On January 11th and 12th, Rural Action and the Chesterhill Produce Auction tabled at the Mid-Ohio Grower’s Meeting in Millersburg, OH at the Mount Hope Event Center. Though representatives from Rural Action have attended the event in the past, this is the first year we were able to have an information booth ourselves! In addition to sitting in on a handful of educational workshops on a variety of agricultural topics, including growing and marketing pumpkins, we made contacts with beginning and established farmers and ran into a few old friends.
The majority of the attending population was from the local Amish community, though we met growers from all around Ohio as well as from Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia. As part of the greater Ohio grower community, the producers of the Chesterhill Produce Auction work with families in Millersburg. The top selling growers of the CPA also source their produce boxes and other farming essentials from the area.
Mount Hope has produce, hay, and massive livestock auctions year-round! For those used to the scene at the CPA, the Farmer’s Produce Auction is a sight to behold. It was founded in 1995. According to the Mt. Hope Auction website, “The [Farmer’s] Produce Auction was the first of its kind started in Ohio and is currently one of the largest in the state”. Similar to the CPA, the Farmer’s Produce Auction starts in April and runs into November.
The Mount Hope Auction hosts many non-auction events annually. On January 25th, Hans Kneuss, the Eastern Ohio Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager, will attend the Ohio Grazing Conference there to learn more about silvopasture and other agricultural practices. For anyone looking to experience more of Ohio’s agricultural enterprises, a visit to Mount Hope may be of interest to you! The area is rich with history. We hope to attend the Grower’s Meeting again next year and continue to make connections there.
Emily Elam is a Hocking College graduate and the current Community Development AmeriCorps Member with Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Program.