March 5, 2017 - 9:45am -- lewandowski.11@...

          There are two good OSU Extension conferences coming up in March a short drive away at the R.G. Drage Career Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE in Massillon that offer some good learning opportunities.  The East Ohio Women in Agriculture (WIA) conference is scheduled for Friday March 24 and the North-east Ohio Small Farm Conference is scheduled for Saturday March 25.

            The East Ohio WIA conference runs from 9:00 am until 3:45 pm.  Keynoting this year’s conference will be Marlene Eick of Herdmark Media.  The conference program features a networking fair, sixteen breakout sessions, and two new extended breakout sessions, all presented by OSU Extension educators, producers and partner agencies. Breakout sessions highlight five themes including business & finance; plants & animals; communication, home & family and special interest.  The State Officers of the Ohio FFA Association will again present a special session just for young women participants (high school age).  Youth participants can also engage in any of the remaining sessions with their adult counterparts.  Interested individuals can register for the conference on-line at www.regonline.com/womeninageast.  Cost of the conference is $55 for adult participants and $30 for students.  Conference fee includes conference participation, continental breakfast, lunch and conference handouts.

         The Northeast Ohio “Living Your Small Farm Dream” small farm conference is a program of the OSU Extension Small Farm Program and will provide farm owners and landowners with the opportunity to learn more about skills useful on a small farm, how to make their small farms work better, expand their operations, or gather ideas on how to utilize rural acreage. Participants will choose from more than 25 different sessions offered over 4 breakout sessions during the day.  General topic tracks include horticulture production, livestock and aquaculture, small farm management, natural resources, marketing and selling.  Presenters include OSU Extension specialists and educators as well as USDA agency personnel, and area farmer entrepreneurs.  The trade show represents industries, businesses, services and organizations that provide products or services utilized on a small farm or rural property.

          A sampling of some of the topics that will be covered at the conference includes:

  • Chainsaw Safety, Maintenance and Operation
  • Raising sheep and goats
  • Grass-fed Beef Production
  • Fruit tree pruning
  • Hobby Maple Syrup Production
  • Fruit Tree and Small Fruit Disease Management and Prevention
  • Micro Greens Production
  • Vegetable Production and Season Extension with Tunnels
  • Using and calibrating hand held sprayers on the farm
  • Growing Shitake mushrooms
  • Selling eggs, poultry, produce and cottage foods
  • Marketing Meat Goats
  • Renting and Leasing Farmland
  • Renewable Energy
  • Small Farm Tax Issues
  • Aquaculture Opportunities
  • Vegetable Disease Diagnostics

          The Chainsaw Safety, Maintenance and Operation topic as well as the Vegetable Production and Season Extension with Tunnels are both super sessions that extend over two break-out session time periods.  The vegetable production and season extension with tunnels session will actually start at the OARDC high tunnels in Wooster and then move to the RG Drage Center for the in-door portion of the session.  Participants may elect to do only the Wooster part, only the RG Drage Center part or both parts of this topic.

          The conference begins with registration at 8:00 am, and an opening general session at 9:00 am.  The conference concludes at approximately 3:45 pm following the final breakout session.  Registration cost is $60 per person, which includes lunch and morning refreshments.  The registration deadline is March 17.  Registration on-line is available at: http://agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs/small-farm-conferences-and-trade-shows.  A conference brochure listing all the break-out sessions along with a registration form is also available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/NEOHSmFMConf

         For those who are interested in attending both the Women in Agriculture conference at the same location on March 24 plus the small farm conference on March 25 there is a discounted registration fee of $100 to attend both conferences.  Student discounts are also available.