OU Culture Showcase Examines Economic Sustainability

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Sustainability organizations in Athens are asking people in the community to buy local.

That was the theme yesterday (monday) as Ohio University hosted three organizations that work to sustain the local economy and offer an alternative economic model during a culture showcase.

Officials from the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, also known as ACEnet, talked about their theme of buying local food first.  

ACEnet helps local businesses grow by providing facilities and other types of assistance.

The organization is also working with big chains like Kroger and recently Smuckers to help small businesses get started.

President of ACEnet Angie Maiden says that the purchases are more important than people think.

"I think often times people forget that for every purchase they make they can actually make a difference, help to create jobs, help to create assets and those types of things in our area," says Maiden.

The Athens Farmers Market offers the opportunity to buy locally grown products twice a week.

The market's bylaws say that everything sold has to be produced within a 150 mile radius of Athens.

The president of the Farmers Market Jack Cantrell says in one year the market puts up to $3 million into the local economy.

Consumers have the availability of locally grown organic food year round. In the economy, it's just wonderful," says Cantrell.

The culture showcase was hosted by an Ohio University diversity committee.