COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Farmers who want new ways to grow, sell and stay in business can find them at two events coming next month. The “Opening Doors to Success” Small Farm Conference and Trade Show runs March 11-12 at Wilmington College in southern Ohio. The “Living Your Small Farm Dream” Northeast Ohio Small Farm Conference and Trade Show takes place March 26 at the R.G. Drage Career Center in Massillon.
“‘Small’ is relative, almost a mindset,” said Mike Hogan, one of the organizers and an Ohio State University Extension educator in eastern Ohio. “It’s hard to draw a line to say what’s small and what isn’t.
“The main focus either way is to help farm families identify ways to become more profitable and sustainable -- economically, environmentally and socially.”
Alternative enterprises, such as blueberries and freshwater shrimp, will be among the topics. So will alternative production systems -- reduced tillage, grass-based livestock and others -- and alternative marketing systems, including CSAs (community supported agriculture), farmers’ markets and direct online selling.
The conferences, Hogan said, are designed for both small landowners looking to start an operation and for commercial farmers wanting to make theirs more profitable. Both are finding new opportunities, Hogan noted, thanks to people’s interest in local foods and sustainability.
The Wilmington program offers 35-plus breakout sessions in all, Massillon 23, with keynote talks at both.
Registration for Wilmington costs $20 for March 11, $50 for March 12 or $60 for both days and is due by March 4. For Massillon, it’s a flat $50 by March 18.
For more information, call
Co-sponsoring the Wilmington conference are OSU Extension’s Small Farm Program, Wilmington College, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, and the following U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) offices: Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Rural Development (RD).
Teaming for the Massillon program are Extension’s Small Farm Program, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, and USDA’s FSA, NRCS, NASS and RD offices.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
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