Conference to Help Small Farm Owners ‘Open Doors to Success’



WILMINGTON, Ohio -- Small farm owners who want to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them by increasing profits, increasing marketing efforts, expanding operations, or adding new educational or agritainment amenities can attend workshops and presentations on these and more issues during a small farm conference on March 8-9 in Wilmington, Ohio.

The "Opening Doors to Success" conference and trade show is designed to help producers learn more tips, techniques and methods and to increase their awareness to make their small farm operations more successful, which can lead to increased farm profits, said Tony Nye, an Ohio State University 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, dealing with customers, and whether or not to add agritainment or education components to a farm.

The conference, which will be held at Wilmington College, Boyd Cultural Arts Center, 1870 Quaker Way in Wilmington, will feature 25 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts and a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers, Nye said.

About 250 people are expected to attend the conference. 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, he said.

Some of the topics to be addressed 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 for those who are new to the industry. The program offers information on budgeting, business planning and how to develop a farm structure, among other issues.

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

The conference starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 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 or contact Nye at 937-382-0901 or by email at


Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Tony Nye