Welcome

OEFFA's 42nd Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Register by February 8!

OEFFA’s can’t-miss conference offers up to six days of learning, sharing, and networking for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and others committed to local food, sustainable agriculture, and green living.

This online event will feature educational workshop video sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, in-depth Food and Farm School classes, an interactive virtual trade show, and fun and engaging networking opportunities.

Beyond all of the top-notch education this conference will provide, the Socio app and online event platform easily allow you to join by computer or phone, organize your schedule, interact with vendors, message other attendees, play games, share contact information, and re-watch recorded sessions.

Please join this inspiring community of food and farm advocates to learn, engage, and build a strong food chain!

See registration pricing and scholarship information.



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Sustainable Agriculture Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

OEFFA’s first virtual conference will have a unique and diverse schedule designed for you to learn and experience the event as a part of the OEFFA community, while also attending to your daily life:

Wednesday, February 10

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Make More Money by Investing in Soil Health**
10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.Food and Farm School*
7:00-8:30 p.m.Welcome, Keynote Address with Will Harris Presented by Turner Farm

Thursday, February 11

12:00-1:00 p.m.Southeast Ohio Chapter Meet Up
1:00-2:00 p.m.Workshop Session I
2:00-3:00 p.m.Exhibit Hall Break
3:30-4:30 p.m.MOON (Miami Oxford Organic Network) Chapter Meet Up
4:30-5:30 p.m.Workshop Session II
5:30-6:30 p.m.Virtual Land Linking Mixer**
7:00-8:00 p.m.Members’ Meeting**

Friday, February 12

9:00-9:30 a.m.A Conversation with Senator Sherrod Brown
10:00-11:00 a.m.Workshop Session III
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Market Gardening Chapter Meet Up
1:00-2:00 p.m.Workshop Session IV
2:00-3:00 p.m.Exhibit Hall Break
3:00-4:00 p.m.Grain Growers Chapter Meet Up
3:30-4:30 p.m.Southwest Ohio (SWOEFFA) Chapter Meet Up
4:30-5:30 p.m.Debate: The Future of Certified Organic and Hydroponic Production Presented by Earth Tools
6:00-7:00 p.m.Mixing Craft Cocktails: An Educational Happy Hour Presented by Western Reserve Distillery
7:00-8:30 p.m.Organic Farming to Heal a Climate in Crisis with the Real Organic Project

Saturday, February 13

10:00-11:00 a.m.Workshop Session V
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Marketing Our Organic Ohio Chapter Meet Up
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Lake Effect Chapter Meet Up
1:00-2:00 p.m.Workshop Session VI
2:00-3:00 p.m.Exhibit Hall Break
4:30-5:30 p.m.Up for Debate: Lab-Grown Meat Presented by Earth Tools
5:30-6:30 p.m.Exhibit Hall Break
7:00-8:30 p.m.Announcements, Keynote Address with Dr. Elaine Ingham Presented by Turner Farm
8:30-9:30 p.m.OEFFA Open Mic Night

Sunday, February 14

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.A Conversation About Faith, Food, and Race with Bp. Marcia Dinkins and Dr. Timothy Van Meter
1:00-2:00 p.m.Workshop Session VII
2:00-3:00 p.m.Exhibit Hall Break
3:00-3:30 p.m.Heart of Ohio Chapter Meet Up
3:30-4:30 p.m.Little Miami Chapter Meet Up
4:00-5:00 p.m.Workshop Session VIII
5:00-7:00 p.m.Chefinar with Fēst*
7:00-8:30 p.m.Announcements, Keynote Address with Navina Khanna Presented by Turner Farm

Monday, February 15

Community Day for Reflection, Regeneration, and Action
10:00-11:00 a.m.Our Time Is Now: Conversations About 2020 and the Road Ahead
1:00-2:00 p.m.OEFFA Strategic Planning Listening Session**
3:00-4:00 p.m.Youth Agricultural Education Chapter Meet Up
4:30-5:30 p.m.Essential Conversations with OEFFA Changemakers

Schedule is subject to change. All times Eastern.

*Registration for the Food and Farm School classes and Chefinar must be purchased separately; they are not included in general registration.

**OEFFA members are invited to attend the members’ meeting, strategic plan listening session, and virtual land linking mixer at no cost. The Make More Money by Investing in Soil Health workshop is also free, but registration is required. All other conference events require paid registration.


Keynote Speakers

Will Harris

Regenerating Land with Livestock

February 10 Keynote Address

Will Harris is a fourth-generation cattleman at White Oak Pastures, recognized as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability.

White Oak Pastures is a 154-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia raising chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guineas, hogs, rabbits, cattle, goats, sheep, and laying hens, along with certified organic vegetables. The farm is Certified Non-GMO, Certified Grassfed, Certified Humane, Certified EOV, and rated Step 4 in the Global Animal Partnership.

White Oak Pastures is committed to regenerative land management, humane animal husbandry, multi-species rotational grazing, and revitalizing their local community. Their zero-waste production system utilizes each part of the animals that they pasture-raise and hand-butcher on farm. The on-farm meat processing facilities, or abattoirs, have allowed them to vertically integrate their production system, control the quality of their products, and hire 165 employees, making them the largest private employer in the county. Their USDA-inspected beef abattoir, designed by Temple Grandin, is only the second of its kind in the United States, and their USDA-inspected poultry abattoir, is the only one in Georgia and the region available for pastured poultry.

Will has previously served as the Beef Director of the American Grassfed Association and president of the board of directors of Georgia Organics. He was named 2011 Georgia Business Person of the Year. White Oak Pastures is one of only 23 global Savory Hubs.

Read more about Will Harris here.

Dr. Elaine Ingham

Soil vs. Dirt: Connecting Plant and Human Microbiomes

February 13 Keynote Address

Dr. Elaine Ingham is founder and president of Soil Food Web and director of Soil Food Web School. For the past four decades, she has pioneered research in the field of soil biology and is widely recognized as the world’s foremost soil biologist.

Her goal is to empower farmers to restore the ecological functions of living soils all over the world, ensuring healthy, strong plants and nutritious food, while eliminating soil erosion and the need for chemical inputs.

She has a master’s in microbiology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in microbiology from Colorado State University. Elaine served as chief scientist at The Rodale Institute from 2011-2013. She has previously served as a professor of forest science, botany, and plant pathology at Oregon State University, affiliate professor of sustainable living at Maharishi University of Management, adjunct faculty at Southern Cross University, visiting professor at Melbourne University, and program chair of the Ecological Society of America.

She is author of the USDA’s Soil Biology Primer, The Compost Tea Brewing Manual, The Soil Foodweb, and other publications.

Read more about Dr. Elaine Ingham here.

Navina Khanna

Rooted, Ready, and Resilient:
Cultivating a Movement for Crisis-Proof Food Systems

February 14 Keynote Address

Navina Khanna has dedicated more than 15 years to creating a more just and sustainable world through transforming food systems.

She is Director of HEAL Food Alliance, which works to build collective power to create food and farm systems that are healthy for families, accessible and affordable to communities, and fair to the people who grow, distribute, prepare, and serve food.

With a background in sustainable agriculture and food justice, she’s worked as an educator, community organizer, and policy advocate, organizing across sectors and communities. Navina serves on the Board of Richmond’s Urban Tilth, advises the Real Food Media Project, and organizes with #Asians4BlackLives.

A first-generation South Asian American, Navina’s worldview is shaped by growing up and growing food in India and the U.S. She previously worked with other people of color committed to food system change to launch the HOPE (Health for Oakland’s People and Environment) Collaborative. In 2011, she coordinated Food and Freedom Rides, traveling 3,000 miles across the country to honor the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement’s Freedom Rides and bring attention to food-related injustices.

She holds a master’s in international agricultural development from the University of California at Davis, where she also helped to develop the first undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture at a land-grant university.

In 2014, her work was recognized with a James Beard Leadership Award.

Read more about Navina Khanna here.

