The Negev Foundation Ohio-Israel
Agricultural Initiative (OIAI)
2009/2010 Summary of Activities

This year’s Initiative activities focused on trade - promoting trade between Ohio and Israel in the agriculture and processed food sectors, and education in topics such as drip irrigation, agritourism, and trade with Israel.

In Ohio

July 12-14, 2009 - OFA 09

OIAI participated in the international floriculture annual meeting “OFA Short Course” in Columbus, OH from July 12-15, 2009.  At this show, which attracts about 10,000 visitors and about 1500 exhibitors from around the world, the Initiative staff presented materials about OIAI activities, Israel Ag Booth at Farm Science Review 2009, and Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010. In addition, OIAI staff actively sought out and recruited Israeli companies interested in being presented at Farm Science Review 2009. They also looked for Ohio companies that might be interested in trade with Israel and in participating in the Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010.  As a result, several Israeli companies signed up for the Israel Ag booth at FSR09.

September 22-24, 2009 - Israel Agriculture Booth at the Ohio Farm Science Review 2009 Agricultural Tradeshow

The Initiative sponsored an Israel Agriculture Booth at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review (FSR) 2009 Agricultural Tradeshow from September 22-24, 2009.  Israel, a world leader in agricultural technology, was the only foreign country to have a booth at the exposition.  The Farm Science Review ( is one of the largest expositions of agricultural technology in the Midwest, featuring over 600 exhibitors of agricultural equipment, supplies, and machinery.  About 130,000 people attend the event, which takes place at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.   

The Israel Agriculture Booth, a 24’X10’ booth (booth #10) located in the Association Building on lot 577, on the corner of Silage St. and Soybean Ave., presented Israeli agribusinesses that offer the latest in Israeli agricultural innovations, technology, and equipment in dairy, poultry, aquaculture, horticulture, greenhouse, scales, feeders, filtration, irrigation systems, valves and meters, plastics for agriculture use, automation and controllers, and more.  A total of 21 Israeli agribusinesses were presented by the Initiative at the Israel Ag Booth: 

  • Afimilk - Computerized dairy management systems (
  • Amiad Filtration Systems - Filtration systems for agriculture (
  • Arad - Water meters for domestic, agriculture, and waterworks industries (
  • A.R.I.- Flow control accessories (
  • Arkal Industries - Water treatment filters and plastic leisure garden products (
  • Danziger - Breeding and producing high quality flower varieties for growers (
  • Dorot - Automatic control valves for agricultural, industrial & waterworks applications
  • Gavish Control Systems, Ltd. - Computerized systems for greenhouses, fish & dairy farms, and feed centers (
  • Ginegar Plastic Products, Ltd.- Greenhouse cover and mulch films (
  • MGH - Turkey nesting systems (
  • Netafim - Drip irrigation products and water management solutions (
  • ODIS Irrigation Equipment, Ltd -Irrigation equipment (
  • Palram Industries Ltd.- Thermoplastic sheets (
  • Paskal - Orchard, vineyard, and greenhouse items including hooks and clips (
  • Plasson Ltd. - Industrial and agricultural plastics, automated poultry drinking & feeding systems (
  • Polygal - PC multi wall sheets for agriculture (
  • Polysack - ChromatiNet, Aluminet, & other shading, protection nets, and plastics (ground and greenhouse covers, support nets, mulching film(s) (
  • PolyZiv - Custom plastic foam pallets and storage containers (
  • Rotem Computerized Controllers - Agricultural management systems, and environment & irrigation controllers (
  • Shekel Scales - Customizable electronic scales and weighing systems (
  • Tefen Plastic Products Ltd. - Plastic products for agricultural, garden, and industry applications (

Fact sheets about each company were available to booth visitors.  A list of all 21 companies with a description and website were handed to booth visitors as a resource for follow up.  Representatives of all the 21 Israeli agribusinesses were invited to participate and promote their respective companies.  Representatives from, Amiad, Arad, Arkal, Danziger, MGH, Plasson, Rotem and Tefen were able to attend the tradeshow.  They spent time in the Israel Ag Booth and covered the tradeshow grounds, providing information about their companies’ products and services. The goal was to enhance awareness in the Midwest agriculture community about increased sales of these Israeli agricultural products and services.

A video about Israel’s agriculture sectors, printed materials about agritourism to the Holy Land, and general information about Israel’s agriculture were featured at the booth.  Booth visitors were invited to sample Almondina cookies, manufactured by YZ Enterprises of Maumee, OH.  These cookies, which are sold in stores throughout the U.S., have been exported to Israel with the help of the Initiative. 

Visitors to the Israel Agriculture Booth had the opportunity to learn about the Initiative’s activities, including the Student Internship program and the January 13-14, 2010 Ohio Agribusiness Booth at AgroMashov Tradeshow in Israel.  The Initiative’s staff were on hand to answer any questions by the visitors about the Israeli companies and the Initiative’s activities.

A press release titled “Israel Agriculture Booth at the Ohio Farm Science Review Agricultural Tradeshow” about the Israel Ag booth at FSR09 and the 21 Israeli companies presented in it was issued by the Initiative on September 1, 2009 and distributed to the media, state & federal, academia & extension, and other targeted people.

A success story from the tradeshow is of Israeli company, Tefen Plastic Products Ltd., who was successfully identified during FSR and signed an agreement with an Ohio distributor interested in their products. As a result, this company sold a number of fertilizer injection units in Ohio.

3rd Annual Stinner Summit, Agroecosystems Management Program, OSU/OARDC, Oct. 16, 2009

The initiative participated in the 3rd Annual Stinner Summit presented by the Agroecosystems Management Program of OSU/OARDC, which took place at Malabar Farms, Lucas, OH on October 16, 2009.  Over 100 people attended the summit. The Initiative had a booth at the summit, where promotional OIAI materials were displayed. Sarah Horowitz, of the Initiative, took part in the summit and promoted OIAI’s activities, including the student Ag internship program, the Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010, on site MiniDairy processing, and Kosher certification. 

OSU Renewable Energy Workshop, Nov. 12, 2009

The initiative participated in the OSU Renewable Energy Workshop presented by the OCAMM Program at the School of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering of OSU/OARDC.  The workshop took place at OARDC, Wooster, OH on November 12, 2009.  About 150 people attended the workshop. The Initiative had a booth at the tradeshow part of the workshop, where promotional OIAI materials were displayed. Sarah Horowitz, of the Initiative, took part in the workshop and promoted OIAI’s activities, including the Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010, Israel’s Alternative Energy Solutions, and the student Ag internship program.  In addition, slides describing the Initiative, Israel’s Alternative Energy activities, and the Ohio booth at AgroMashov were shown continuously to workshop participants during breaks. At the workshop, Horowitz identified four Ohio companies that showed interest in trade with Israel and potentially participating in the Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010.

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Hospitality Corner 2009, 12/2/09
OIAI had a booth at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting’s Hospitality Corner, Columbus, OH on December 2, 2009, where OIAI representatives presented the Initiative’s activities, promoted trade opportunities with Israel, and recruited individuals and companies from Ohio to AgroMashov 2010.  This was the fifth consecutive year that the OIAI participated in the OFBF hospitality corner.

Arava MoPatuach MOPen 2010, 1/27-28/2010

The Arava MoPatuach MOPen 2010 event ( was held at the Yair Experimental Agricultural Station in Israel’s Arava region near Hatzeva.  The Yair Experimental Agricultural Station, founded in 1991, has numerous greenhouses where experimentation with irrigation, fertilization and greenhouse climate takes place.  They also have departments that focus on aquaculture for ornamental fish, orchards, grape vines, organic agriculture, cut flowers and herbs and spices. 
The Arava MoPatuach MOPen 2010 show included many peripheral events to the exhibition, including performances, a "farmers market" where they sold locally manufactured soaps, handcrafts, etc., a children's play area, food stands, etc.  There were about 140 exhibitors including several from outside the agricultural area such as car dealers and accessories, banking, and investment services. 
Marc Coles, OIAI Israel consultant, attended the Arava MoPatuach MOPen 2010 agricultural tradeshow on January 28, 2010 and made a number of good contacts with various exhibitors, by canvassing the tradeshow. 

Israel to Ohio

July 20-21, 2009 - Midwest Buyers Mission 2009–- Israel to Ohio – Food Buyer: Yaoz Peretz, Shufersal
On July 20-21, 2009, twenty international buyers from fourteen countries participated in the Midwest Buyers Mission 2009, and in one-on-one meetings with Ohio food producers.  The event was organized by the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).  The purpose of this event was to create international relationships, learn about the Ohio companies’ products’ and their possible success in several foreign markets and possibly even make sales—all without leaving Ohio.  

