Category Archives: Farm Tours

Organic farm tour to make stop in Lindsey

By Larry Limpf, The Press, 8-3-15

A tour of sustainable and organic farms in Ohio will make a stop Aug. 7 in Sandusky County.

Turnow Ventures, which began operation in 1980 with 600 acres, will be featured during the 2015 tour and workshop series sponsored by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

The farm is located at 2956 County Rd. 92 near the Village of Lindsey. The tour stop will be at the farm from 1-3 p.m.

Steve Turnow began experimenting with growing organic crops in 1998. Within five years, he certified all 1,500 acres of his farm to comply with certification standards set by the National Organic Program.

Presently, 600 acres are dedicated to alfalfa production, which is a vital cog of a value-added supply chain of dehydrated chicken feed pellets – a part of the operation managed by extended family members.

The stop will also feature the farm’s rotation practices for corn, soybeans, wheat and black beans.

Turnow said he decided to try growing organically after he realized there was a market for the crops and he wanted to get away from using pesticides.

“I guess I felt more comfortable farming that way – to produce a fuller feed that didn’t have so much pesticide residual,” he said. “It’s been good up to this year. Without the use of herbicides it’s hard to kill weeds and it’s hard to kill weeds when it’s raining nearly every day.”

Chances are if you eat organic eggs they may come from chickens raised on Turnow’s grains.

“A lot of my products go to feed use,” Turnow said. “Some of it goes to food use. If you wanted to buy an organic corn chip, for example.”

The organic black bean market appears to also be expanding, he said, noting the Chipotle restaurant chain and others have adopted policies to buy from organic growers.

The tour stop is free and open to the public. For information contact Turnow at 419-283-1450 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”>steventurnow@roadrunner.com.

Other nearby stops on the tour, include:

• A hops production workshop Aug. 25 at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, 13737 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green.

Brad Bergefurd, a horticulture specialist with The Ohio State University, will discuss the latest research on hops planting, including production techniques, insect and disease control methods and harvesting. Marketing strategies that can be adopted by farmers wanting to provide hops for Ohio breweries will also be discussed.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The $50 registration fee includes materials and a meal. Register by Aug. 18 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”>sundermeier.5@osu.edu.

• An organic and sustainable agriculture field day Sept. 10 at the foundation. The Organic Food and Farming Education Research program is co-sponsoring the event, which will be from 5-7 p.m.

Organic grain production, soil research, and other OFFER projects will be featured. A meal will be provided at no cost. Register by Sept. 5 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”>sundermeier.5@osu.edu.

• A sustainable living farm tour Sept. 19 from 2-4 p.m. at Schooner Farms, 14890 Otsego Pike, Weston, O.

Tour participants will visit Schooner’s classrooms and sundry shop, mound gardens, aquaculture facilities, and a community supported agriculture program pick up, apiary and more.

For information call 419-216-0908 or visit www.schoonerberries.com.

To contact the OEFFA call 614-421-2022.

Flower-farm open house touts ‘local,’ sustainable

By Joshua Lim, The Columbus Dispatch, 6/29/15

In a straw hat and with the sleeves of his checkered shirt rolled up enough that you could see his tattoo of a dahlia, Steve Adams revealed his obsession in the sprawling field of some of the most beautiful blooms in Columbus.

About 100 people attended the open house at Adams’ Sunny Meadows Flower Farm on the East Side on Sunday to hear about how the sharpest-red and deepest-blue blooms rise from the farm.

The open house is part of an annual series of farmers events held by members of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

Renee Hunt, the association’s program director, said tours, workshops and open houses are held each year to give farmers and consumers a firsthand opportunity to learn different practices from a variety of farmers.

“People are sharing what they know so that that information can be taken and be used elsewhere and promote any successful farming practices,” she said.

Adams and his wife, Gretel, started their farm in 2007 because they were passionate about buying and selling locally made products, especially fresh flowers. They grow flowers for mixed-cut bouquets to sell at local farmers markets, to florists and for weddings and other occasions.

