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Six Figures

February 14, 2013

Recently, Aimee Figgatt a Wild Ramp producer from Tyler Creek Farm, shared with us a chart she received at a conference. As a farmer myself, I was shocked at those numbers. There is no way a small farm like ours could operate on those kind of margins. It is no wonder the agricultural motto, before the local food movement, was “Get Big, Or Get Out.”  There was no other way to survive.

farmer food $

Thankfully, we live in a time where things seem to be changing. People are becoming more aware of how important local food from small farms is to their health, their local economy, and their community. This awareness, and the commitment to back these ideas with shopping dollars and volunteer hours makes The Wild Ramp possible. The 90/10 consignment The Wild Ramp operates on makes a workable return for small farmers.

At the end of January, The Wild Ramp passed a significant milestone.  This press release was recently sent:

After only six months in business, the Wild Ramp is pleased to announce it has already given more than $100,000 back to local farmers and producers.

The Wild Ramp, a nonprofit local foods market, opened its doors in downtown Huntington on July 13. Since that time, the Wild Ramp has steadily grown as it becomes a food fixture for people in the TriState area.

“One year ago, The Wild Ramp was an idea sparked by an article in the Washington Post about a market in Wooster, Ohio Local Roots,” said board president Gail Patton. “This month we celebrate $100,000 going back to the farmers who sell their products at the market. This has truly been a community effort. The Wild Ramp is something Huntington can be proud of.

“We are so thankful for the volunteers who donate hours of their time, our corporate sponsors and our Friends of the Market who support us with financial donations, as well as the wonderful farmers and food entrepreneurs who share their products with all of us,” Patton added.

Patton said a goal for The Wild Ramp is to make it a hub for area producers who want to sell their product and consumers that are looking to buy local and support the economy.

“The demand for local food is high from consumers, restaurants, schools and hospitals,” she said. “At this point, there is not enough supply to meet that demand. We are excited to think of the economic impact this will have on the area in the future.”

The Wild Ramp provides a year-round place for farmers, producers and artisans located within 250 miles of Huntington to sell their goods. The market, located in Shop 13 at Heritage Station, operates mostly on consignment, with 90 percent of all money made on an item going back to the farmer or producer. There are currently 68 producers selling items at the Wild Ramp.

One of those producers is Stephanie Appleton, one of the owners of Mil-Ton Farms, located in Ona. Mil-Ton Farms is mainly a meat producer, but also supplies some produce, eggs and baked goods to the Wild Ramp. According to Appleton, the convenience of the market allows her farm to sell their product without taking valuable time away from the farm. Plus, she is exposed to new customers and able to offer items year-round.

“The Wild Ramp has provided a convenient place for us to connect with customers in the off season months,” Appleton said. “Our income for comparable months last year has doubled, and in some months even tripled.”

The Wild Ramp keeps 10 percent of the profits from goods sold, relying on volunteers to keep the market running, and donations or corporate sponsors to keep the lights on. The Wild Ramp offers a Friends of the Market membership, which offers special discounts, events and other perks to those that join. In addition to the market, which is open five days a week, the Wild Ramp offers classes, community events and “Help a Farmer” days.

To volunteer, donate, or learn more information, call 304-523-RAMP(7267) or email farmer@wildramp.org.

$100,000 back to local farmers!  That is $100,000 that didn’t go off to a big retail or food corporation  That is $100,000 that stayed here and strengthened our local economy!  It is a win-win situation! Thank you for supporting The Wild Ramp!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    February 14, 2013 6:31 pm

    What a huge impact the Wild Ramp is making in our communities!! Thank you for providing such a wonderful opportunity for the farmers and those of us buying!! Keep up the great work!

    • stkappleto permalink*
      February 14, 2013 7:22 pm

      Thank you for your encouraging words! We couldn’t be more thrilled to hit this milestone so early in our existence!

  2. February 14, 2013 7:16 pm

    That is awesome – what a great contribution to farmers and community alike. Congratulations!

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