Pollinators, produce and Proving Ground Farm featured at Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Sweltering heat didn’t keep local residents from enjoying the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market on June 22, where vendors sold everything from fresh produce to handcrafted merchandise. Along with the vendors were two county organizations who play a vital role in making Seneca County a great place to live: the Seneca County OSU Extension Office and the Seneca Conservation District.

OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Pressley Buurma, talked about pollinators at the June 22 Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market. Here, Buurma, left, stops for a photo with Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart.

OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Pressley Buurma, attended the farmers market to talk to visitors about the importance of supporting pollinators throughout the county. Pressley said that bees are not the only creature to drag pollen from flower to flower. Plants also get vital assistance from bats.

“Bats are one of the most important pollinators because they pollinate when no one else does because they are nocturnal,” Buurma said. “Bats have really long tongues, and when they stick their heads in a flower, they get covered with pollen.”

Local residents who want to encourage bats into their yards – or want to draw them away from barns and garages – can install bat boxes or grow plants that attract bats. Supporting the local bat population and the flowers they pollinate is more important than ever because some species of bat in Ohio are suffering from White-Nose Syndrome, which causes a fatal fungus on the bat’s nose, ears, feet and wings in winter.

“They are dying off because of it,” Buurma said.

Buurma will return to the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market on Sept. 14 and also on Oct. 26, when the theme of her visit will be bats.

“Last year, I gave away bat stuffed animals and bat boxes,” she said.

More information on the Seneca County OSU Extension Office can be found at

H2Ohio Technicians Clint Lease and Maria Goshe from Seneca Conservation District (SCD) attended the farmers market to educate the public on the district’s many services throughout the county. SCD serves farms, schools and homeowners through a variety of services and programs, including ditch maintenance, the Farmland Preservation Program, farm equipment rental and Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio program.

Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart, center, stopped by the Seneca Conservation District stand to talk with H2Ohio Technicians Clint Lease, left, and Maria Goshe, right.

Although the H2Ohio program encompasses many goals, SCD focuses on partnering with local farmers to encourage healthy farming practices that help keep Ohio waters safe. About 125 Seneca County farmers have taken advantage of the voluntary, incentive-based program.

“About one-third of the farm acres in the county are enrolled in the H2Ohio program,” Goshe said.

SCD also operates Proving Ground Farm, a publicly-accessible farm that offers walking trails, fishing ponds, wetlands and 80 acres of cropland. Visitors may have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the many species of wildlife that make their home there, including deer, turkey, mink and a variety of birds. SCD offers field trips and community events on the farm.

“We had more field trips than ever before,” Lease said. “About 800 students attended field trips this year.”

SCD installed pens and fenced in pastures so staff could bring animals to the farm for events.

“We have two pygmy goats, sheep and over 20 chickens,” Lease said.

Proving Ground Farm is located at 5670 TR 138 in Tiffin. For more information, visit For more information on SCD, visit

Among the crowd that attended the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market was Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart, who enjoyed connecting with friends selling and buying goods at the downtown Tiffin market.

“I was really proud to see Pressley Buurma with OSU Extension and Clint Lease and Maria Goshe with Seneca Conservation District work through the heat, providing some great information to our community at the farmers market,” Frankart said.

The Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. JAM’s Markets, an indoor market featuring a variety of local vendors, is open whenever the farmers market is open. The farmers market is located on Madison St. in downtown Tiffin. For more information, visit the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market Facebook page.



The Seneca County Commissioners celebrate the long, colorful history of Seneca County, which celebrates its 200th birthday in 2024.