Stacy Cox, director of CCDJFS, which includes OMJCC, said that the Champaign County commissioners offered OMJCC the opportunity to move into the new office space, formerly used by the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center, near the Board of Elections.
The agency accepted the invitation to move into this new setting and reconfigure it to modernize OMJCC’s services. Amy Sherman, OMJCC workforce supervisor, added that new technology, including video conferencing equipment, is being installed, supported by modernization funds provided by the State of Ohio for OhioMeansJobs sites across the state.
Due to COVID-19, an open house is not being planned at the new location, Sherman said. But a virtual tour of the new OMJCC offices is being created. The OhioMeansJobs Champaign County Facebook page will announce when the virtual tour is ready for viewing on CCDJFS’s website.
Sherman and Andrea Mitchell, OMJCC employer services representative, will maintain offices in the new suite, which will also include:
In its new location, OMJCC will continue to serve employers and jobseekers as a central point of access for employment, training and related workforce services provided by several area agencies and service providers.
Employer services include:
Jobseeker services include:
For more information, contact OMJCC at 937-484-1581.
Farm family buys school site
From Urbana Daily Citizen
Michael Family Farms has acquired the former site of Urbana Local and plans to construct an agricultural facility on the land at the intersection of state Route 54 and Hickory Grove Road.
The property was auctioned off by Urbana City Schools district for $75,000 after new schools were constructed.
The old school site will be home to two former students’ farming business.
Siblings Kyle Michael and Kathy Michael Sponheim purchased the former site and plan on starting construction this month on the 40,000-square-foot facility.“ We have recently been able to expand our operation in Champaign County,” said Sponheim in a prepared statement. “We have picked up some land and continue to look for additional irrigated acres to increase production. Demand continues to rise for locally grown food that is good for you, and our potatoes provide a delicious, nutritious, addition to any meal.”
Potatoes are the main fare of the agri-business venture, which is rooted in family.
“We are thrilled to be able to build two state-of- the-art potato storages and a grading facility to support our growth. The controlled atmospheric storages will hold 1 million pounds of potatoes that will be distributed to grocery stores across Ohio and surrounding states throughout the year,” Sponheim said. “The location is ideal for business but also holds special sentiment as our father Todd also attended grade school at Local as part of Urbana City Schools. With this facility, we will be able to better support a localized supply chain to deliver fresh produce with fewer food miles from farm to fork.”
Sponheim said growing a family business has its challenges. “However we feel very fortunate to be able to do what we love and do it together,” she said.
Todd has been active in the potato industry for decades and the passion for farming and agriculture was nurtured in Kyle and Kathy from a young age. Now taking over the operation, Kyle and Kathy plan to continue that legacy. Kyle recently was reappointed to serve on the U.S. Potato Board, following in both his father and grandfather’s footsteps.
“Our philosophy at Michael Family Farms is driven by putting family first; after that we are committed to growing the business, sustainable cropping practices and delivering complete service to our customers,” Sponheim said.
A USDA Rural Development grant was received in 2018 to fund specialized equipment. The procurement of equipment is underway, though progress has been delayed because of the pandemic.
Seeing no further delays, the Council hopes to open the kitchen for use this coming fall.
This will be a big advantage for those with food businesses. Most kitchens of a similar purpose are only available in the major metropolitan areas of the state, which are not convenient for those in west-central Ohio.
The Council would like to invite the community to help us come up with a name. If you have a creative name, please submit your ideas at http://go.osu.edu/KitchenName.
Keep in mind this kitchen will be open for regional food producers (not just Champaign County) and catchy acronyms are great for shortening longer names.
We welcome any new members to our group. You do not have to be involved in agriculter, just have a passion for it!
Contact the Chamber or Amanda Douridas at Douridas.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Douridas is the Champaign Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator for The Ohio State University Extension.