Growing flowers for people to give to loved ones to express joy, love, sadness and remorse is something the Adamses don’t take lightly. And they want people to share those emotions with local products.

“People are going to come and see what the other option is for flowers, to see why local flowers are just as important as local food,” Mr. Adams said. “We want people to be buying local flowers, whether they’re from us, or they’re from other growers.”

The U.S. cut-flower industry accounts for $7 billion to $8 billion in sales in a year, according to the Society of American Florists, but only a fraction of flowers come from local farms.

Imports make up 79 percent of the U.S. supply of cut flowers and greens, according to the California Cut Flower Commission.

Adams said flowers from foreign countries might have been sprayed with chemicals that are harmful to consumers.

“For us, sustainability is a farm that can continue to provide fresh quality flowers without synthetic fertilizers and chemical inputs,” he said.

Sunny Meadows does not use herbicides, and it uses compost as fertilizer, Mrs. Adams said. The farm also uses beneficial insects to control pests.

Eric Pawlowski, the association’s sustainable-agriculture educator, said he has benefited from the tours because farmers often provide tips that can make or break a crop of any size.

“It’s not so much the ‘how’ or the ‘do,’ but it’s the ‘what not to do,’  ” he said.

In addition to the annual farm open houses, the association has a number of farm tours and workshops, which started in June and will end in late October. More information is at www.oeffa.org.

Lindsey Baker, 32, a florist in Morrow, Ohio, said she was interested in learning from Adams because she started growing flowers this year.

“When you find out you can grow all this right here in Ohio, we should do a lot more of that,” Baker said. “You’re supporting the family, you’re supporting your local economy, and you’re cutting down on the energy to transport those flowers.”

Alwin Chan-Frederick, 36, said he was impressed by the farm’s sustainable practices.

“Supporting kinds of small businesses like theirs is important for the local community,” he said.

Tours Shine Light on Ohio Sustainable Food Production

By Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service, 5/26/2015

PHOTO: The 2015 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series kicks off in June offering  people across Ohio the chance to experience life on the farm and learn new skills. Photo courtesy of Sunseed Farm.

PHOTO: The 2015 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series kicks off in June offering people across Ohio the chance to experience life on the farm and learn new skills. Photo courtesy of Sunseed Farm.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A lot of work goes into the production of fruit, vegetables and other fresh food sold at markets and grocery stores, and this summer Ohioans can get an up close and personal look at the process.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is sponsoring 15 tours and nine workshops during its 2015 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

Communications coordinator Lauren Ketcham says it’s a unique experience for both adults and children.

“To see a tomato ripening on the vine in the field, or to be able to pull a carrot out of the ground and really tangibly see how that food gets from the field to their dinner table,” she says.

Tours this year offer a variety of activities including the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of a shepherd, view organic dairy production and sample local meats, cheeses and preserves. As part of the series there will be a one-day Women Grow Ohio event at 17 locations, and a benefit dinner in the fall.

Ketcham says OEFFA has offered the tours for more than 35 years to give growers and non-growers the opportunity to learn about sustainable foods produced in Ohio communities.

“The more consumers know about how their food is grown the better prepared there are to make informed choices about who to support with their food dollars,” says Ketcham. “The tours are a good way to gain this knowledge.”

Ketcham says Ohio’s sustainable farmers and producers use innovative practices and techniques, and during the tours they will share their experiences. She says the workshops allow folks to delve even deeper.

“Some of those topics this summer are going to include learning how to design and install your own solar photo voltaic system, small plot market farming, urban agriculture, dairy herd health, farm machinery,” she says.

The Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Clintonville Farmers’ Market are sponsoring additional tours.

 

OEFFA reveals organic Ohio farm tour schedule for 2015, from goat cheese to chickens

By Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer, 5/12/15

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Time to get your proverbial boots dusty. Fifteen organic farm tours – from chickens to vegetables and grains – are part of this year’s series organized by the Columbus-based Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).

Northeast Ohioans won’t have to travel far for several of them, including The Farmers’ Table, a farm-to-table dinner Aug. 30 at Maplestar Farm in Geauga County.

