“The best news is that we have a governor who is a farmer,” she added.
“I’ve visited his farm in Cedarville many times and I’ve met the familythat farms his farm, and believe me that farmer is in Gov. DeWine’s ear every single day talking to him about the real issues on Gov. DeWine’s farm itself, but also the issues statewide. So Gov. DeWine has farmers in his heart and in his mind every day as he goes about the state doing the business of the state of Ohio.”
Touring Champaign County farms
At Pelanda’s first stop at Freshwater Farms of Ohio she met owner Dr. Dave Smith, who walked her past a series of fish tanks, some containing fish you could pet or feed. Inside one building he said that each tank contained 4,600 perch at a time and that the crowded school makes the fish feel more at ease.
Smith also explained his RAINBOW - Routing And Integrating Nutrient Byproducts Of Wastewater - program through which he recycles water to irrigate six acres of field to grow melons, pumpkins, bell peppers and tomatoes. With his background in ecology he has fostered a diverse ecosystem of insects that naturally prevents any one pest species from gaining an advantage, making pesticides unnecessary.
Pelanda encouraged Smith to set aside acreage to grow hemp, saying that the governor will be signing a bill later this summer authorizing her, as the director of agriculture, to grant farmers licenses to grow hemp with almost no restrictions.
“Hearing Dave talk about his passion and his vision for what he wants to do in the future with hydroponics and aquaponics is really exciting,” she said prior to the film. “We then moved to Mike (Pullins) and Cathy’s Berry Farm, and in the misty rain we picked some beautiful red and black raspberries, and what a treasure that is going to be to take home to my husband tonight.”
After picking berries, Pelanda sat on an EZ-Go cart with Mike as he explained his farming methods. He said that pick-your-own raspberry season was to begin today and invited area residents to the farm at 5676 E. state Route 29.
According to Pullins, the first berries available will be red raspberries, but black raspberries would likely be available next week.
Pelanda was joined at this stop by Melinda Lee, organization director of the Champaign County Farm Bureau.
Lee gave Pelanda a bottle of wine on behalf of Dragonfly Vineyard.
Finally, Pelanda visited Dugan Road Creamery and was guided through the process of making yogurt. Owner Joyce Nelson said one cow drinks an average of 50 gallons of water and produces 145 pounds of milk every day. Pelanda watched owner Chris Nelson operate a pasteurizing machine that can produce one pound of cheese from a gallon of milk, or four gallons of yogurt from five gallons of milk. “Our final stop was at a unique dairy farm, and it was just wonderful because from cow to yogurt we got to see the process from finish to end, so it was a very memorable visit,” Pelanda said of the visit prior to the film.
For more information about any of the farms on this tour, contact the CEP at 937-653-7200.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304.
Rittal North America in Urbana recently hosted a signing ceremony for two Clark State Community College students, Nick Reynolds and Gage Cassell, who have begun 10-week internships at the company, leading up to the second year of their associate degree studies in mechanical engineering technology.
The Rittal ceremony is the latest in a series of signing ceremonies that Ashley Cook, Business Liaison of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), is coordinating with Champaign County manufacturers that hire local students and graduates. The signing ceremonies, patterned after signing ceremonies that colleges conduct for new student athletes, are part of the CEP’s workforce development initiatives.
The CEP has been partnering with employers and local schools to better inform students about local employment opportunities and to help schools prepare students for the opportunities.
At Rittal, Reynolds will work in manufacturing, while Cassel will work in quality engineering. They are the first interns to be hired at the Rittal facility in Urbana, Mike Freund, Managing Director of Rittal North America, said.
As Career Services Coordinator at Clark State, Melody Gast helps students find internships. She said, “We’re excited to partner with Rittal to provide our students real world experience.”
Rittal designs and manufactures industrial and IT enclosures, racks and accessories, including high efficiency, high density power management and climate control systems for industrial, data center, outdoor and hybrid applications.
Earlier this spring, ORBIS in Urbana held a signing ceremony for an Urbana University senior and Bundy Baking Solutions of Urbana, for three local graduates who have joined their workforce.
Information from Champaign Economic Partnership.
See full article from Urbana Daily Citizen by clicking HERE.
Champaign County gets visitors, and soon they’ll have a place to stay, too.
Clark State Community College is enrolling students now in its first applied bachelor’s degree program.
