Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage? Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin?
Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise, but you just aren’t sure of what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective? Are you looking for someplace to get some basic farm information?
If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ohio State University New and Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.
The New and Small Farm College has continued helping small farm enthusiasts around the state. Since 2005, this program has seen 1175 participants representing over 845 farms and 57 Ohio Counties come through the program.
An eight-week program typically, for 2021 The Ohio State University New and Small Farm College will be a 5-session short course that will be held one night a week and include additional online educational options.
The 2021 Ohio New and Small Farm College program will be held in four locations in Ohio including:
• OSU Fayette County Extension Office, 1415 US 22 SW, Washington Court House. Classes will be held Thursdays beginning Jan. 21 and concluding on Feb. 18. Inclement weather makeup date will be Feb. 25. Contact the Fayette County Extension Office at 740-335-1150.
• OSU Extension Pike County, 313 Mill St., Piketon (on the Pike County Fairgrounds). Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 12 and concluding Feb. 9. Inclement weather makeup date will be Feb. 16. Contact the Pike County Extension Office at 740-289-4837.
• OSU Putnam County Extension Office, 1206 E. Second Street, Ottawa. Classes will be held on Thursdays beginning Jan. 14 and concluding Feb. 11. Inclement weather makeup date will be Feb. 18. Contact the Putnam County Extension Office at 419-523-6294.
• OSU Wooster Campus, The Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 19 and concluding Feb. 16. Inclement weather makeup date will be Feb. 23. Contact the Wayne County Extension Office at 330-264-8722.
Face-to-face sessions will address:
• Getting Started and a discussion why one wants to farm (Goal setting, family matters, business planning, budgeting, resources);
• Appropriate Land Use — Walking the Farm;
• Small Farm Legal Checkup and Farm Insurance;
• Financial and Business Management Strategies for decision makers of small farms; Where to get Help – an overview of County resources; OSU Extension, government agencies and programs, (i.e. CAUV, EQIP, Grants).
The 2022 Small Farm College includes the best of both worlds with five traditional face-to-face sessions as well as on-demand webinars, podcasts and other resources and content that participants can access virtually.
These topics will include: Horticulture and Livestock Production Enterprises; Natural Resources and Wildlife; Honeybees; New Crops such as Hops and Malting Barley and Hemp; and Marketing Alternatives and more.
All colleges will start each evening at 6: p.m. with a light dinner and the nightly presentations beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding at 9 p.m. COVID-19 precautions will be in place at all locals. Due to spacing and social distancing requirements, class size at each location will be limited.
The cost of the course is $100 per person, and $75 for an additional family member. Each participating family will receive a small farm college notebook full of the information presented in each class session plus additional materials.
Registrations are now being accepted. For more details about the course and/or a registration form, contact Tony Nye, Small Farm Program Coordinator 937-382-0901 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.