Muddy Fork Farm in Wayne County kicks off the schedule on June 3 with a demonstration of its pastured poultry research. On July 19, MorningSide Farm in Medina County opens its vegetable growing operation to everyone, especially those who buy from them at Cleveland-area farmers markets.

Nine events will turn into learning workshops, including poultry processing October 11 at Tea Hills Farms in Ashland County, a five-day solar energy class starting October 12 in Wayne County, and an urban agriculture exchange Oct. 24 at Ohio City Farm, Cleveland.

“This is a great chance for everyone interested in local foods to turn over a new leaf,” said OEFFA representative Lauren Ketcham. “They can learn how sustainably produced food is grown and connect with others who share a passion for sustainable agriculture.”

They also can learn, she said, about the life of a shepherd, how to control weeds without chemicals, see draft horses make sorghum into sweet syrup, sample local meats, cheeses and jams, and butcher their own poultry.

A list of all the programs, plus details and a statewide map, can be found online.

Twenty minutes with organic grain farmer Dean McIlvaine

Farm and Dairy
by Chris Kick
8/13/14

WEST SALEM, Ohio — When you think of organic, you probably think of small-scale farms of about 100 acres or less. But that’s not always the case.

2wpmDean McIlvaine, of Twin Parks Organic Farm in Wayne County, has operated an 850-acre organic grain farm since 1985. He welcomed guests to his farm Aug. 1 as part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s annual summer sustainability tour.

He grows organic corn and soybeans, spelt, oats, wheat, rye and clover, and markets them nationally and internationally. His father, Dale McIlvaine, bought the farm in the mid 1970s, and the family farmed conventionally up until 1985.

At this same time, Dale owned the area John Deere dealership and wanted to be more involved with that business, so Dean took over the farm.

Going organic

Dean transitioned to an organic operation, following his college dream and his personal beliefs that organic food is healthier and better for the environment.

The farm name — Twin Parks — comes from the two Interstate rest area parks located on the farm.

Today, Dean farms alongside his girlfriend, Mona Frey, and he’s constantly trying new things and exploring new markets.

During the OEFFA tour, he showed some plots of organic no-till corn that he grew for the first time, and talked about how he’s using cover crops to help control weeds and keep nutrients in the soil.

He also explained some of his farm equipment — like his cover crop roller, which rolls and flattens cover crops prior to planting the main crops, and his organic weed puller — a mechanical attachment that mounts on the front of his tractor and pulls and crimps weeds in between the rows.

Following the tour, Farm and Dairy caught up with Dean to talk one-on-one about his operation and the state of organics:

Q: Why organic? Why did you make the decision to leave conventional?
A: I have had a strong aversion to the health concerns. My father and grandfather (were) both active conventional farmers with lots of exposure to synthetic fertilizers and chemicals and both died early from associated, related illnesses — leukemia and lymphoma. There was lots of exposure there that was toxic to them.

I was never really a fan of processed foods. Once I got a taste of whole grains and real food, I recognized how much better it tasted and how much better I felt.

The contamination starts with our air, our water and our soil. And if we want to live a healthier, more productive life, we need to clean up our environment.

Q: What are the biggest challenges to being an organic grain operator?
A: The biggest challenges begin with finding adequate fertility and learning how to manage the microbial life in the soil to facilitate that fertility. And dealing with the weeds and just learning how the whole system works — that we can do it with the resources that nature has provided instead of from the toxic things that we’ve used in the conventional world.

Q: How have people’s attitudes changed toward what you’re doing?
A: They’re much more receptive. People are very curious anymore. Even in the midst of our under-achievement, there’s lots of interest and curiosity.

People recognize the cost of producing food is ever-increasing as our world’s resources are forever diminishing, and the beauty of the organic system is that we try to recycle nutrients that are available more effectively, and try and enhance the biology of the soil, which can help that transfer of nutrients from the soil to the plants.”

Q: What have been some of your biggest successes as an organic grain producer?
A: Personally, the times we’ve had good corn crops or good, clean soybean fields. But learning how to replicate that over all 850 acres has been the challenge to do so consistently. It is sort of a delicate balance and if you try to short-circuit the system, it will backfire in a hurry.

