Annual Ohio farmer conference to be held at Hiram College this winter

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HIRAM, Ohio — Innovative Farmers of Ohio, in partnership with Hiram College, will present its annual conference Feb. 26.

Farming is a business and businesses must be financially successful if they are to survive. This is the title and the focus of the conference. The Business of Farming: an entrepreneurial approach.

The speakers

Keynote speaker will be Susan Beal DVM, a staff member for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. Bob Perry from the University of Kentucky will share his work in coordinating food systems and local sources in the farming community.

Three Ohio entrepreneurs whose small businesses were created on the farm and now serve the foods community include: value-added products from a farm in Knox County; a grass-based farm in Trumbull County where beef, poultry, lamb and pork are produced and marketed directly to Cleveland’s top restaurants; and a vegetable producer who sells at farmers markets and has recently become a supplier for a suburban school district.

Shared stories

Trevor Clatterbuck of Fresh Fork Market will share his story of food distribution for a network of farmers in northeastern Ohio. In 2010 Fresh Fork had nearly 500 subscribers who purchased a weekly food delivery from Fresh Fork.

Staff members from Hiram College will step into that role to offer assistance for the farmer-entrepreneur. Hiram College, as co-host, will share news of their new program in Food Studies.

For more information contact Parker Bosley, program director of Innovative Farmers of Ohio, 216-348-0913; or Mary Holmes, board chair, 216-469-1201; or Cheryl Torsney, Hiram College 440-569-5125.

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