We all know the Pure Michigan advertisements; the announcer extols Michigan's down home virtues and old fashioned values as beautiful scenes invite us to explore the state to our north. Once we get there, agritourism is evident--”you pick” blueberries, fudge, cherries, ice wine—and we open our wallets to indulge.
Southern Ohio is an even more beautiful area—forested hills line the Ohio river with winding roads and historic towns. Recreational opportunity abounds for the kayaker, the cyclist, the RVer, and the hiker. Although some county tourism boards have touted local products in their brochures, there has never been a “Pure Appalachia” regional campaign.
Why don't we establish an Appalachian Made brand?
The Appalachian counties of Southern Ohio (Clermont, Brown, Adams, Highland, Ross, Pike, and Scioto) can band together to brand the home grown and homemade products of the region. The small producers of wine, quilts, birdhouses, apple pies, goat milk soap, alpaca hats, crafts, furniture—whatever anyone wants to produce—become branded and marketed as a region.
The producers would own shares in the regional business (wealth building!). Their product lines and manufacturing processes would be improved by expert recommendations. The full line of Appalachian Made products would be marketed online with rapid shipping throughout the USA. In addition to the online entity, travelers could visit the historic Southern Ohio towns to sample the local Appalachian Made products.
Online branding meets agritourism meets wealthbuilding.