Yaoz Peretz, Private Label Manager, Shufersal Ltd., was invited to participate in the Midwest Buyers Mission 2009, as Israel’s representative food buyer, to meet with Ohio companies interested in exporting food products to Israel.

Founded in 1958, Shufersal is the largest supermarket chain in Israel. The chain owns about 250 stores and 3 Warehouses and employs 9000 workers.  Annual sales are $2.5 Billion.  Shufersal is an import, private label and retail business. Its customers include Convenience Stores, Supermarkets and Hypermarkets.  The company has the capability to handle frozen products and has a consolidator in the U.S.  All products must be Kosher. All suppliers must have HACCP and G.F.S.I ST: BRC/SQS/IFS.

Products Shufersal is interested in importing from the U.S. include:  Confectionery, Bakery Products, Noodles, Sweet & Savoury Snacks, Sauces/Dressings/Condiments, Ready Meals, Dried Processed Food, Canned & Preserved Food, Snack Bars, Frozen Processed Food, Baby Food, Oils & Fats, Soup, Alcoholic Beverages, Functional Drinks, Fruit & Vegetable Juice, Carbonates, Dairy Products, Pasta, and Pet Food.

The Initiative recruited Ohio food producers interested in exporting products to Israel to participate in one-on-one meetings with the Israeli buyer on July 21, 2009.

Overall 25 companies (22 from Ohio and 3 from out of state) of small to medium size signed up for the 7/21/09 one-on-one buyers’ mission meetings.  Sixteen of them signed up to meet with the Israeli buyer.  The Initiative was instrumental in recruiting Ohio food producers to meet with the Israeli buyer, through our targeted recruitment efforts. An Initiative representative attended the 7/21/09 event and joined the Israeli buyer in the one-on-one meetings with the Ohio food producers.

Rural development professionals from Ohio and Israel are interested in collaborating on mutual challenges and programs to benefit each other by sharing their respective experiences.  Bracha Gal of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Extension Service and Dr. Yoav Gal of Tel Hai College, came from Israel to tour Ohio, learn about Ohio’s agritourism industry and how OSU extension is involved with this industry. The two delegates also shared their experience and knowledge of agritourism in Israel with their counterparts in Ohio.

OIAI, in partnership with The Ohio State University South Centers, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences - Extension & OARDC, Piketon, OH (Julie M. Fox, Ph.D., Tourism Development Specialist) arranged a 4-day agritourism tour of Ohio for the two Israeli delegates.  The tour included an intensive itinerary of visits to various Ohio farms that offer agritourism activities in sectors such as aquaculture, berries, and pumpkins, and direct on-farm marketing.  In addition, the Israeli delegates presented a seminar at OSU’s main campus on Israel’s Agritourism.

Follow up includes continued communication and collaboration of the Israeli delegates with OSU’s agritourism extension team and those that hosted the delegation during their Ohio tour.

The Israeli agritourism tour of Ohio received coverage by the media both in Ohio and in Israel, by a press release issued by the Initiative, a news article by OSU, and a series of articles written by Bracha Gal in the “Tayaron” Agritourism e-newsletter, which is issued by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Extension Service.


Ohio to Israel

AgroMashov 2010 - January 13-14, 2010

A total of six people participated in delegation for the AgroMashov 2010 trade delegation to Israel:
Sam Hoenig, President, The Negev Foundation
Sarah Horowitz, Program Director, The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative
Marc Coles, Consultant to the Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative and The Negev Foundation
Bob Cohen, CEO and Director of Business Assistance, Braintree Center for Business Innovation, Mansfield, OH and Chair, Trade Shows Sub-Committee & Co-Chair, Missions Sub-Committee, The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative Advisory Committee
Chris Gibbs, Gibbs Farms, Maplewood, OH and Chairperson, The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative Advisory Committee
Yuval Zaliouk, CEO, YZ Enterprises, Inc., Maumee, OH and member of the Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative Advisory Committee


June 24, 2009 - Export Education Seminar: From the Basics and Beyond, Cleveland, OH)

An Initiative staff attended the Export Education Seminar “From the Basics and Beyond” in Cleveland, OH, on June 24, 2009, organized by the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).  The workshop offered an introduction to the export process and services offered for companies exploring international opportunities. It also helped the participants prepare for the July 21, 2009 Midwest Buyers Mission’s one-on-one meetings.

