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Eat farm fresh and local

Local residents already know it is hard to beat a meal prepared using ingredients purchased locally, and now Ohio officials have joined forces with a group of other Midwestern states to remind everyone eating local provides more benefits than simply the makings of some really good food.

Most of us do our best to support local businesses and boost the economy right here at home.

But we can easily forget that economy includes agriculture, too.

“As states continue to revitalize and invest in their economies and support their small businesses, there are simple ways residents, visitors and consumers can help — buy from and support your local farmers and food-based businesses,” the Ohio Department of Agriculture said in a news release.

“Buying fresh produce or jams at your favorite farmers market, eating at a farm to table restaurant or picking up some tasty state-made foods at the grocery store, there are endless ways to help support the state’s … agricultural businesses,” it continued.

Local residents have plenty of options to purchase local meats and vegetables. In Belmont County, for instance, there are twice weekly farmers’ markets — on Thursdays at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville and on Saturdays in Bellaire. These feature fresh, local products and more.

There’s plenty of season left — and you can preserve what you don’t eat now. It’s worth the effort — for you and your family, and for the hardworking local farmers who never take a day off from feeding their communities.

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