Last updated: August 25. 2013 7:09AM - 135 Views

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WILMINGTON, Ohio - An upcoming Ohio State University Extension conference will help small farm owners increase profits and expand operations.


"Opening Doors to Success" is March 8-9 at Wilmington College, Boyd Cultural Arts Center, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington. The conference will feature 25 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts and a trade show for small farm owners that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers, said Tony Nye, OSU Extension educator.


"This intensive conference will provide participants the opportunity to choose from a diverse variety of seminars that can help their farming operations be successful," he said. "The conference is a great opportunity to network and learn from other producers, Extension experts and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture."


The conference kicks off with a panel discussion of Ohio producers who will talk about "Opportunities and Challenges to Running a Successful Small Farm Operation." The group will address issues surrounding labor, financing, deciding on a farm specialty, working with customers, and whether to add agritainment or education components to a farm.


The overall goal of the event is to teach farmers, producers and growers how to connect with buyers and to know the importance of marketing to make sure they understand what it takes to be successful in marketing their agricultural products, Nye said.


Topics include:


* Beekeeping


* Vermiculture


* Vegetable Nutrient Management


* Generating Energy for the Small Farm


* Utilizing Maps and Apps Technology to Market Your Business


* Christmas Tree Production


* Cover Crops


* Grafting of Trees


* Lavender Production


* Raised Bed Production


* Pasture Management


* Selecting a Livestock Enterprise for a Small Farm


* Fertigation of Tomatoes


* Greenhouse/Tunnel Production


* Food Safety


* Agricultural Law Considerations


* Developing Water Systems for Pastures


* Growing Hops


* Marketing


* Financial Management


* Disease Management of Fruits and Vegetables


The conference is 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. The program offers information on budgeting, business planning, developing a farm structure and more.


The conference is co-sponsored by OSU Extension's Small Farm Program; Wilmington College; Farm Credit Mid-America; and USDA's Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Agriculture Statistic Service and Rural Development.


The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Registration is $20 for the March 8 session and $50 for the March 9 session, or $60 for both days. The deadline to register is March 1. For more information or to register, go to http://clinton.osu.edu or contact Nye at 937-382-0901, nye.1@osu.edu.


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