Wilmington, Ohio – Small farm owners who want to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them or expand their operations, or those new to agriculture who are looking for ways to utilize acreage, can attend workshops and presentations on these and more issues during two small farm conferences “Opening Doors to Success”, March 7 & 8 in Wilmington, Ohio, and “Living Your Small Farm Dream”, March 22 in Canfield, Ohio.
The two conferences and trade shows are designed to help participants learn more tips, techniques and methods for diversifying their opportunities into successful new enterprises and new markets as a way to improve economic growth and development on their farms, said Tony Nye, an Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources and Small Farm Program leader in Ohio.
“It may be a person who is new to agriculture, or someone that may have acreage that they aren’t using to the fullest, or even someone who has newly acquired land and may not know what to do with it,” he said. “What we try to do with these conferences is to give participants a smorgasbord of ideas that may interest them by offering a wide variety of sessions in which they can learn more in-depth about an issue, gain resources and learn how to finance a new venture.”
The “Opening Doors to Success” Conference and Trade Show will be held March 7 & 8, 2014 at the Wilmington College Campus Boyd Cultural Arts Center, 1870 Quaker Way in Wilmington, Ohio. This conference will kick off Friday Night with an in-depth look at Soil and soil management. On Saturday, the conference will feature 30 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts and a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers.
The “Living Your Small Farm Dream”, Conference and Trade Show will be held March 21 and 22, 2014 at the Mahoning County CTC’s Joyce E. Brooks Conference Center in Canfield, Ohio. This conference will kick off Friday evening with “Small Farm Boot Camp”, a session that will help you learn about the resources needed to be successful. On Saturday, following the Key Note address – “Making Your Small Farm Dream a Reality”, participants will be able to choose from over 25 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts on issues related to small farms and a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The overall goal of these events and the mission of the OSU Small Farms Program are to provide a greater understanding of production practices, economics of land-use choices, assessment of personal and natural resources, marketing alternatives, and the identification of sources of assistance, he said.
“Participants will gain awareness and knowledge of different enterprises that they can venture into and how to begin the process of becoming an entrepreneur by exploring some of the different ideas that are out there,” Nye said. “Participants will learn some of the basic information needed to get started in their endeavors and leave the conferences with the knowledge there is help and resources available to them.”
Some of the topics to be addressed include:
- Maple syrup
- Goat production
- Poultry Production
- Livestock nutrition
- Direct marketing
- Social media
- Christmas trees
- Legal issues for small farms
- Soil basics
- High tunnels
- Vegetable and Fruit Production
- Tax issues
The conferences are an outgrowth of the Ohio New and Small Farm College, an eight-week program created by OSU Extension that offers an introduction to the business of small farming for those who are new to the industry. The program offers information on budgeting, business planning and how to develop a farm structure, among other issues.
Conference partners include: Farm Credit Mid-America, USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, APHIS, Rural Development and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.