OSU Extension Conference Targets New Farm Opportunities

March 24, 2008

MARIETTA, Ohio -- New on-farm opportunities, from raising meat goats to starting a vineyard to managing honey bees, will be the focus of an Ohio State University Extension-sponsored event intended to help farmers capture the growing trend of locally grown, fresh-from-the-farm products.

The 2008 Mid-Ohio Valley Agriculture Opportunities conference will take place April 26 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Washington State Community College in Marietta. Registration is $30 and includes lunch and all conference materials.

The keynote speaker will be Joe Kovach, an Ohio State University ecological pest management expert with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Kovach has been leading innovative research on producing high-value commodities in small farm plots. "How to Gross $90,000 Per Acre on Your Farm" will focus on how farmers can achieve such high-value production.

Other sessions being offered during the conference include:

• Direct Marketing Meat Products

• Beekeeping—Opportunities and Challenges

• Extending the Growing Season: High Tunnels and More

• Top 10 Opportunities in Direct Marketing

• Pasture-Based Livestock Production

• Berries from May to October —Extending the Pick-Your-Own Season

• Herbs: Types, Culture and Use

• How to Get Higher Prices for Your Products

• Specialty Pork and Poultry Production on the Farm

• Community Supported Agriculture –– Getting Guaranteed Customers for the Entire Season

• Table and Wine Grape Production

• Business Planning—Adding a crop? Got an idea? Let's Put the Numbers to It.

• Meat Goats 101

• Blueberry and Blackberry Production

• Finding Money –– Find Out Where You Can Get Cheap or Free Money

Julie Fox, an OSU Extension direct marketing specialist with OSU South Centers at Piketon will offer a session titled, "Finding your farm's customers." Other speakers include: Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension, Athens County; Eric Barrett, OSU Extension, Washington County; Hal Kneen, OSU Extension, Meigs County; Maurus Brown, OSU Extension, Richland County; Jackie LeBerth, Marietta Small Business Development Center and Bramble Creek Farm; Steve Boone, president of The Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Association; Ann Fugate from the Athens Farmers Market; and JB King, King Family Farm in Albany.

For more information on the conference, contact Eric Barrett at (740) 376-7431 or e-mail barrett.90@osu.edu.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Eric Barrett