The Initiative recruited Ohio food processing companies that showed interest in exporting to Israel to attend this workshop in preparation for the meetings with the Israeli food buyer at the July Buyers Mission, and promoted food export opportunities to Israel during the workshop.

As a result, three of the Ohio food companies that attended the June workshop due to OIAI recruitment efforts became interested in meeting with the Israeli Buyer in July. In addition, three more Ohio food companies that attended the workshop also expressed interest in meeting with the Israeli Buyer in July.

ODA Export Resources Seminar, Reynoldsburg, OH (3/25/10)

The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA organized the “Export Resources Seminar”, a one day seminar about food exporting and available assistance in the exporting process (e.g., the Branded Program) for Ohio food manufacturers interested in exporting.  The Initiative gave a presentation at the workshop about how OIAI can help Ohio food producers in exploring the Israeli market, and in kosher certifying their products for increased market share.  In addition, the Initiative had a display table with information about OIAI and examples of Ohio food producers exporting to Israel that were helped by the Initiative. Several Ohio food producers expressed interest in export to Israel and sought OIAI’s help.

Micro & Drip Irrigation Demos and Workshops, OSU South Centers

One of the Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative’s projects that recieved great attendance, exposure, and press coverage in the past year was a series of drip irrigation demonstrations and workshops in Ohio, using Israeli technology.

A permanent micro-irrigation demonstration, which was established in a plot at the OSU South Centers at Piketon, OH, has been extended this year to include systems from several Israeli companies.   The plot was designed and built by Brad Bergefurd of OSU Extension and his team, with input from the Initiative’s staff and Israel’s Netafim company.  The drip irrigation equipment displays how efficiently a drip system can irrigate plants. The systems have proven to save both time and water for growers. The first Israeli company to showcase its products and technology at the demo unit was Netafim Irrigation Inc. This year products of two other Israeli companies were added to the demo plot:  Water filtration devices by Amiad, and fertilizer water driven pumps by Tefen.  Plans are in place to further expand the micro irrigation plot to include technology and supplies of additional Israeli micro irrigation companies in the future.

OSU Extension at South Centers in Piketon, OH has been using this micro irrigation demo plot throughout the year for workshops and training of Ohio farmers.  Typical workshops attract between 50 and 100 farmers at a time.  These workshops provide much information to  the farmers, and provide give excellent exposure to the Israeli technology and companies towards increased sales in Ohio.  In addition, the Initiative representative was able to promote OIAI activities at the workshop, and recruit participants for the Ohio booth at AgroMashov 2010.

The workshops this year were:

  • July 23, 2009 - OSU South Centers, Piketon, OH – “Drip Irrigation” workshop and Demo Unit with Israeli technology by Netafim and Amiad (Workshop by Brad Bergefurd, with Reps from Amiad and the Initiative).
  • August 13, 2009 - OSU South Centers, Piketon, OH – “Horticulture Field Night” workshop, including Drip Irrigation and Demo Unit with Israeli technology by Netafim, Tefen, and Amiad. (Workshop by Brad Bergefurd with Reps from Amiad, Tefen and the Initiative).
  • October 15, 2009 - OSU South Centers, Piketon, OH – “Pumpkin Twilight Tour” workshop, including Drip Irrigation and Demo Unit with Israeli technology by Netafim, Tefen, Amiad – how it applies to pumpkin crop (Workshop by Brad Bergefurd). 

Visitors that come to OSU South Centers are taken by Brad Bergefurd on tours to see the micro irrigation demo unit and learn about the Israeli technologies and equipment presented there.  Over 500 people have visited the demo site at OSU South Centers and/or have attended the micro irrigation workshops during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons.

Trade with Israel

The Initiative organized and participated in a series of seminars on the topic of “Doing business with Israel” which were presented to the agribusiness and food producing communities throughout Ohio.  These seminars include:

  • June 5, 2009 - Going Global Monthly International Trade Forum, KSU campus, New Philadelphia, OH - “Report from the Middle East” with a review of Agritech 2009 and the Ohio booth there (Bob Cohen presenting).
  • June 26, 2009– NE OH Agribusiness Forum, Ashland, OH - “Report from Agritech 2009” (Bob Cohen presenting, with input by OIAI staff, Sarah Horowitz and Sam Hoenig)
  • October 16, 2009- North Coast Global Trade Forum, Lorain, OH - “Exporting to Israel” including a review of Agritech 2009 and the Ohio booth there (Bob Cohen presenting, with input by OIAI staff, Sarah Horowitz).

