Source: Gary Brock video
By Gary Brock
COLUMBUS — Duane Boring of Vinton County was just a few days from the start of a new direction in his life.
The insurance professional was standing at his booth in the “Ohio Proud” section of displays at the annual Power Show Ohio on Jan. 26, rows of jars labeled “Bufflodip” in front of him. His was one of the many family-owned businesses on display at the 47th annual Power Show at the Ohio Expo Center.
Boring said that as of Feb. 1, he will be working his food business full time.
“I am giving up a 16-year career to do this, but my passion is in this business. I truly own it and I can leave it to my kids,” he said. “It is hard to do two businesses at once. The insurance business I really couldn’t leave to my kids since it is corporate-owned. With this, I can build my own business and hopefully make my children financially secure in the future.” He and wife Trish have three children, two boys age 20, 19, and a daughter age 15.
Boring said he is looking to add a few products, expand the line, but focusing first on his core product — the buffalo dip. “We have a good fan base with this one line. I am a believer in doing one thing right until we get it more established, then grow it. I don’t want to go with too much because I don’t want to loose quality. I want to be careful about that.”
Boring, the owner and founder of SZALT Enterprises, L.L.C, has been operating the buffalo dip business as a sideline for five years. His jars are presently sold in 230 stores in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky and he is looking to expand nationwide. To do that, he needs a new location.
The Londonderry resident said he presently manufactures his product at another “Ohio Proud” member business — Ben’s Mustard in Kingston, Ross County. “We’re looking at a factory, a building in Wellston, in Jackson County. It’s a 1,800 square foot building that needs just some cosmetic work.” He hopes to apply for funding in the next few months to finalize the purchase.
“We can manufacture more, store our product, increase volume and then increase profits at a new factory,” he said. “That’s what we are hoping for. With my full focus and attention on this we should be able to do it.”
Once he opens the building and gets business started, he said he is looking to hire help. “I have some people waiting for me to get it started in order to work for me.”
Boring was just of the many entrepreneurs showing off his products at the “Ohio Proud” section and throughout the Bricker Building and the Celeste Center. This was his first year at the Power Show.
Shawn Neff, however, is a Power Show veteran. His family-owned “Ben’s Mustard” business has had a display at the three-day exhibition for years.
“We’ve been making mustard now for about 15 years. Ben is my father, and we’re a family business. We have been here at the Power Show for the last nine or 10 years,” he said.
“We are members of ‘Ohio Proud.’ It’s part of the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture. The program promotes Ohio businesses. To be a member you have to produce, manufacture or grow 50 percent of your product in Ohio. When you join, you are able to include the ‘Ohio Proud’ label with your products. So when you see this label when you are out shopping, please think about buying this product because you are helping a fellow Ohioan,” Neff said.
Throughout the three days, there were new farming and agriculture products on display, especially the latest in high-tech machinery. These included tractors, spreaders, combines and all-terrain vehicles for the farm. There were also display of new equipment for construction and repairs; solar panel displays; the latest in out-buildings and materials and lots of tools.
Among the many visitors at the Power Show were local FFA students from across Ohio. One of those was an FFA group from Wapakoneta in Auglaize County. Students Dezirae Meier, Chase Everage, Parker Clay, Dalton Martin, Dawson Lathan and Zach Tangemon were all enjoying the displays of tools and equipment on display and for sale at the show.
Power Show Ohio provides customers – and potential customers – the opportunity to learn about products in the fields of agriculture, outdoor power equipment and construction. It’s a chance for those same customers to get information that will afford them the know-how to become more efficient in their operations. The show featured displays of the newest and best in tractors, skid steer loaders, commercial mowing equipment, utility vehicles, grain handling, computer software, fence building, hay equipment, buildings, backhoes, logging equipment, compact tractors, livestock equipment plus a number of lifestyle items.
Daily educational seminars took place all three days. Among the seminars was an update on the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms by Aaron Heilers and Dr. Larry Antosch. Heilers is project manager and Antosch is senior director of policy development for the Ohio Farm Bureau.
A second workshop was held by Scott Cluff of Third Sun Solar. His workshop was called “Harvesting the Sun: Putting the sun to work on the farm.” His presentation involved dispelling myths about installing solar panels in farm and rural areas.
Gary Brock can be reached at 937-556-5759 or on Twitter at GBrock4.