Consider an OSU webinar for a Christmas present to family members

By Tony Nye - OSU Extension

The final countdown is on for the holidays. I hope you have been nice rather than naughty. If you are looking for a different kind of present this year for you or a family member, consider a couple of upcoming webinars that could benefit you and your family or your farm business.

The first webinar will be a four part “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” webinar series on Jan. 23 and 30 and Feb. 6 and 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This workshop is designed to help farm families learn about strategies and tools to successfully create a succession and estate plan that helps you transfer your farm’s ownership, management, and assets to the next generation.

Topics discussed during this series include: Developing Goals for Estate and Succession; Planning for the Transition of Management; Planning for the Unexpected; Communication and Conflict Management during Farm Transfer; Legal Tools and Strategies; Developing Your Team; Getting Your Affairs in Order; and Selecting an Attorney.

The instructors for this series will be:

Robert Moore, attorney with the OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program. Prior to joining OSU, Robert was in private practice for 18 years where he provided legal counsel to farmers and landowners.

David Marrison, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Farm Management. David has worked for OSU Extension for 25 years and is nationally known for his teaching in farm succession. He has a unique ability to intertwine humor into speaking about the difficulties of passing the farm on to the next generation.

Because of its virtual nature, you can invite your parents, children, and/or grandchildren (regardless of where they live in Ohio or across the United States) to join you as you develop a plan for the future of your family farm.

Pre-registration is required so that a packet of program materials can be mailed in advance to participating families. The registration fee is $75 per farm family. Electronic copies of the course materials will also be available to all participants. The registration deadline is January 16, 2023.

OSU Extension appreciates the support of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association in sponsoring the mailing of these materials.

More information and on-line registration can be obtained at

More information about this program can be obtained by contacting David Marrison at [email protected] or 740-722-6073.

The second webinar will cover information regarding “Starting a Food Business.” A recent USDA survey identified 7,107 farms in Ohio with direct food sales—the third highest state in the nation. That might be why OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program receives more legal inquiries about food sales than any other area of law. According to Peggy Hall, the program’s director, she and others are constantly surprised by the interest producers have in selling meat, produce, jams, baked goods, and similar foods directly to consumers and retailers. To address the questions of those who want to directly market farm-raised and home-based food products to consumers, OSU Extension will host a webinar series this winter.

The “Starting a Food Business” webinar series will bring OSU’s expertise in food safety, law, product development, economics, and marketing together to help explain what a producer needs to know when planning to sell home-based and farm-raised foods. Food businesses are challenging for many reasons, according to OSU Extension Educator Emily Marrison.

Often, Marrison and others at OSU see people who are known for being great cooks in their home kitchen, yet selling food products is really more like manufacturing. This webinar series will help food entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of making quality and safe food while also navigating the business and legal considerations.”

“Starting a Food Business” webinars will run once a month in January, February, and March of 2023, with a different topic each month:

· Jan. 24: Start-Up Basics. Assess the food safety, licensing, legal, and economic considerations for selling your food product.

· Feb. 28: Selling Home-Based Foods. Learn about food product development, Ohio’s Cottage Food and Home Bakery laws, and requirements for selling canned foods.

· March 28: Selling Meat and Poultry. A look at the economics, processing options, and labeling and licensing requirements for selling meat and poultry.

OSU’s teaching team for the webinar series includes:

· Nicole Arnold, Professor and Food Safety Field Specialist for OSU Extension. Nicole supports food handlers, consumers, and other educators with food safety education and risk communication efforts.

· Peggy Kirk Hall, Professor and Agricultural Law Field Specialist. Peggy directs OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program and regularly teaches and writes on food laws.

· Emily Marrison, Extension Educator in Family and Consumer Sciences. Emily’s food science background provides expertise and insight on food safety, product development, and selling home-based foods.

· Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist for OSU Extension. Garth has a background in animal science and specializes in livestock production and marketing, farm management, and meat science.

The “Starting a Food Business” webinar series is free, but registration for one or all of the webinars is necessary. Find details and the registration link at

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 over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

By Tony Nye

OSU Extension