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Tom Klein, an organic farmer in Carey, Ohio, shows off some of his specialty crop to Edible Columbus Editor Colleen Leonardi and her Photojournalist Rachel Joy Barehl

A unique avenue to drive agriculture’s message into the city

Continuing the mission of advocacy and outreach into Central Ohio, Franklin County Farm Bureau was seeking out a way to expand their message and communicate with those that aren’t all that close to the farm, both in distance and understanding. So, they recently acquired Edible Columbus magazine.

“Edible Columbus is a print, community-based publication published four times a year, and distributed free to the public,” said Colleen Leonardi, the magazine’s Editor-In-Chief. “From sustainable agriculture to seasonal cooking to locally sourced restaurants, breweries and distilleries, our mission is to create fresh, beautiful content to engage readers in our food, our region and our culture, season by season.”

Leonardi said the partnership with Franklin County Farm Bureau, a grassroots organization that works to support Ohio’s thriving local food and farming economy, compliments what they do at Edible Columbus.

Edible Columbus has a yearly reach of 100,000 readers in the Central Ohio area. The magazine is available at the locations of local businesses that advertise within the publication and is also received by subscription.

“The goal is to utilize the publication to continue to promote all of the things that we value as an organization, including safe, healthy, affordable food, as well as conservation, clean water and access to markets for area producers.” said Steven Berk, Organization Director for the Franklin County Farm Bureau.

With the acquisition of Edible Columbus, Franklin County Farm Bureau hopes to generate operating funds through advertisers but there is also going to be an emphasis on generating membership through this non-traditional outreach.

“There is always a revenue aspect anytime that you run a business, so that part does factor into it,” Berk said. “Even more than that, the reason we specifically went with purchasing a magazine is that we really wanted to expand our platform and our brand. People know Farm Bureau as this organization that promotes consumer advocacy and consumer choice and farming in the Buckeye State, so we wanted to use that and expound that message through the magazine.”

For the past four years, Franklin County Farm Bureau was a sponsor and bought ad space in Edible Columbus, so they already knew quite a bit about the magazine’s objectives and audience and thought it would be a great fit for their portfolio when the opportunity to acquire it presented itself.

“The Franklin County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees is a very forward-thinking, progressive and engaged group and they jumped on this proposition,” Berk said. “I think more county Farm Bureaus are interested in what we are doing here and, of course, Farm Bureau is always looking for unique ways to reach consumers.”

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