MARIETTA, Ohio – Local foods are sweeping the nation, and the demand keeps growing. Biofuels and other farm-related alternative energy sources are becoming the norm.
These trends provide many opportunities for new businesses and the expansion of small farms -- whether it's meat goats, cheese, honey, berries or vegetables.
That's why Ohio State University Extension in Washington County is sponsoring the 2011 Mid-Ohio Valley Agriculture Opportunities Conference on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Washington State Community College, 710 Colegate Drive in Marietta, Ohio. Landowners will learn about the marketing and management that goes with a farm business.
The keynote presentation, "Are you Market Ready?" will include an in-depth look at the steps needed for farmers to expand their markets: relationship-building, packaging, labeling, pricing and more.
After the main session, participants can find 16 different sessions to help them find their niche in the new agricultural economy. There will be presentations on livestock, fruit, vegetables, plants, activities, marketing and management. One farmer will share his experiences using solar on the farm to power many of his daily activities.
A special afternoon general session, "Farm Marketing Tips for Farmers Markets and More," will be presented by Eric Barrett and Hal Kneen. These Extension educators will share their research on 17 farmers markets across the state of New York and at New York City's Green Markets.
Registration is required by April 13. The fee is $40 and includes lunch and conference proceedings with details from all presentations.