Organizers of the Small Farm Center programs at the 2016 Farm Science Review are thinking big this year, with more than two dozen presentations planned during the three-day annual farm show.
“They’re always popular,” said Mike Hogan, Ohio State University Extension educator and one of the leaders of the OSU Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team, the sponsor of the programs.
But he hopes the “small farms” moniker doesn’t fool anyone.
“We’re really focused on alternative enterprises, alternative production systems and alternative marketing systems,” he said. “We have farmers of very large operations come to these presentations. People are looking for ways to increase profitability no matter their size or scale.”
Info on all topics
The Farm Science Review, which is Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio, offers farmers and other visitors the opportunity to learn about the latest agricultural innovations from experts from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
The Small Farm Center presentations will be offered on the half-hour beginning at 10 a.m. each day of the Review, Hogan said. Each is 50 minutes long, with sessions alternating between the Small Farm Building and the Small Farm Tent. Both are located at the corner of Beef Street and Corn Avenue on the Review grounds.
In addition, the Small Farm Center will have available information and any handouts from all 27 presentations.
“Most people come to the Review for just one day, and our presentations overlap, so it would be impossible to attend all of them,” Hogan said. “But anyone will be able to find information about all of the topics no matter when they attend.”
Popular topics from past years, such as growing hops and raising miniature beef cattle, are on this year’s slate, as well, Hogan said. Seven of the sessions will be led by specialists from Purdue University, which partners with Ohio State to provide educational programming for FSR.
The schedule for the small farm programs is:
Sept. 20: Small Farm Tent
* 10 a.m. - “Specialty Crops for the Ohio Plate,” Jacqueline Kowalski, OSU Extension.
* 11 a.m. – “Postharvest Sanitizer Use for Fruits and Vegetables,” Amanda Deering, Purdue Extension.
* Noon – “Getting Started in Hydroponic Production,” Beth Scheckelhoff, OSU Extension.
* 1 p.m. – “Developing a Successful Farm on 20 Acres,” Tamara Benjamin, Purdue Extension.
* 2 p.m. – “Growing Under Cover: Are High Tunnels or Greenhouses for You?” Beth Sheckelhoff, OSU Extension.
Sept. 20: Small Farm Building
* 10:30 a.m. – “Growing Hops in Ohio - An Update,” Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension.
* 11:30 a.m. – “Understanding the Need for Forage Testing,” Elysia Rodgers, Purdue Extension.
* 12:30 p.m. – “How’s the Health of Your Small Farm’s Balance Sheet?” Eric Richer, OSU Extension.
* 1:30 p.m. – “Small Scale Poultry Production,” Deb Brown, OSU Extension.
* 2:30 p.m. – “Managing Available Nitrogen from Manure, Compost and Cover Crops,” Alan Sundermeier, OSU Extension.
Sept. 21: Small Farm Tent
* 10 a.m., Aquaponics – “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” Matt Smith, OSU Extension.
* 11 a.m. – “Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Sales with Foodlink,” Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension.
* Noon – “Raising Miniature Beef Cattle,” Greg Meyer, OSU Extension.
* 1 p.m. – “Cooperative Marketing of Specialty Crops,” Hannah Scott, OSU Extension.
* 2 p.m. – “Dealing With Pesticide Drift on a Small Farm,” Michael O’Donnell, Purdue Extension.
Sept. 21: Small Farm Building
* 10:30 a.m. – “Growing Fruit in Containers,” Gary Gao, OSU Extension.
* 11:30 a.m. – “Selection of New and Used Tractors for Your Small Farm,” Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension.
* 12:30 p.m. – “Aquaculture Opportunities in Ohio,” Matt Smith, OSU Extension.
* 1:30 p.m. – “Growing Super Fruits,” Gary Gao, OSU Extension.
* 2:30 p.m. – “Planting for Pollinators,” Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension.
Sept. 22: Small Farm Tent
* 10 a.m. – “Understanding Food Insecurity in the U.S.,” Mike Hogan, OSU Extension.
* 11 a.m. – “How to Start a Gleaning Program in Your Community,” Sabrina Schirtzinger, OSU Extension.
* Noon – “Developing a Successful Grant Proposal for Your Farm Business,” Mike Hogan, OSU Extension.
* 1 p.m. – “Growing Vegetables in Parking Lots and Vacant Lots in Dayton,” Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension.
Sept. 22: Small Farm Building
* 10:30 a.m. – “Using Annuals for Forages: Baling vs. Grazing,” Alan Gahler, OSU Extension.
* 11:30 a.m. – “Hedging Weather Risks on Small Acreages: Tips from a Meteorologist,” Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension.
* 12:30 p.m. – “Treatment and Control Strategies for Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants,” Tim McDermott, OSU Extension.
The program listing is also available online on OSU Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources program website, agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs.
Sponsored by CFAES, Farm Science Review offers visitors some 180 educational presentations and opportunities presented by educators, specialists and faculty from Ohio State University Extension and theOhio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
The Review annually draws between 110,000 and 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada and offers more than 4,000 product lines from 630 commercial exhibitors.
Advance tickets for the Farm Science Review are $7 at all OSU Extension county offices, many local agribusinesses and online at fsr.osu.edu/visitors/tickets. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20-21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22.