally figured it all out!

We went on our first visit last Wednesday (June 26th) to Rhoads Farm Market. Rhoads Farm Market is located in Circleville Ohio and happens to be one of our first partners. While visiting we got to sit down with Kathy Rhoads and talk about her family’s business and then took a tour of the farm to see what all they grow and raise.

We are still trying to set up days to go visit the other 19 partners but already have visits set up for the next couple weeks. We are looking forward to finishing up our visits and learning more about what each partner does.

“Ag is Cool” to Plan!


The Ohio State Fair will take place this year from July 24th to August 4th at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio! The Ohio Department of Agriculture partnered with Ohio Farm Bureau and the commodity groups are hard at work planning out the agricultural education program “Ag is Cool”. The “Ag is Cool” program works like a passport program throughout the fairgrounds that allows kids to learn about agriculture in a fun and hands-on way. Activities that the program featured last year included exciting stations such as milking a live cow, learning how to spin wool, and even getting the chance to watch live farm animals be born in the birthing center! The “Ag is Cool” program is fun for fair attendees of all ages and is a great oppoptunity to learn about Ohio’s number one industry! Fourth grade teachers can recieve free admission to the fair by registering with the program through the state fair website. Students who were in the fourth grade during the 2012-2013 school year can also get into the fair for free with a chaperone when they show their report card at the entry gate of the fairgrounds. We hope to see everyone out at the Ohio State Fair and having a great time participating in the “Ag is Cool” program!

ODA University: Ohio Proud 101

Ohio Proud Logo


The Ohio Department of Agriculture is hosting an exciting new intership program this summer! Selected interns from across the state have been chosen to work with different divisions of the agency. This week marked the orientation process for the interns and the first ever ODA University program. The interns listened to presentations from each divison and had the chance to meet and interact with different staff from across ODA. This afternoon, Lori Panda, the Senior Program Manager of Ohio Proud, educated the new interns on the Ohio Proud marketing program. Panda presented on the history of the program, it’s marketing initiative, and the upcoming 20th anniversary this summer! Interns played an interactive trivia game and had the chance to win Ohio Proud prizes. The Ohio Proud presentation ended with an ice cream sundae celebration that featured Ohio Proud ice cream products and toppings including Velvet Ice Cream, Smith’s Ice Cream, and Smucker’s toppings. Good luck to the incoming interns and welcome to ODA!

The Ohio Food Forum

The Ohio Food Forum took place on May 2nd at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus, Ohio. 37 local companies exhibitied their products at the event while 20 local buyers were in attendance. Companies displayed their products at the 4-H Center in a trade-show like fashion, as well as met individually with local buyers. New sales relationships were successfully constructed between buyers and vendors and productive networking was conducted. The event featured an Ohio Proud lunch with delicious food products from the Ohio Proud partners. For a complete list of the Ohio Proud partners, please visit:




Exhibiting Companies Included:

Aimee’s Blue Ribbon Spices

Annarino Foods

Ballreich Bros. Inc.

Bessie’s Noodles

Blue Ribbon Farm Fish

Buckeye Blueberry Growers

Chub Industries, LLC

Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

DNO, Inc.

Dolce Pizzelles Cookie Co.

DRW Packing, Inc.

Eat Well Distribution

Georgette’s Grounds & Gifts

H&K Products, Inc.

Heartland Herbs LLC

Herold Salads Inc.

Johnson’s Real Ice Cream

Keystone Meats

Maria Adornetto Old World Cucina

Michael Farms

Mudflats Brands “Chef Inspired” Sauces

Pet Passions

Robert Rothschild Farms

Royal Fireworks Sauces

Sauders Amish Country Eggs

Seasonal Selections

Seyrell’s Food Products LLC

Shagbark Seed & Mill

Seasonings of Salnoica Of Salonica

Sweet Mamas Gluten Free Goodies

Taste Weavers

The Bratwork’s LTD

The Good Frank

The Gourmet Farm Girl LLC

Velvet View Farmstead Ltd

Westbrook’s Cannery

Wishwell Farms

Buyers in Attendance Included:

The Statehouse Gift Shop


Sugarbush Corp.

Giant Eagle

Produce One

Economy Produce

Columbus Asia Market

Celina City Schools

Crosset Co.