And, there’s always new challenges with the changing weed pressures and changing climate pressures. What worked last year or three years ago may or may not work this year. So, we have to be forever looking forward, to anticipate what we need, to make things grow the best.

Q: What new things are you trying or what things would you like to try?
A: I’ve always had an interest since college days to have a more value-added production system or vertically integrated system. So adding value to the crops that we grow is of interest. (He does do some of that by cleaning his own grain and dehulling, etc. for specific markets.)

… We’ve really gone out on a limb with (organic no-till in corn). It was one thing to make the leap into organics, but to do so with the row crops is equally challenging. But, it matches the overall goal of enhancing soil life by minimizing soil tillage.

Q: What would you tell others who want to begin growing crops organically?
A: Do your homework. Take a soil test to see where you are and address the long-term needs of your crops. Soil drainage and soil balancing are quite a trick, and an art and a science that are of upmost importance.

Think broadly about diversifying. And try to incorporate animal components in as much as possible. I think there’s that cycle of life that is helpful for every farm. …It goes along with the idea of recycling and using what’s nearby.

Q: Do you think you would ever go back to conventional?
A: I think about it when the weeds get taller than the crops. But, at the end of the day, I know that things aren’t always better in that camp, either. Especially with the problems with the Roundup and the GMO grains. The costs are outlandish for that technology and the results are short-sighted and short-term. There’s too many long-term costs of going back to conventional.

Q: What is the state of organic farming today?
A: It’s strong, it’s healthy, it’s vibrant, it’s growing. It’s pretty exciting to be a part of and especially to see the new, young people get involved and even poor people who want a better life. This is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways they can do something for themselves that improves their life now and in the long run.

The interest that people have in growing their own food and doing it with a minimum or lack of chemicals is very encouraging. The hard part is replicating it over a bigger area and more acres, and day in and day out.

Ohioans Can Get The “Dirt” on Organic Growing from Farmers

By Mary Kuhlman
Public News Service
May 27, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Getting organic and sustainable foods from the field to the dinner table takes a lot of knowledge, effort and care, and Ohioans can get an inside look at how it all happens. This summer, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is sponsoring 15 tours and six workshops across the Buckeye State as part of the group’s 2014 farm tour series. Spokeswoman Lauren Ketchum says it’s a unique opportunity.

“The great thing is that farmers know all the dirt, so during this summer series they’re sharing that knowledge about how sustainably produced food is grown. The tours are also designed to help farmers and gardeners learn from each other so that they can improve their production and marketing techniques,” Ketchum says.

Beyond just seeing how food is grown, consumers can learn about rooftop gardening, sustainable flowers, solar-electric use, farming with horses, and more. Most of the tours and workshops are free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine.

Fulton Farms in Miami County is among those opening its gates, Ketchum says, allowing people to glimpse its operation.

“They’re a diverse, family-owned, organic vegetable farm that is operating a pretty large community supported agriculture program, which feeds more than 400 families. People will have a chance to see more than 30 acres of organic field production,” she explains.

Ketchum says they see great turnout at the tours as demand for fresh, local foods grows, and consumers want to make informed choices.

“We really encourage growers, educators and conscientious eaters to attend the tours. They can learn about sustainable agriculture in a real-world setting from farmers with years of practical experience,” she says.

The tours have been offered for more than three decades, and this year the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team is sponsoring 10 additional tours.

More information on the tours is at www.oeffa.org.

Creamery is first stop in series of farm tours

 
By Mary Vanac
The Columbus Dispatch
6/8/13

Consumers’ quest for more locally produced food is sending them back to the farm.

This year’s Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, which starts today at Snowville Creamery in Pomeroy, offers learning opportunities for both consumers and farmers.

“As consumer demand for fresh, locally produced food and farm products has grown, there has been a desire to reconnect with the farm and understand how that food gets from the field to the table,” said Lauren Ketcham, communications coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, which has run the tours for more than three decades.

