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OSU Small Farm Program plans two conferences for this March
 
By DOUG GRAVES
Ohio Correspondent

BATAVIA, Ohio — Tom and Mary Sullivan of Batavia plan on attending next month’s Living Your Small Farm Dream Conference in Zanesville.

Tom is a computer programmer who works in downtown Cincinnati and Mary is a registered nurse who works at Cincinnati General Hospital – and neither have any farming background.

“We live in a growing urban part of Batavia and we’re surrounded by other homes and estates, far from any farmland,” he said, “but we purchased 20 acres of farmland a few miles out of town with hopes of growing vegetables or perhaps berries of some kind.

“Both our grandparents worked on the farm, but neither of our parents did. We somehow want to make our way back onto a farm.”
The conference will be March 23 at the Muskingum County Convention & Welcome Center from 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. in Zanesville. It is the second of two conferences for small farm operations. The first will be March 8-9 at Wilmington College and is called Opening Doors to Success.

“These intensive conferences will provide participants the opportunity to choose from a diverse variety of seminars that can help their farming operations be successful,” said Tony Nye, Ohio State University extension educator. “These conferences are a great opportunity to network and learn from other producers, extension experts and USDA representatives.”

Opening Doors to Success will feature 25 breakout sessions and a trade show for small farmers. On March 8 a panel of three area producers will discuss issues pertaining to labor, financing, land, dealing with customers, “agritainment” and more.

The next day participants can choose among the many breakout sessions with topics that include beekeeping, vermiculture, cover crops, grafting of trees, cheese-making, lavender production, raised bed production, marketing, water systems for pastures, food safety, disease management and others.

Registration for this two-day event is $20 on March 8, $50 for March 9 or $60 for both days. Deadline to register is March 1. Visit www.clinton.osu.edu under “County Events” or contact Nye at nye.1@osu.edu or 937-382-0901.

The Living Your Small Farm Dream Conference and trade show will be March 23 at the Muskingum County Convention & Welcome Center from 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m.

Following the “Planning and Goal Setting” keynote address by OSU extension’s Mike Hogan, attendees can choose from among 20 breakout sessions that include such topics as maple syrup, sheep production, forages, Christmas trees, high tunnels, vegetables, soil basics, goat health and more.

Registration for this gathering is $50 per person and the deadline to register is March 18.

For more about this conference, visit www.muskingum.osu.edu or contact OSU extension educator Mark Mechling at mechling.1@osu.edu or 740-454-0144.
1/30/2013