small farm college

Bee hives in field.
By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Friday, July 23rd, 2021

"Bringing small farms in Ohio to life" is the theme of the 2021 New and Small Farm College program.  The program focuses on the increasing number of new and small farm landowners that have a need for comprehensive farm ownership and management programming.  OSU Extension has offered the college to farm families since 2005. Its mission  is to enhance understanding of production practices, the economics of land use choices, legal issues, marketing alternatives, and sources of assistance. Since the program began, the New and Small Farm College has reached over 1175 participants from 57 Ohio Counties representing almost 900 farms, sharing its three educational objectives:

  1. Improve the economic development of small familly owned farms in Ohio.
  2. Help small farm landowners and families diversify their opportunities into successful new enterprises and new markets.
  3. Improve agricultural literacy among small farm landowners not actively involved in agricultural production.

If you are a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin?
  • Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise, but you just aren’t sure of what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or a management perspective?
  • Are you looking for someplace to get some basic farm information? 

If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ohio State University New and Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.  Consider how these topics that we cover in the college can help you with your small farm goals:

  • Getting Started (goal setting, family matters, resource inventory, business planning)
  • Appropriate Land Use -Walking the Farm
  • Where to Get Assistance, (identifying various agencies, organizations, and groups)
  • Financial and Business Mgmt.: Strategies for decision makers
  • Farm Insurance
  • Soils
  • Legal Issues
  • Marketing Alternatives

The Ohio State University New and Small Farm College is held one night a week for seven weeks.  The 2021 Ohio New and Small Farm College program occur in three locations across the state: 

  • Pike County area, to be held at the OSU South Centers facility, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661, (Located off US 32 – Appalachian Hwy). Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning August 18 and concluding September 29, 2021. For more information contact Pike County Extension Office at 740-289-4837.
  • Fayette county area, Fayette County Extension Office, 1415 US Route 22 SW, Washington Court House, Ohio 43160. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings beginning August 19 and concluding on September 30, 2021. For more information contact the Fayette County Extension Office at 740-335-1150.
  • Wayne County area, to be held at the OSU Wooster Campus, The Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44961. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings beginning August 31 and concluding October 12, 2021. For more information, contact Wayne County Extension at 330-264-8722.

All colleges begin at 6:00 pm with a light dinner followed by presentations at 6:30 pm and concluding at 9:00 pm.

In addition to the classroom instruction, participants will receive tickets to attend the 2021 Farm Science Review ( ), September 21, 22, & 23 Located at the Molly Caren Farm, London, Ohio. A soil sample analysis will also be provided to each participating farm.

The cost of the course is $125 per person, $100 for an additional family member.  Each participating family will receive a small farm college notebook full of the information presented in each class session plus additional materials.

 Registrations are now being accepted. For more details about the course and a registration form, contact Tony Nye, Small Farm Program Coordinator 937-382-0901 or email at

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