In addition to the Meigs County dairy, this year’s organic- and ecological-farms stops include a sustainable cut-flower farm in Franklin County, a Licking County organic-vegetable farm, a Fairfield County beef farm that markets its jerky and snack sticks directly to consumers, and an organic farm that is doing a canning workshop.

Most of the tours are free and open to the public; a few charge fees and require registration.

This year, Ohio State University Extension and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts will offer seven of the 24 stops on the tour, while OEFFA will handle the remaining 17 stops, Ketcham said.

“We feel that consumer education is an important part of our mission,” she said. “The more consumers know about how their food is grown, the better prepared they are to make informed choices about who to support with their local food dollars.”

The tours also are designed to help farmers and gardeners “learn from each other so they can improve their production and marketing techniques, and grow their operations,” she said.

Ketcham is looking forward to the July 28 tour of Sunny Meadows Flower Farm in Columbus, and to the July 21 tour of Northridge Organic Farm in Johnstown. Mike and Laura Laughlin are turning their farm over to young farmer Joseph Swain.

The tour series is all about offering farmers alternatives, said Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator in Fairfield County.

“Our goal is to give people ideas to make their farm operations more sustainable,” Hogan said. “ We give them ideas about alternative enterprises, alternative production systems, like grazing or no-till, and alternative marketing systems.”

The July tour of Berry Family Farm in Pleasantville shows how one producer has added facets to its operation, Hogan said.

“They’re adding value to beef products, selling jerky, summer sausage and snack sticks directly to consumers, as well as marketing freezer beef.”

At Snowville Creamery, owner Warren Taylor put his workers through their public speaking paces yesterday in preparation for today’s open house from 1 to 4 p.m.

Snowville supplies milk, cream, yogurt and creme fraiche to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus and select grocers from Ohio to Virginia.

“This year, we have organized ourselves into a dozen functional areas, each of which will have a Snowville Creamery team member explaining that area,” Taylor said.

Taylor spent a career designing and engineering milk-production facilities around the world for the nation’s largest dairy companies. He said he started Snowville as a reaction against the few large dairies, which he thinks are too powerful.

“I have long since decided that Snowville Creamery’s purpose goes far beyond milk,” Taylor said. “It goes to advocating for representative democracy in America.”

For a full tour listing, visit www.oeffa.org.

Go Behind the Scenes of Ohio’s Sustainable Growing

 
May 28, 2013
Ohio News Service
Mary Kuhlman

COLUMBUS, Ohio – All those who have ever wanted to see how their food is produced can get a sneak peek in Ohio this summer. Over two dozen sustainable and organic farms are being featured as part of a farm tour series.

According to Lauren Ketcham, communications coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, the more consumers know, the better prepared they are to make informed choices about who to support with their food dollars. And, she added, the participating farmers are more than happy to let Ohioans see the inner workings of their operations.

“It’s really a lot to ask of a farmer to take the time during the growing season to hold these farm tours, but we’re always encouraged by the willingness of farmers to really want to open up their doors and let consumers know how they’re raising their food,” Ketcham said.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has been offering the tours for more than three decades. This year’s series includes tours and workshops on a variety of topics including: dairy farming and processing, composting, specialty crops, cut flowers, urban farming, food preservation, and farm business skills.

Lauren Ketcham said that as the popularity of local and organic food has grown, so has interest among young farmers in getting into the business. She remarked that the tour is a great networking opportunity for aspiring and beginning farmers and even backyard growers.

“Farmers and gardeners see first-hand how their colleagues are incorporating sustainable agriculture methods on their lands, ask questions of each other, and take home information that they can put to use on their own farms or in their backyard gardens,” she said.

Ketcham said the tours can also be a fun experience for families, couples or anyone interested in Ohio’s agriculture system. Last year, more than 600 people attended.

More information is online at OEFFA.org.

In addition to the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, the tours are also sponsored by Ohio State University and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts.

Kenyon College uses local foods

Mansfield News Journal
September 15, 2012
By Kaitlin Durbin

Jane Simonson, of Cincinnati, selects her lunch at Kenyon College from the salad bar, of which some items have been procured from area farms.

