Sustainable Agriculture Research Plot
Ohio State University's John E. Hirzel Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Site is a partnership involving the OSU Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), OSU Extension and AIF. The purpose of the site is to promote vital agricultural systems in northwest Ohio which are economically, ecologically and socially sustainable on a long term basis. This is accomplished through research projects, demonstration plots and educational programs. The 28.8 acre site consists of a replicated farming systems experiment that demonstrates different options in sustainable crop production. The systems include organic, reduced chemical input and high chemical input no till. OARDC would also like to create opportunities for young agricultural entrepreneurs from the region to experiment with and demonstrate creative sustainable agriculture ideas.

The plot is designed to gain a better understanding of what occurs with crop production and soil changes when farmers transition from one management system to another. The treatments chosen for this experiment represent a range of conditions experienced by farmers transitioning either to organic or other more diversified crop management systems. Overall, the experiment is addressing ways to maintain production and economic viability while building soil quality.

Vertical Growth
AN alternative growing practice allowing for unique production capacities for increased food production. The system enables plants to grow in significantly smaller spaces. What typically would require eight acres of land can be produces in one. Additionally, soil composition is not an issue as hydroponic techniques are applied.

Penta Career Center
Penta Career Center, established in 1965, is an area Career-Technical and Adult Education Career Center servicing 16 rural and suburban school districts in five counties in northwest Ohio. Penta Career Center offers educational programs that create links within the community by training individuals for the workforce or by retraining current workers for advancement to jobs more suited to their skills. Penta Career Center offers a variety of environmental and agricultural programming including greenhouse production, floral design, landscape and turf management and small animal care.

The Agricultural Incubator Foundation partners with local educational outlets including Penta Career Center, Eastwood and Otsego schools to offer farm safety training programs and similar activities. For more information go to Penta Career Center’s web site: