The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the fragility of our global food chain. It also demonstrated the remarkable resilience of local food systems as they adapted rapidly to meet changing needs. The 2021 OEFFA conference, Our Time: Essential Links for a Strong Food Chain, puts a spotlight on the historical moment in which we find ourselves. The possibilities are exciting, inspiring, and provocative. Through our keynote speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities, we will celebrate how we are building a more robust food system, identify challenges, and propose solutions.
As another sign of the time, the conference will be held online. The conference promises to be interactive and social, while still delivering the educational quality and resource-rich event you’ve come to expect. We know this brave new technological world can be daunting for some, so we are working to make it easy for people at all skill levels to attend.
Conference is the gift we give ourselves, and the nourishment of our gathering grows from all of us working together and co-creating a community so inspiring and resilient that it cannot help but flourish regardless of the obstacles before it. We’re committed to making this the best OEFFA conference yet! Who’s in?
Please save the dates for OEFFA’s 42nd annual conference and watch this page for more information coming soon. Details will be added as the big event comes together!
General Conference Schedule
OEFFA’s first virtual conference will have a unique schedule designed for you to experience the event as a cohesive community gathering, while also attending to your daily life.
Workshop sessions will run for four days with long breaks in between sessions so you can get your chores done, take screen breaks, and still access lots of great content. If you cannot take off work, missed a session because your cows got out, or you had to deal with a toddler naptime, you will have full access to the recorded webinars through the online portal.
Keynote speakers will present in the evenings. Special exhibit hall times where you can engage with exhibitors will be scattered throughout the event, with the additional option of scheduling private conversations with exhibitors. We also hope to offer some children’s programming at times convenient for families, and other special opportunities, such as cooking at home under the instruction of a professional chef. In-depth Food and Farm School sessions and an “encore” day to meet up with others and share conference highlights will round out this six day event.
We are working on an exciting slate of speakers and creative ways to make the virtual conference a special experience all its own, while still feeling like OEFFA. Watch for more information about the conference schedule this fall!
Sponsors and Exhibitors
The virtual exhibit hall is a convenient way to learn more about companies and organizations that serve sustainable agriculture. Each exhibitor will have their own profile with information about their company or organization. You will be able to search exhibitor profiles by name and category, track exhibitors you are interested in, make personal notes on each exhibitor’s profile, request a follow up, schedule a meeting, download promotional materials, and even write reviews.
Exhibitors can increase their visibility across the conference through sponsorship and presenting sponsor opportunities that include ads, announcements, and the ability to present a keynote speaker, workshop track, or other exciting conference activities.
Sponsor and exhibitor registration is now open! Sign up early to be included in all pre-conference publicity! If you have questions about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Renee Hunt at email@example.com or (614) 947-1642.
The Virtual Conference “Center”
We are excited to host our conference on Socio. Socio is an app and online event platform that allows you to attend sessions, organize your schedule, interact with vendors, and network with other attendees. Think of it as a private social media platform that you enter for the duration of the conference. You can create your own profile with as much or as little information about you as you wish to share and use that profile to engage with the other folks at OEFFA. Here are a few features we find particularly exciting:
- The scheduling tool allows you to create your own schedule and get reminders.
- You can easily join sessions from your computer or phone.
- Messaging other attendees is quick and easy.
- Sharing contact information with each other is even easier. And no need to hunt for a pen!
- There’s a message board for engaging with important food and agricultural issues and sharing information.
- There are games that allow you to score points and win prizes by completing fun tasks.
- The event will be available on Socio for a limited time after it ends, so you can re-watch recorded sessions.
Conference artwork created by Kevin Morgan Studio. Conference photography provided by Ed Chen.