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Small farm appeals for big prize

By Kyle Hayden
On February 18, 2014

FedEx has promised to give $25,000 to a small business in the United States that exhibits "vision and savviness." Lucy Goodman, owner of Boulder Belt Eco-Farm at 3257 Route 127, Eaton, Ohio has put her 20-year-old business in the running.

Goodman began learning about certified organic farming in the early '90s when she moved from College Corner, Ohio, to a New Paris, Ohio farm to learn the trade.

In 2005, Goodman and her husband Eugene purchased what is now Boulder Belt Eco-farm, and expanded into a fully-fledged crop-production site and storefront outside of Eaton.

Currently, the farm sells assorted grown goods such as: leeks, garlic, parsnips, butternut squash, kale, golden turnips, pepper, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper flakes, heirloom apples, beets, garlic powder, parsley and pastured eggs, according to their website.

In spring 2014, they anticipate the sale of cabbage, carrots, broccoli, spinach, lettuce and parsnips. Of course, most items are seasonal.

"If we win [the contest], I'd like to make a few improvements to the storefront," Goodman said.

Goodman was recently suffered the loss of a now broken-down refrigeratior, previously used to store food until it could be taken to market.

"New refrigeration units and a Commercial Kitchen license would be my main goals," Goodman said. "We'd also like a tractor."

There is no running water to the building housing her store, and it would cost $2,000 to install such plumbing, Goodman said. Yet, they must have water in the building in order for the Department of Public Health to issue the proper license.

"Currently we have to get water from elsewhere-outside," Goodman said. "It's a pain."

FedEx will offer the grant to small businesses that show a desire to "innovate new products, franchise their ideas, or offer new products and services."

The grand prize of $25,000 will go to the business that FedEx deems has the "most compelling business story" and not just by "sheer number of votes."

Of the 3,900 businesses registered, one grand prize of $25,000 will be awarded, four first-place grants of $5,000 and five second-place grants of $1,000.

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