#essential – the untold story of the Ohio food industry and the pandemic

New short film explores the story of food production in Ohio during the pandemic

The pandemic that began in March 2020 disrupted every aspect of our live. Our first responders and medical workers deservedly have been recognized for all of their work to help get us back through.

But one aspect of the pandemic rarely gets discussed: Food production couldn’t shut down. People still needed to eat. And the way people needed to get their food had changed almost instantly.

Because of our work at CIFT, we had a front row seat to the choices and challenges the people who keep us fed had to face and make. What we witnessed amazed us and filled us with pride for our industry.

This is a story that needs to be told. And because of our unique position serving the state of Ohio, we decided to create a documentary short to give the public a glimpse behind their grocery shelves and take-out packages.

Online Premiere Details

We have finished the film and are excited to announce the online premiere of #essential – the untold story of the Ohio food industry and the pandemic. The premiere will be on August 26th at 2pm via our Facebook and YouTube channels.

The premiere will be followed by an online Q&A with our team as well as participants from the film. If you are interested in participating in the Q&A, please contact Todd Underwood at tunderwood@ciftinnovation.org for more information. Registration is limited for that portion, so please register early.

To join live, learn more at our website.


Getting to Know Rebecca Singer, President & CEO

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

This is a special edition of our Getting to Know CIFT blog series because we are highlighting our President and CEO, Rebecca Singer! Rebecca has always been a strong advocate for CIFT and began her journey with the company in 2001. She initially started with CIFT as the Associate Program Director, then climbed up the chain to Vice President and Director of Agricultural Programs and now is leading the company as President and CEO. We asked her some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what makes her so passionate about the work that CIFT does.

What do you do at CIFT?
I provide vision and strategic consideration as to how CIFT can continue to serve as a resource to our clients and stake holders while also exploring trends and anticipating future challenges. I have the pleasure of leading a team of exceptional individuals with unique skills and experience in directly engaging with companies within the food, agricultural, and manufacturing industries.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
I have always been a firm believer in spending time doing something that makes a difference and you are passionate about. Food is an industry that touches every person several times a day while supporting good health, social engagements, to family connectivity. Playing a role in delivering a basic need with such powerful implications is particularly rewarding. Enhancing the way in which this is done from field to package is inspiring.

What has been your favorite project so far?
I have been fortunate to participate in and deliver on numerous projects during my tenure with the organization. It is incredibly difficult to select a favorite when you consider the impacts associated with assisting companies develop safer, higher quality products, implementation of a technology that allows for no preservatives added for enhance market appeal, explore improvements to water quality issues, manufacturer items fulfilling immediate crisis response during the pandemic, or educating youth of the importance of contributing to a vibrant food system into the future. In saying all of this, working with the entrepreneurs with a recipe that has been passed down for generations to advancing it into the marketplace is refreshing and inspiring. The passion and dedication of all the individuals we work with, regardless of the type of company, makes each positive impact a highlight.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
If you are within the food and agricultural industry, you will find genuine and valuable support from our team and if you manufacture a product in northwest Ohio your success is important to us and we are here to serve as trusted advisors willing to help.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have been fortunate to travel to numerous countries to expand my knowledge and experiences professionally and encourage such exposure to anyone. Additionally, I spend my free time working on the family farm, volunteering for organizations such as 4-H, and find time spent on the water most relaxing and refreshing.

Get to know more of the team through the entire CIFT Team blog series.