Considering a new venture? Webinars will help

There is an incredible increase in interest in starting new farm-related ventures of all kinds.

Some enterprises can be as small as a few hens in the backyard for eggs for the family or a small market garden for fresh vegetables for the table. They can range from a roadside stand or larger enterprise that will generate a substantial portion of the farm and family’s income.

With interest and opportunity comes the need for information that can allow for farmers to make the best decisions possible at the outset for their own operation.

While experience can be a good teacher, the school of hard knocks can be a painful place to get an education.

This winter, the Purdue Extension Small Farms Team will present a weekly educational series for the small farm and beginning farming community to provide practical information on emerging topics that advance local food production in Indiana.

While it is not possible to address every possible topic in this diverse subject area, these presentations will cover topics in a cross section of popular subject areas and will attempt to connect participants with additional resources to help as they move forward.

These online presentations will give beginning, small and diversifying farmers a look at how leading practices in production, management and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability all from the comfort of their own home or office.

Webinars will be from noon to 1 p.m. each Wednesday from Jan. 27 to April 13 and are free.

The webinars can be accessed online from your personal computer.

Register online at

When you register, make sure your email address is correct.

If you cannot attend these dates, please register anyway to view an archived, recorded version. Information will be provided (the Monday after airing) via email for viewing at your convenience.

Recordings also can be accessed on the Purdue Small farm Team website at smallfarms/Pages/default.aspx.

Contact your local Purdue Extension office for more information about the possibility of live hosted viewing sites.

Roy Ballard is an agriculture and natural resources educator with the Hancock County office of Purdue Extension. Contact him at 317-462-1113 or

This years webinars

Jan. 27 – Getting Into Beekeeping – Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources, Hancock County

Feb. 3 – Sustainable Farm Planning for Your Small Acre Farm — Tamara J. Benjamin, Purdue sustainable agriculture and natural resources scientist, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

Feb. 10 – Getting the Pasture Established and Keeping It Productive — Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist

Feb. 17 – High Tunnel Opportunities: Is a High Tunnel in your Farm’s Future? — Liz Maynard, Purdue Extension vegetable production specialist

Feb. 24 – Walk Behind Tractors and their Application on Small Farms — Michael O’Donnell, Purdue Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, Delaware County

Mar. 2 – Food Safety Modernization Act: Changes for Small Scale Producers – Scott Monroe, Purdue Extension food safety educator

Mar. 9 – To Certify Organic or Not? Separating the Production and Certification Issues – Maria Marshall Extension, Purdue Extension specialist, small business development

Mar. 16 – Foodlink: A New (free) Tool to Link Consumers with Farm Fresh Foods – Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources, Hancock County

Mar. 23 – Alternative Energy Possibilities on your Farm: The 30K Foot Overview – Chad Martin, renewable energy extension specialist

Mar. 30 – Spotting Uninvited Guests: Identifying Disease and Pest Problems on the Farm – Tom Creswell, director, Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab

April 6 – Irrigation Options for Market Gardens and Small Farms – Lydon Kelly, Purdue irrigation educator

April 13- Dairy Goats 101 – Sara Dzimianski, Purdue Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, Perry County