COLUMBUS — Farmers interested in exploring land use options, expanding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise or diversifying their acreage have the opportunity to attend the 2011 Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College.
The program, sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, will be offered at three locations:
– Clinton County Extension and Agriculture Center, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, Ohio. Sessions are Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 4 through Feb. 22. Classes run from 6:30-9 p.m. each week. For more information, call 937-382-0901.
– Washington County Extension office, 202 Davis Ave., Marietta, Ohio. Sessions are Thursdays, beginning Jan. 20 through March 10. Classes run from 6:30-9 p.m. each week. For more information, call 740-376-7431.
– Barnesville Library Annex, 611 N. Chestnut St., Barnesville, Ohio. Sessions are Thursdays beginning Jan. 20 through March 10. Class run from 6:30-9 p.m. each week. For more information call 740-695-1455.
The Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College is an eight-week program that introduces new and seasoned farmers to a wide variety of agricultural production topics to help them diversify and explore new enterprises and new markets.
“Many program participants don’t expect to make a living off the land, but do want to recoup something,” said organizer Tony Nye, an OSU Extension educator in Clinton County. “First-time farmers want their interaction with their land to be productive.”
The program will teach participants how to set goals, plan, budget, and where to find resources available for them in starting a small farming operation. The courses will lay out how to manage financial and farm records. Extension educators will illustrate many different enterprises that can be profitable on land as small as one acre.
To round out the experience, a bus tour will be held around area farms to see first hand how small farm life works, and also make contacts with practicing farmers in the area.
Previous Southern Ohio New and Small Farm Colleges have helped 420 individuals representing 338 farms from 43 Ohio counties improve the economic development of their small family-owned farms.
Registration is $150 per person and $50 for each additional family member. Registration is limited to the first 50 participants per location. Registration fee includes resource materials, a soil test, refreshments and the bus tour.
For more information, contact Tony Nye at 937-382-0901 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.clinton.osu.edu.