The 2018 NE Ohio Living Your Small Farm Dream conference will be held on Saturday, April 7 at the RG Drage Career Center, located at 2800 Richville Drive SW in Massillon Ohio. The conference provides education and topics of interest for small farm and rural landowners. Participants will walk away from the conference with knowledge and ideas of how to improve existing enterprises or marketing opportunities. For those who have some acreage but don’t yet know what to do with it, the conference is an opportunity to consider possibilities, gather information and make contacts.
The 2018 Living Your Small Farm Dream conference offers 26 different breakout sessions divided between five different track topics; Horticulture, Livestock, Marketing, Farm Management and Specialty Crop. Presenters include OSU Extension specialists, Extension Educators, Business owners, and small farm producers/entrepreneurs. Conference participants will have the opportunity to attend four different sessions over the course of the four breakout sessions. The Small Farm conference trade show offers another opportunity to learn and gather information. The trade show vendors/exhibitors feature goods and services used in small farm operations. The conference schedule includes time between each breakout session and over an extended noon hour to visit the trade show.
The specialty crop track features sessions on malting barley and hop production to tap into the growing microbrewery businesses. One session involves a panel discussion with several local microbreweries who will share their stories and use of locally sourced ingredients in their products. The horticulture track offers sessions on growing grapes, brambles, vegetables, flowers, beekeeping, use of soil amendments, and managing soil health. The livestock track includes sessions on raising and marketing pasture produced beef and poultry, as well as hay production and Ohio livestock care standards. The farm management track includes Ag law, business planning, tax issues, farmland renting, health care issues, and creating profitable small farm enterprises. The marketing track includes a two-hour super session focused on developing on-farm agritourism and agriculture entertainment businesses as well as sessions on how to scale up your small farm business to take advantage of marketing opportunities and a session on developing a distribution system for locally grown foods.
Conference registration/sign-in and the trade show opens at 8:00 am on April 7. Following some brief conference opening comments at 9:00 am, the first breakout session begins at 9:30 am. The conference concludes by 4:00 pm. Conference registration is $60/person or, if attending the Women in Agriculture Conference at the same location on April 6, plus the Small Farm Conference on April 7; $100 for a combined registration. Student discounts are $30 for attending the small farm conference alone or $50 if attending both the Women in Agriculture and the Small Farm conference. Pre-registration for both the Small Farm conference and the Women in Agriculture conference is due March 23. On-line registration is available at http://go.osu.edu/NESmallFarmReg . A Living the Small Farm Dream conference brochure that lists session topics and presentation times along with a mail-in registration form, and a document with descriptions of all the presentation topics is available at http://go.osu.edu/NEOHSmallFarms .
For more information about the Living Your Small Farm Dream conference contact Rory Lewandowski in the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722, email: email@example.com; or Emily Adams in the Coshocton County Extension office at 740-622-2265, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .