The Ohio State University at Marion


Leadership Marion to host summit on urban farming opportunity

September 15, 2021
Leadership Marion to host summit on urban farming opportunity

Leadership Marion is proud to host a Marion Microfarm Summit Thursday, October 7, 4-8 p.m. at the Marion Palace Theater, May Pavilion in downtown Marion. The purpose of the summit is to inform and engage the community on expanding microfarming opportunities in the Marion area.

Those interested in urban farming, creating job opportunities, educating, becoming a local produce buyer, or bettering the Marion community in general are urged to attend. The summit is free and open to the public. You will have the opportunity to participate in two of four engaging breakout sessions. Food and refreshments will be provided. Masks required.

The goal of the Microfarm Project, originally cultivated and made possible through Ohio State Mansfield and a host of Mansfield community partners, makes the business of sustainable urban farming accessible, equitable, and profitable by leveraging the knowledge and science of the land grant university to grow cooperative businesses, make microfarming profitable, train new microfarmers, address racial and social justice by creating access to microfarming opportunity, study the impacts of microfarming on the surrounding community and ecosystems, and connect students to knowledge, research, and service opportunities in and around microfarming.

Since 2017, Ohio State University Associate Professor Kip Curtis has been building partnerships and recruiting collaborators to pilot a microfarming system in Mansfield, Ohio. Since 2019, OSU, The North End Community Improvement Collaborative, IdeaWorks, Braintree Business Solutions, and The Richland County Foundation, along with a dozen aspirational microfarmers from Mansfield and Richland County, have been piloting the first microfarm aggregation system with the support of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture’s Seeding Solutions grant program. In 2020, with the support of the Office of Outreach and Engagement, Dr. Curtis began conversations with community leaders and others in Marion about expanding this program to Marion.

Those interested in learning more are invited to visit https://go.osu.edu/microfarm. To register for the summit online visit: https://tinyurl.com/yykvm7pm. This event is being organized by the 2021 Leadership Marion Class and is hosted by the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce. This event is sponsored by Ohio State Marion, Ohio State Office of Outreach and Engagement, and Whirlpool, Marion Operations.