Ohioans have long made their living off the land. Over time, it became our state’s number one industry, and today most of Ohio’s 77,000 farms are run by families. Put plainly, Ohio relies on our land and the people who cultivate it.
This month, farmers around Ohio are busy preparing for the harvest, as are small family-owned businesses that support the farm industry. From tractor sales to canning tomatoes, Ohioans have built businesses from the ground up that help feed our nation while supporting their local economies. In fact, the origin of Ohio’s current major food manufacturers can often be traced to small, family endeavors. Tomorrow’s food giants may well be seen in today’s startup companies.
From seed to fresh-packed crop, five generations of the Hirzel family have worked closely with localfamily farmers to grow and package the absolute freshest tasting products under Hirzel Canning Co. since 1923 -- and they continue to grow today.
Hirzel Canning Co. has been headquartered in northwest Ohio since their very beginning and they are proud to give back to the community that supports them. By partnering with Mobile Meals, Seagate Food Bank, and Feed the Children, Hirzel Canning Co. is able to provide families in need with healthy and flavorful products.
You can find a store to purchase their products on their website.
Heimerl Farms is a family-run farming operation located in Johnstown with other operations throughout the state. Though they are most widely known for their swine operations, they also raise Holstein Cattle, in addition to several thousand acres of farming.
Jim Heimerl’s parents farmed part-time in the 1940’s which led Jim to start his own crop and cattle farm in 1975 with his wife, Kathy. In 1992, they leased more land and started raising hogs. They continued to grow the operation and now two of their four children work on the family farm. They continue to grow and recently added a state-of-the-art feed processing facility that feeds nearly 60% of their pigs each day.
Heimerl Farms is a leader in environmental stewardship and works hard to educate others in Ohio on the story of agriculture, even hosting daily farm tours for schools and other fundraising and community outreach events.
Elzy Milling & Trade is one of North Central Ohio’s largest livestock feed manufacturers. Serving an eight-county area from their Bellville location, they also rank among the top retailers in pet supplies, grass seeds, bagged fertilizers, garden materials, pond maintenance, and more.
Since opening in July of 2011, Elzy Milling & Trade has tripled in size. From the banks of the scenic Clear Fork River and along the popular B&O Bike Path, their historic Mill has been in continuous operation since the Civil War.
Elzy Milling & Trade is extremely involved and their community and has a passion to give back. They support their local 4-H groups, the FFA youth, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops in the area. They wish to enhance their sense of community with their products, while also investing in the people who support them.
Since 1946, Baxla Tractor Sales has proudly supplied Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky farmers with quality equipment and parts. From huge combines and balers to small tractors and mowers, Baxla not only sells new and used equipment, but provides certified technicians to help support their customers.
Baxla’s motto, “our business is helping you grow”, focuses on each individual customer’s needs. They appreciate that every farm and small business is different, and the Baxla team makes it their priority to support Ohio’s hard-working farmer families.
Beginning their journey as a Greenhouse and Garden center in 1977, Village Green Floral and Garden Center has made a huge (green)thumb print in Wapakoneta. Working hard to provide the best products and customer service over the years, they listened to loyal customer requests to expand into the floral and landscaping arenas, making weddings and local homes and businesses beautiful. They now also provide Christmas decorating services for inside and outside local homes!
The Winery at Wolf Creek started in 1980 on a family farm in Barberton on only 10 acres and one picnic table. The first bottle of wine was sold in June of 1985. The winery at Wolf Creek has since grown to producing a full selection of red and white wines coupled with large spaces for wine tastings and other group events such as birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and much more. After the original owner passed away, the long-time manager, Andy Troutman, bought the winery in 2002.
Wolf Creek has scheduled special events on their property like The Wolf’s Creek Goat Derby and a fall festival. The family-friendly business is a great place to visit, with live music, yard games, and plenty of picnic tables to bring your own snack. You can purchase cheese plates or goat crackers to feed the local celebrity 4-H goats!