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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Lay the Foundation for a Successful Business

August 3, 2004

LONDON, Ohio -- Starting a farming enterprise is like building a house. You need to lay the foundations before construction can begin.

Though no one would think to leave out a foundation when it comes to building a home, many tend to skip that process when trying to get an agricultural venture off the ground, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension specialist in Carroll County.

"Generally, there are three steps to identifying a new or alternative farming enterprise: determining personal and family objectives; determining if those objectives are feasible; and choosing an enterprise," said Hogan. "Most people skip over one and two and go straight to three."

Hogan will be on hand at the Small Farm Center at Farm Science Review at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21 to explain to participants the need to have all their ducks in a row if they are serious about a small farm enterprise.

"There are too many variables, too many resources that are part of an enterprise that need to be considered," said Hogan. "Whether a farmer wants some extra income, is looking to put children through college, wants to decrease debt or is seeking more free time, project objectives are the biggest aspects of planning that should not be overlooked."

Hogan will also touch upon the goals of starting an agricultural enterprise, discuss the feasibility of such goals and objectives, and provide advice for participants to choose the best agricultural venture that's right for them.

Sustainable agriculture, in the form of small farm ventures, alternative marketing systems and alternative production systems, is becoming increasingly popular throughout Ohio, as existing farmers look to decrease their time in the field while increasing profits, or new entrepreneurs look to break into the market.

Topics such as agritainment, aquaculture production, direct marketing, pasture-raised poultry and other alternative ventures will be presented at the Small Farm Center throughout Farm Science Review.

For a complete listing of this year's FSR presentations and events, go to

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and takes place Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio. Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21-22 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept 23.

Candace Pollock
Mike Hogan