Jane Simonson, of Cincinnati, selects her lunch at Kenyon College from the salad bar, of which some items have been procured from area farms. / Dave Polcyn/News Journal
 

GAMBIER — Most college campuses are known for dining options that fall far short of “home cooking, just like mom makes it.”

But for many students at Kenyon College, the dining hall is shopping at the same supermarket as mom: local farms.

Close to 40 percent of total food purchases for the Kenyon cafeteria are from local producers, according to John Marsh, AVI’s sustainability director.

“This matters to them (the students),” Marsh said. “They can tell what’s local and what’s not.”

Chad Wilkoff, a sous chef for the college, said the fresh produce has made all the difference in the way the kitchen prepares meals.

“We have more flexibility in what we’re able to make,” Wilkoff said. “We’re always changing our vegetable of the day.”

“The quality doesn’t get any better than this. We’re the real deal,” Wilkoff said.

Kenyon has been sourcing part of their meat, dairy and vegetable demand from central Ohio growers for seven years through its local food program with AVI.

Friday, the college opened its kitchen to several growers from the area for an Institutional Sourcing of Local Food Tour. Attendees toured the kitchen, ate fresh produce in the cafeteria and heard from Marsh how the partnership works.

“(This partnership) is good for people working on a relatively large scale or just getting started,” Marsh said. “We’re willing to help local growers get started.”

The college is always looking for new growers and produce items, Marsh told the crowd.

The majority of red meats are bought locally, as is a variety of vegetables, apples, butter, honey and some dairy products.

“Just about everything on the salad bar is locally grown,” Marsh said. “Including the yogurt, eggs, black beans and shredded cheeses.”

Most lettuce and spinach is sourced elsewhere, though, Marsh said, because local farmers are not able to produce enough to meet needs.

The cafeteria goes through 144 pints of cherry tomatoes in one day, Marsh said. The cafeteria serves about 1,500 people daily.

Last year, Kenyon students ate 22,000 pounds of potatoes, 20,000 pounds of apples, 6,000 pounds of onions, 4,000 pounds of broccoli, 4,000 pints of cherry tomatoes, 5,000 pounds of slicing tomatoes, 29,000 pounds of beef and 10,000 pounds of pork from local growers, according to Marsh’s records.

“Labor is the biggest problem,” Marsh said. “We can’t find enough local growers to provide what we need. It’s hard to entice people to grow something specifically for you.”

That’s why Marsh says building a relationship with local farmers is the most important part of his job.

“If you make a deal with a local farmer, you have to honor it,” Marsh said. “This is somebody’s livelihood.”

“I know I better take care of my grower because if I don’t, I won’t have any,” Marsh said.

Creekside Produce farmer Jonathon Byler is one of the many local farmers supplying the college with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, winter squash and beets.

Byler said his partnership with AVI has “been a big help to income. About 50 percent (of our produce) goes to retail and the other 50 percent goes to AVI.”

The company funded construction of two greenhouses on Byler’s property so he could continue growing for the college all year.

AVI picks up fresh produce from the farm four days a week, Byler said.

The success stories from area farmers had California residents Dan McLeod and Caitilin Bergman “encouraged” that farming can be a business. The couple is looking to move back to McLeod’s hometown of Mount Vernon within the next year to buy some land and start a farm.

“We want to make the transition over to farming education,” McLeod said. “We hope to make the facility a demonstration site and a site to produce a sustainable product.”

“Kenyon should be a model for other schools,” McLeod said.

Helen Sites, of Delaware County, said she just bought a 28-acre farm last year in Coshocton County. She attended the meeting to find an outlet to sell her crops.

“Last year I grew a lot of kale, but there was no market for it,” Sites said. “Most of it ended up going to chicken feed, so I’m looking for an outlet for whatever.”

Marsh said he is “most desperate” to find five items locally; basil, oats, lettuce, chicken meat and early potatoes that can be picked by the start of school in August.

As for winter crops, Marsh said, the need is “wide open.”