By Lori Panda
‘Tis the season when family and friends gather together to eat, give thanks and celebrate the holidays. As you begin your holiday shopping and event planning, I encourage you to buy gifts and supplies within your community which support the diversity and quality of Ohio’s locally made and grown products.
When you buy local, you are supporting our state’s businesses and farmers while keeping your hard earned dollars in the community where you live, work and play. Every dollar spent on Ohio products reinvests in your local economy and allows local businesses to grow and hire more of your friends and neighbors for quality jobs.
Buying local not only ensures that your hometown economy remains strong, but that downtown shopping districts and Main Streets stay vibrant and unique. In turn, local vendors help us find thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts for our loved ones.
Many specialty retailers focus on Ohio-made or grown products and gifts. If you live in an area with a limited selection, large retailers carry many of these items as well. From fresh food, wine and baked goods to crafts, artisan soaps and lotions, you will likely find Ohio products in each aisle of your favorite grocery store.
Programs like the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s “Ohio Proud” program are designed to draw consumers’ attention to products that are made, grown or processed in Ohio. Our website, ohioproud.org, lets you learn more about Ohio Proud products and where to buy them. Looking for Ohio Proud and other locally made products is a great way to tackle your holiday shopping list while giving back to your local community.
For information on Ohio Proud products and companies, visit www.ohioproud.org
Lori Panda is the Ohio Proud senior program manager for The Ohio Department of Agriculture