Small Farm Conference and celebrating Agriculture Week

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

I want to remind everyone of our local small farm conference in March which is sponsored by OSU Extension’s Small Farm Program. The conference is designed for small farm owners who want to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them or expand their operations, or those new to agriculture who are looking for ways to utilize acreage

The conference, combined with a trade show, is set up to help participants learn tips, techniques and methods for diversifying their opportunities into successful new enterprises and markets as a way to improve economic growth and development on their farms.

Through the conferences, we try to give participants a smorgasbord of ideas that may interest them and opportunities to learn in-depth about an issue, gain resources, and study how to finance a new venture.

The “Opening Doors to Success” Conference and Trade Show will be held March 11-12 at the Wilmington College Campus Boyd Cultural Arts Center. This conference will kick off Friday afternoon at the Wilmington College academic farm with two really neat hands-on workshops focusing on Meat Goat Production and Water Management and Irrigation Techniques.

On Saturday, the conference will feature 25-plus sessions from Ohio State University and industry experts as well as a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers.

I encourage you to attend the conference as there is something for just about anyone interested in small farm production. Some of the topics we plan to cover at the conference are:

• Women in Agriculture

• Goat production

• Poultry production

• Farm Business Planning

• Artisan Cheese Making

• Direct marketing

• Organics

• Starting a business

• Hand Sprayer Calibration

• Legal issues for small farms

• Fertility Management

• Beekeeping

• Vegetable and fruit production

• Financing/loans

• Estate Planning

For more information about these two conferences, please visit or contact Tony Nye at (937) 382-0901 or

Finally this week, I want to draw attention to the fact that National Ag Day is coming up very soon and we need to start thinking about our agriculture community both locally and nationally. Our farmers here locally are foundation of our community, providing us not only food and fiber but jobs and other opportunities.

Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

Ag Day is celebrated on March 15 — National Ag Day falls during National Ag Week, March 13-19.

The Agriculture Council of America hosts the campaign on a national level. However, the awareness efforts in communities across America are as influential — if not more — than the broad-scale effort. Again this year, the Ag Day Planning Guide has been created to help communities and organizations more effectively host Ag Day events.

Ag Day is about recognizing — and celebrating — the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced and value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

Why celebrate agriculture? Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in our schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training.

By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America is encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.

Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people … a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s. Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more — and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for 28 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

Tony Nye

OSU Extension