; Planning for Your Small Farm Dream | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Planning for Your Small Farm Dream

David Marrison and Ashley Kulhanek


In many counties across Ohio, there are an increasing number of residents who are purchasing small acreage. As a result, Extension Educators are receiving more questions from small land owners on what they can raise or grow to generate income from their acreage. To help these aspiring farmers, a one-day, six hour Saturday workshop, the Northeast Ohio Small Farm Workshop, was developed. This presentation will describe the efforts in developing this program. During this workshop, participants were challenged to develop realistic expectations for their small farm and to develop a business plan for their operation. During the course, participants learned about the current opportunities in small-scale farming; how to identify the strengths & weaknesses of their farm; how to keep records and develop budgets; and how to effectively price & market ag products to consumers. Participants also learned about farm insurance, governmental assistance, farm taxes, and ways to mitigate risk. Ninety-four small farmers owning 1,952 acres participated in three workshops held in 2018-2019. The average farm income goal reported by participants was $15,273. Ninety-seven percent of the attendees reported they feel more confident in their ability to manage their small farm as a result of their attendance. These workshops also opened OSU Extension up to a new clientele base as 69.9% of the attendees had never previously enrolled in an OSU Extension program and 100% indicated they would enroll in future Extension programs. As a result of these workshops, OSU Extension is now planning targeted evening programs for the attendees.