The four-year degree in Manufacturing Technology Management will be available to students beginning in the fall semester of this year.
Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said the degree complements Clark State’s existing certificates and associate degrees, and is an opportunity to provide higher education for an industry important to the region’s economic health.
“Additionally, incumbent workers can now have access to a bachelor’s degree that brings with it the opportunities for advancement and higher-level skill development,” Blondin said. “It’s a win-win for the employees and employers.”
Read the entire article by clicking HERE.
Bundy Baking Solutions, a leading maker of commercial and consumer baking equipment, products and services, with U.S. headquarters in Urbana, has become the Champaign Economic Partnership’s (CEP) newest Champion Level partner investor.
The CEP is a public-private partnership of local government, business and education, formed to help businesses get started, expand, create jobs and develop workforce in Champaign County.
“As one of the larger employers in our area that’s had roots in the community since 1967, it’s important for us to have a role in moving the partnership and economic development forward,” says Tom Coles, the company’s Vice President of Human Resources. The Champion Level is the highest level of partnership that the CEP offers to businesses.
The CEP’s partnership of business, education and local government, he said, “builds a strong foundation for the community to attract new business and maintain existing businesses.”
Bundy Baking Solutions has become a global industry leader serving many of the world’s largest and most successful bakeries. Bundy includes six companies, employing 330 in Urbana, 50 in Mansfield, Westerville and Sunbury, and 2,000 in other U.S. and international locations.
Coles said that the CEP has helped the company and other local manufacturers meet their workforce needs by partnering with schools, making them and their students aware of local career opportunities.
He credits Ashley Cook, the CEP’s Business Liaison, for helping businesses like Bundy partner with local schools to introduce students to local jobs and prepare them for the workforce. “This wouldn’t have happened without Ashley being at the table – we all have businesses to run. She’s helped us get our foot in the door with career counselors to let them know about the jobs that are available. There’s plenty of opportunity here.”
Bundy offers opportunities with on-the-job training for high school students wanting to go straight into the workforce, as well as jobs for college graduates. Coles said Urbana University graduates have recently accepted positions in marketing and information technology.
Bundy also offers opportunities for high school students to work during non-school hours, leading up to graduation, when they can work full time.
Bundy has expanded operations in Urbana in recent years. American Pan added a second shift two years ago and recently added a third, Coles said. And Pan Glo and Dura Shield have each added a second shift. In addition, Bundy Baking Solutions recently opened a new division in Westerville, Synova LLC, which manufactures and distributes baking release agents.
Eighteen businesses are currently CEP Investors. To learn how to become an investor, to support CEP’s economic development mission, visit cepohio.com/partnership-investors.html, or call the CEP at 937-653-7200.
“Every Whole Foods in Ohio carries our products,” he said. “It was a little tough to get into Champaign County, but we sell to Gordon’s FoodService and now they’re using us at several local restaurants. I know for sure that Lincoln & Main carries us now. There were some smaller restaurants that weren’t worth bringing a truck to, but when we started selling with Gordon’s that has allowed us to become the pride of the community, which is a little ironic, I guess.”
Snyder is now working with the Bom Group, of Holland, to design the new greenhouse. The previous two were designed by the Rough Brothers of Cincinnati, which supplied drawings and material, but Snyder said his team was able to build most of it. His father has experience as a general contractor, and they have an engineer on staff.
The two existing greenhouses are fully automated, with total climate control, an opening and closing roof, grow lights, fans, liquid CO2 for cooling and heat pipes.
The second greenhouse is built on a treadmill so that plants start out young on one end, move about five rows forward each day, and are ready to harvest by the time they reach the front row.
From there crops go to the packaging room for shipping the next day. Snyder said they originally shipped on the same day, but some food distributors needed the product temperature to cool more slowly for efficient delivery.
“This has been something I was always pulled toward,” he said. “I grew up in a suburb of Columbus, which is where I had my first garden, and we found this land available on line. I never went to college for agriculture.
We just did a lot of internet research, and none of us were afraid to ask questions. Ohio State has been really helpful, and we went out to Cornell to learn as much as we could before starting the farm.”
Snyder said Old Souls has 12 employees and he hopes to have a staff as large as 80 once the expansion is complete. Interested job seekers are invited to stop by the farm and fill out an application.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304.