Sunrise Asian American Market

Bon Appetit

Dorothy Lane

St. Ignatious Schools

Lynd’s Fruit Farm

Caldwell Food Centre

DNR Meats

Bexley Natural Foods

Caito Foods

Thank you to all of our exhibitors and buyers that attended the Ohio Food Forum!




Ring in the New Year with Ohio Proud!

Can you believe it is almost 2013?  Crazy! 2012 just flew by!

If your New Year’s Eve planning got lost in the holiday shuffle, chances are you will be doing some frantic party planning over this weekend. But there is no need to fret!  There is still plenty of time to plan out a great, festive and unique menu for your guests that will kick off the new year in style.

While we’re talking about great and unique party ideas, why not ring in the new year and support local businesses at the same time?

Ohio Proud partners offer a wide range of food and beverage products that are at least 50% grown, raised or produced right here in the great state of Ohio!

Serving finger foods?  Ohio is a leader in the production of many varieties of artisean cheeses.  Here are just a few examples:

You could also pick up some crackers from Shagbark Seed & Mill Company.

Did you know that the state fruit of Ohio is the tomato?  It’s not surprising, then, that there are some incredible Ohio Proud salsas available for you chip-dipping guests, such as:

What goes better with salsa than some tasty local chips?

Sweet tooth? How about serving your guests some of these cookies and candies? (You will note my list of sweet treats is the longest in this post… my priorities are in order.)

If you would like to serve your guests some Ohio wines and spirits, you can research Ohio Proud wineries by going to our partner search page and selecting the category wines and grape juices.

Finally, if you’ll have house guests travelling in from out of town or are anticipating the potential for a groggy New Year’s Day, it might be a good idea to stock up on some Ohio Proud coffee, too. Here are a few options:

You can look for these and other great Ohio Proud products in your local grocery store and in specialty stores by looking for the Ohio Proud logo.

Ohio Proud Logo

For more examples of great Ohio Proud Products, visit and search for an Ohio Proud partner. You can also search great recipes on our website here:

Finally (then I am done, I promise) if you are looking for more great New Year’s Eve party ideas, follow us on Pinterest!

From all of us here at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, home of Ohio Proud, we wish you and your families a safe and happy new year.

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Last minute gift idea: Ohio Proud gift basket

If you are like me, this holiday season just snuck up out of nowhere!  Hard to believe that my own family’s holiday celebrations start in about 51 hours.  That means I have 51 hours to clean the house, wrap the gifts, cook the pot roast and pack the car.  Ahh!

It also means I have 51 hours to finish up my gift shopping which, I must admit, is nowhere near complete.  And I bet I am not the only one.

The problem with last-minute gifts is that, by this point of the season, most of us have pretty much run out of creative thoughts.  This year, though, we must resist the urge to cave and give our last-minute recipients bland gift cards or scarves or socks.  They deserve unique gifts just as much as the folks we got out of the way early, right?

Consider this: an Ohio Proud gift basket.

Every product in these baskets is at least 50% raised, grown or produced in Ohio.  You can run to your local grocery store, or to a specialty store such as Celebrate Local or The North Market or Simply Vague (if you are in Central Ohio) and stock up on some unique offerings.  Buying Ohio Proud for the holidays will also help support local businesses in our community.

You could just throw a bunch of random Ohio Proud products together, but might I suggest a more fine-tuned approach?  Here are four themed baskets we put together this week. Use them as a starting point to plan out the end of your holiday shopping.

Have someone on your list who loves to grill?  Maybe a BBQ-themed basket would be perfect!

An Ohio Proud BBQ gift basket would be perfect for the grill-guru on your list

An Ohio Proud BBQ gift basket would be perfect for the grill-guru on your list

Contents of this basket include:

  • Mike-sells Potato Chips (Dayton), BBQ Chips
  • JC’s Sweet Ice Tea, LLC (Gahanna), Southern Style Sweet Tea
  • The Gourmet Farm Girl (Delaware), BBQ dry rub & virgin olive oil
  • Annie B’s Hometown BBQ Sauce (Cambridge), BBQ Sauce
  • Shagbark Seed & Mill Company (Athens), Black Turtle Beans & Spelt Pasta
  • Aimee’s Blue Ribbon Spices (Granville), Cool Cucumber Dill Dip mix
  • Figg’s Liquid Innovations (Mansfield), Hot Apple Pie Cider
  • Mom’s Gourmet (Newbury), Feisty Fish Rub, Brown Dog Ribba Ribba Rub & Far Out Feather Dust
  • Frito Lay (Wooster), Potato Chips & Rold Gold Pretzels

Have a morning person on your list? A breakfast-themed basket would be great.  They can entertain themselves with it while you sleep in!

