In partnership with the Cleveland Farmers' Market Guild (CFMG), Growhio was awarded a $65,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant Program to promote the availability of Ohio Specialty Crops (OSCs) at these farmers' markets. The one year grant will cover a marketing campaign, educational program, and new vendor start-up program.
The marketing campaign includes development of promotional videos, postcards, newspaper and RTA bus advertising. The educational program will be planned in partnership with Ohio State University Extension-Cuyahoga County, and will include educational presentations by farmers' market managers at various events, such as block club meetings and other community gatherings, in their focus neighborhoods.
The new community vendor assistance program (CVAP), perhaps the most exciting part of the ODA grant, provides each of the seven farmers' markets with an incubator vendor set-up. Vendors of OSCs who might not have either the resources to rent their own vendor space, or the capacity to fill an entire space with product, can rent the incubator vendor space for free, as needed, and share the space with other start-up vendors. In addition, a going-to-market workshop will be given to first-time OSC vendors to assist them in getting started at one of the seven farmers' markets.