Starting a Farm? OSU Offering Course to Help

Rusty gates open to wheat and in the distance canola crops and livestock grazing fields. A course in starting a farm will be held in Scioto and Butler counties beginning in January. Submitted photo.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Landowners interested in beginning a farm can take an eight-week intensive course starting in January to help them realize their ambition.

The New and Small Farm College is offered by Ohio State University Extension and helps landowners explore options for land use, obtain basic information about farming enterprises, and plan an agricultural or horticulture enterprise. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The course is one night a week for eight weeks. Classes are offered at two locations: Hamilton (Butler County) at OSU Extension’s Butler County office, 1802 Princeton Road; and Portsmouth (Scioto County) at Shawnee State University’s Massie Hall, 940 Second St.

“The New and Small Farm College is an opportunity for people interested in starting a farm to find out basic information about what crops to plant or livestock to raise,” said Tony Nye, Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in Clinton County and small farm coordinator for OSU Extension. “The classes will discuss the resources, tools and management needed for beginning farm enterprises.”

Registration cost for the course is $150 per person and $100 for an additional family member and includes the weekly dinner, a New and Small Farm College notebook of information, resources for each family and additional materials.

The Butler County sessions will be held on Thursdays beginning Jan. 18 and concluding March 8. Each session begins at 6 p.m. with a light dinner and will conclude at 9 p.m. A farm tour will be held March 10, with March 15 as the inclement weather makeup date. More information is available by contacting the Butler County office of OSU Extension at 513-887-3722. Registration is open at

The Scioto County sessions will be held on Mondays beginning Jan. 29 and concluding March 19. Each session begins at 6 p.m. with a light dinner and will conclude at 9 p.m.

A farm tour will be held March 31, with March 26 as an inclement weather makeup date. For more information, contact the Scioto County office of OSU Extension at 740-354-7879. Registration is open at

Topics covered in the classes include:

  • Getting started with goal setting, resource inventory and business planning
  • Appropriate land use
  • Where to get assistance (identifying various agencies, organizations, and groups)
  • Natural resource management, including soils, ponds, woodlands and wildlife
  • Legal issues, insurance, business structure, finances and record keeping, and marketing alternatives
  • Crop and horticultural production options
    Animal production options

For more details about the course and a registration form, contact Nye at 937-382-0901 or