Ohio State plans New and Small Farm College


COLUMBUS — OSU Extension is offering a program targeted at the new and small farmer. The Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College is an eight- week program that introduces new farmers to a wide variety of topics. Seasoned farmers can also benefit.


The program will teach participants how to set goals, plan and budget and where to find resources to start a small farming operation. The courses will lay out how to manage financial and farm records.

Extension Educators will illustrate more than 15 different enterprises that can be profitable on land as small as one acre. The educators will show the benefits and pitfalls of each enterprise.

To round out the experience, a bus tour will be held around area farms so that participants can see first hand how small farm life works, and also make contacts of practicing farmers in the area.


The Small Farm College was originally conceived as a way to help southern Ohio’s tobacco farmers make the transition away from that crop as government subsidies were phased out. OSU Extension Educators soon realized such programming also could benefit rural landowners who own small acreage in the countryside.

Since 2005, past regional New and Small Farm Colleges have helped more than 500 individuals representing 400 farms from 46 Ohio counties improve the economic development of their small family-owned farms.

This program can help small farm landowners and farmers diversify their opportunities into successful new enterprises and new markets. And, it can improve agricultural literacy among small farm landowners not actively involved in agricultural production.


The New and Small Farm College will be conducted at two locations this year. The first college will be held in Morrow County at the Cardinal Center, 616 state Route 61, Marengo, Ohio on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 10. Classes run from 6:30-9 p.m. The Morrow County Extension office can be reached 419-947-1070.

The second location will be conducted in Pike County at the OSU Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 17. Classes run from 6:30-9 p.m. The Pike County Extension office can be reached at 740-289-4837.


Limited to the first 50 registrations per location. The cost of the course is $150 per person, $50 for an additional family member. Participants will receive a notebook of all resource materials, a soil test, refreshments and the bus tour.

Registrations are now being accepted. Individuals interested in the program may contact Tony Nye, OSU state coordinator for small programs at the Clinton County Extension office at 937-382-0901 or email at nye.1@osu.edu.


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