Ohio Wesleyan to Host Panel Discussion with Area Food Experts, Entrepreneurs

Free Oct. 10 Sagan National Colloquium Event to Examine ‘Making Local Work in Ohio’
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DELAWARE, OH – A panel of area food experts will discuss “Making Local Work in Ohio: Production, Promotion, and Entrepreneurship in the Local Food System” during a free community presentation Oct. 10 at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Benes Rooms of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The discussion is part of the university’s 2012 Sagan National Colloquium, “Bite! Examining the Mutually Transformative Relationship Between People and Food.” The event also will be streamed live online.

Panelists for the “Making Local Work” discussion are Jeni Britton Bauer, owner and founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams; Warren Taylor, owner and founder of Snowville Creamery; Michael Jones, executive director and co-founder of Local Matters; and Ben Sippel, 2002 Ohio Wesleyan graduate and owner of Sippel Family Farm. Tricia Wheeler, publisher and editor in chief of Edible Columbus, will serve as the panel moderator.

Jeni Britton Bauer founded Columbus, Ohio-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 1996. Today, she has seven stores in Ohio, retail clients nationwide, and a thriving mail-order business. Bauer recently earned a James Beard Foundation award for her book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.” The company’s uniquely flavored treats are, in Bauer’s words, “built from the ground up with grass-grazed cream and the most flavorful ingredients we can find from around the world.”

Warren Taylor founded Pomeroy, Ohio-based Snowville Creamery in 2007. Today, the company has more than 30 employees and projected 2012 sales of $5 million. “Snowville Creamery milk tastes delicious because it comes from grass-fed cows and is pasteurized at the lowest possible temperature, preserving the flavor and nutrition,” company literature states. “It is not homogenized, allowing the cream to rise to the top.”

Michael Jones is the director and co-founder of Local Matters, a Columbus, Ohio-based not-for-profit group that works to “transform the food system to be more secure, just, prosperous and delicious,” and also the owner of The Greener Grocer, Local Matters’ for-profit partner. To transform the food system, Local Matters focuses on educating consumers about wholesome food, including where it comes from, how to grow it, and how to cook it. The organization also works to improve access to fresh, local foods and collaborates with partners and neighbors to build a stronger, healthier food system for everyone.

Ben Sippel majored in environmental studies and geography at Ohio Wesleyan. Today, he and his wife operate the 77-acre Sippel Family Farm in Mount Gilead, Ohio. Their farm features more than 25 acres of produce, as well as naturally raised beef and pork. “All produce on the Sippel Family Farm is grown using sustainable principles and without synthetic chemicals,” the couple says.

Tricia Wheeler is the publisher and editor in chief of Edible Columbus magazine and a classically studied chef, graduating at the top of her class from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Her magazine is dedicated to sharing news about “the way lives are touched by fresh, locally grown foods, encompassing everything from the farmer’s field to the dining table and the journeys in between.”

Each year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium addresses an issue of international importance from several different academic disciplines. It is funded through an endowment from the late Margaret (Pickett) Sagan and the late John Sagan, both members of the Ohio Wesleyan Class of 1948.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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