Entertain the morning people on your list with this Ohio Proud gift basket while you sleep in!

Entertain the morning people on your list with this Ohio Proud gift basket while you sleep in!

Contents of this basket include:

  • Circle S Farms (Grove City), Raspberry & Strawberry Preserves
  • JC’s Sweet Ice Tea (Gahanna), Southern Style Sweet Tea
  • Roger’s Honey (Baltimore), Pure Honey
  • CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (Westerville), Raspberry Salsa
  • Figg’s Liquid Innovations (Mansfield), Hot Apple Pie Cider
  • Dolce’ Pizzelles Cookie Company (Hammondsville), Chocolate Gingerbread & Cappuccino
  • Crimson Cup (Columbus), Armando’s Blend
  • Aimee’s Blue Ribbon Spices (Granville), Peanut Butter Spread mix

Looking for something a little more daring?  Do you have someone left on your list who likes to live a little on the edge?  A hot & spicy Ohio Proud gift basket would be a great fit!  It could literally bring them to tears.

The heat-seeker on your list will salivate, literally, over these hot & spicy Ohio Proud products.

The heat-seeker on your list will salivate, literally, over these hot & spicy Ohio Proud products.

Contents of this basket include:

  • Confetti Peppers (Massillon), Jalepeno, Mild & Hot Pepper Ribbons
  • Royal Fireworks Sauce (Columbus), A spicy sweet Explosion sauce & A sweet crescendo
  • Mom’s Gourmet (Newbury), Red Dog Rub, Black Dog Belly Rub & Yellow Sweet Shake
  • JC’s Sweet Ice Tea, LLC (Gahanna), Southern Style Sweet Tea
  • Figg’s Liquid Innovations (Mansfield), Hot Apple Pie Cider
  • CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (Westerville), Thai Spice & Jolokia hot sauce
  • The Gourmet Farm Girl (Delaware), Spicy bean soup mix
  • Mike-sells Potato Chips (Dayton), Sweet Chili Chips
  • Scherer Foods, LLC (JacksonCenter), Saucy Sows Hot Spicy Pepper Mustard

Okay, so no morning people, or grill gods?  A sweet & salty Ohio Proud gift basket is just the ticket.  Something in there for everyone, no matter your tastes!

This sweet & salty gift basket would be great for anyone on your list.

This sweet & salty gift basket would be great for anyone on your list.

Contents of this basket include:

  • Mike-sells Potato Chips (Dayton), Green Onion Chips
  • Roger’s Honey (Baltimore), Pure Honey
  • Aimee’s Blue Ribbon Spices (Granville), Citrus Zesy Cheese Ball mix
  • Dolce’ Pizzelles (Hammondsville), Fudge & Candy Cane
  • Annie B’s Hometown BBQ Sauce (Cambridge), BBQ Sauce
  • Circle S Farms (Grove City), Raspberry & Strawberry Preserves
  • Frito Lay (Wooster), Potato Chips & Rold Gold Pretzels
  • Royal Fireworks Sauce (Columbus), Spicy, Sweet Mustard
  • CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (Westerville), Black Bean Salsa
  • Shagbark Seed & Mill Company (Athens), Corn Chips & Black Turtle Beans
  • Scherer Foods, LLC (JacksonCenter), Saucy Sows Sweet Pepper Mustard

Well I hope this has helped you get those creative juices flowing!  All that is left is to get out there and finish up that list!  (and clean the house, and cook dinner, and do laundry, and wrap, and pack… I am going to need a holiday after this holiday is over!)

For more information about these products, other Ohio Proud products, more gift ideas and recipes, visit

Now on Pinterest!

OP Pinterest Follow Poster

What is better than delicious and awesome OHIO products?  How about recipes, gift and projects ideas using OHIO products?

Introducing the Ohio Proud Pinterest boards!  We will add content that will highlight Ohio Proud partner companies, products, ingredients, DIY projects and tons of other great home, party and life ideas that focus on using the best Ohio has to offer.

Visit to follow our boards and get those creative juices flowing!