Small Farm Conference Offers Insight on Alternative Production Avenues

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WOOSTER, Ohio – Got some land and aren’t sure what to do with it?

Whether you’re a small farmer who already has farming operations underway and wants to learn more options, a landowner wanting to put some unused acreage to work, or even a large-scale farmer looking to put some fields to other profitable use, the “Living the Small Farm Dream” conference may have the answers.

The April 2 Small Farm Conference and Trade Show is designed to help make landowners and small farm operations more successful, profitable and sustainable, said Tony Nye, an Ohio State University Extension educator who coordinates OSU Extension’s Small Farm Program.

While the event is targeted to small farmland producers typically with less than 100 acres of land who are looking for production opportunities, the conference is open to anyone who has land and may be looking for information on opportunities for additional income, Nye said.

“The conference is open to anyone who has aspirations for alternative enterprises for their land, or wants to focus on management and marketing skills to enhance their current farm enterprises,” he said. “The conference caters to those who are looking to start a farm enterprise or those already running one and want to enhance their production, marketing or management skills.”

Researchers and educators with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, as well as industry experts, will conduct the conference sessions. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The conference is from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at OARDC’s Shisler Center, 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. Participants will have the opportunity to attend a trade show featuring agricultural vendors and agencies offering assistance to beginning farmers.

Topics to be presented at the conference include:

  • Vegetable Production and Season Extension with Tunnels.
  • Selling Eggs and Poultry Meat.
  • Modernization Act for Produce Safety.
  • Cottage Foods: Regulations and Recipes.
  • Grass-Fed Beef.
  • Raising Meat Chickens and Turkeys.
  • Raising Small Ruminants.
  • Basic Vet and Livestock Health Skills.
  • Farming the Farm Bill.
  • Farm Labor and Communication.
  • Farm Business Plans.
  • Maximizing Pasture with Rotational Grazing.
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Fencing.
  • Using and Evaluating Hay.
  • Strawberry Production.
  • Bramble and Grape Production.
  • Pumpkin Production.
  • Hands-on Fruit Tree Pruning.
  • Pond Management and Care.
  • Introduction to Shiitake Mushrooms.
  • Soil Health.
  • Rural Energy Grants.
  • How to Market Farm-Raised Meat and Eggs.
  • Cheesemaking.
  • Organic Systems Planning.
  • Poultry Processing.
  • Pesticide Application for Small Acreages.

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 for those who are new to the industry. The program offers information on budgeting, business planning and developing a farm structure, among other issues.

Registration for the “Living the Small Farm Dream” conference is $60. The deadline to register is March 25.

For more information or to register, go to or contact Nye at 937-382-0901 or

Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Tony Nye