An Initiative representative participated in many professional meetings in Ohio throughout the year, promoting the Initiative’s projects and activities and recruiting Ohio companies for Ohio-Israel export-import opportunities in agriculture and processed food.  These professional meetings include:

June 24, 2009 - Export Education Seminar: From the Basics and Beyond, Cleveland, OH

BioScience Consortium of Northeast Ohio quarterly meetings, Ashland, OH
June 17, 2009, September 16, 2009

Northeast Ohio Food Chain Network bimonthly meetings, NE OH
July 16, 2009, September 17, 2009,

Northeast Ohio Agribusiness Forum monthly meetings, Ashland, OH
June 26, 2009, July 24, 2009, August 28, 2009, September 25, 2009, October 23, 2009

Southeast Ohio Agribusiness Forum monthly meetings, Cambridge, OH

Going Global International Trade Forum monthly meetings, Kent State University (KSU) Tuscarawas campus, New Philadelphia, OH
June 5, 2009 (Bob Cohen), October 2, 2009

North Coast Global Trade Forum monthly meetings, Lorain Port Authority, Lorain, OH
October 26, 2009

Going Global International Trade Forum quarterly meetings, The Braintree Business Development Center, Mansfield, OH
October 7, 2009

Annual Stinner Summit (Agroecosystems Management Program, OARDC)
October 16, 2009 - 3rd Annual Stinner Summit (Agroecosystems Management Program, OARDC), Malabar Farms, Lucas, OH

Beachwood Chamber of Commerce
July 16, 2009 (at CSU – Trade with Israel)

Annual Wayne Economic Development Council (WEDC) Ag Tour
August 13, 2009, in Wayne County, OH.  Visiting Wayne County’s agribusinesses and agriculture operations, including livestock/dairy, OARDC’s Feed Mill, Whispering Hills campground’s agritourism, Tate Farms - a family run large farm operation, and Troutman Vineyards.

9/30/09-10/1/09 - 2009 BioOhio Annual Conference: BioGPS (Global Positioning for
Success), Dublin, OH

Business Global Gateway Series monthly meetings, CSU and Beachwood Business Development Center, Beachwood, OH
2/26/10, 3/26/10, 4/23/10, 5/28/10, 6/25/10

NorTech Advanced Energy Speaker Series
12/14/09 Biomass to Energy Symposium, Cleveland, OH

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Throughout the year, the Initiative issued numerous press releases and articles, and as a result, many publications appeared in the media about the various projects and activities of the Initiative.

This year the Initiative hired two consultants – Rami Ben-Dor of Columbus, OH, who is the Ohio consultant for the Initiative, and Marc Coles of Neot Nordia, Israel who is the Initiative’s Israel consultant.

The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative Advisory Committee includes representatives from various sectors such as government, academia, extension, business, growers, and policy and public relations.  The responsibilities of the Advisory Committee are to:

  • Advise and provide recommendations for enhancements of the OIAI program, including trade activities, current and future projects, trade and educational missions, and joint R&D.
  • Lobby and speak on behalf of the OIAI at the State and Federal level.
  • Identify funding sources and funding for the OIAI.
  • Promote trade opportunities that benefit both Ohio and Israeli partners.

The OIAI Advisory Committee currently includes 29 committee members and 7 ODA and OIAI staff.  The Chairperson is Chris Gibbs. Sub-committee chairs are: Dr. Steve Slack - Academic Affairs and R&D; Mike Pullins – Missions; Fred Dailey and Don Branson - Commercial Agricultural Development; Bob Cohen - Trade Shows; Joyce Garver Keller and Karl Gebhardt - Government and Public Relations; John Foltz and Lenny Losh - Ways and Means; and Dr. Ken Martin - Extension Affairs.

The OIAI Advisory Committee and invited guests met twice in 2009 (on 8/11/09 and 11/17/09) and once so far in 2010 (3/16/10), to hear about the Initiative’s projects and activities and offer feedback and input.

After the 3/16/10 meeting, the OIAI Advisory Committee was transitioned and transformed into two groups – The Leadership Forum and the New Advisory Committee.

The Leadership Forum is a group of invited experts that serve as advisors to the Initiative.

The new Advisory Committee is a group of Ohioans that applied to serve in the committee, wishing to help the Initiative in its activities however they can.  The new Advisory Committee will meet annually.