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New website offers resources for beginning farmers

When the recession forced Lynn Wiblin into unemployment from her manufacturing job earlier this year, she turned to the land to get back on her feet. Following in the footsteps of generations of family farming, she has turned 15 acres in Washington County, Ohio, into a vegetable farm that not only will provide for her and her family, but also help support the local economy.

To get started, Wiblin looked to a new website to contact fellow farmers and search for information on production and marketing.

"The website has been an invaluable resource tool," she said.

The site is supported by an alliance of five agricultural organizations: Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Cuyahoga Countryside Conservancy, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program.

The resource tool is designed to guide people of all ages through the process of launching a farming career -- whether it's a young person with no farming experience, someone making a mid-career change into agriculture, or a retiree interested in a small farm operation. The site provides links to news, resources, farmer profiles and contact information.

"The neat thing about this website is that it contains virtually all of the resources available to new farmers in Ohio, in one place," said Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.

When the recession forced Lynn Wiblin into unemployment from her manufacturing job earlier this year, she turned to the land to get back on her feet. Following in the footsteps of generations of family farming, she has turned 15 acres in Washington County, Ohio, into a vegetable farm that not only will provide for her and her family, but also help support the local economy.

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