Keynotes presented by:

Turner Farm

Sustainable Agriculture Online Conference

The Virtual Conference Environment

SOCIO

We are excited to host our conference on Socio. Socio is a mobile and web app platform that easily allows you to attend video sessions, organize your schedule, interact with vendors, and network with other attendees. Think of it as a private social media world that you enter for the duration of the conference. You can quickly create your own profile (with as much or as little information as you want) and use that profile to engage with other folks at the event.

Beyond of all the top-notch education this conference will provide, the online environment means you also have the option to:

  • Create your own custom schedule and get reminders
  • Join sessions from your computer or phone
  • Send private messages to other attendees
  • Share contact information easily with vendors and attendees
  • Use the message board to engage others and share information
  • Play games to score points and win prizes
  • Re-watch recorded sessions until March 31!

The platform and app are easy to use! Read OEFFA’s guide to the conference mobile and web app for easy-to-follow instructions to help you navigate this new virtual world. If you need additional assistance, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or visit the help desk during the event.


FOOD AND FARM SCHOOL CLASSES

Wednesday, February 10—10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET
Not included in general registration. $50 members/$75 non-members

The Soil Food Web: Structure and Function

World renowned soil biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham will lead an in-depth, three-part exploration of the soil food web and strategies for making it work for you. The first part will lay the foundation by exploring how the correct soil biology can dramatically help desired plants, and the six benefits to plants from a healthy soil food web. In the second part of the class, Elaine will turn theory into practice you can use. She’ll describe how to measure microbes, what makes plants healthy, and share techniques for getting your soil food web established and functioning. She’ll conclude by giving real world examples showcasing the ways in which people learned what was wrong with their soil and how they managed to balance their soil organisms.

Happy Pigs Taste Better

What does it take to raise a happy pig? Ethically managing pigs requires an understanding of their natural behavior, including factors such as social grouping, mating, territory, housing, and, of course, their love of wallowing in the mud. Successfully managing pigs requires an understanding of what hogs need in their diet to grow and thrive, the role pasturing plays in hog nutrition and welfare, and how to keep hogs healthy without resorting to synthetic medications. This workshop led by hog farmer and Fedco Seeds Organic Growers Supply division manager Alice Percy provides an in-depth introduction to raising happy pigs.

Raw Milk Risk Management

Raw milk produced for the processor is different from raw milk for the people. Raw milk intended for direct human consumption must be produced with careful intention in order to be a healthy, safe food which benefits both the consumers and the farmers.

This Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) training day focuses on the benefits of raw milk, grass-to-glass identification of risks, development of a risk management plan, and lessons learned from other raw milk dairies. This training has been shown to reduce outbreaks and illnesses, increase safety, and lower insurance costs.

Speakers include Mark McAfee, RAWMI Chairman and Owner of Organic Pastures Dairy in California; Sarah Smith, RAWMI Director and Board Secretary; Joseph Heckman, PhD, RAWMI Director and Professor of Soil Science at Rutgers University; and Edwin Shank, owner of The Family Cow dairy in Pennsylvania.


FEATURED CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Jo Ann Baumgartner

Jo Ann Baumgartner

Jo Ann Baumgartner is the executive director of Wild Farm Alliance (WFA). She is the author of many publications on biodiversity conservation and agriculture, covering topics like beneficial birds, conservation mandates within the National Organic Program, and the co-management of food safety and conservation. Before joining WFA in 2001, she was an organic farmer and senior research editor for a book on California’s rare wildlife species.

Dave Dowling

Dave Dowling

Dave Dowling has helped advise cut flower growers across the country as a sales representative at Ball Horticulture and Ednie Flower Bulb. He has more than 20 years experience as a cut flower farmer in Maryland, selling year-round at farmers markets, grocery stores, florists, and designers. Dave has served as President, Industry Liaison, and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Kamyar Enshayan

Kamyar Enshayan

In the early days of OEFFA, member Kamyar Enshayan wrote the beloved “Ask Dr. Head-in-the Sand Twisted” column for OEFFA’s newsletter. He now lives in north- east Iowa where he works to strengthen the region’s local food economy. He is an agricultural engineer by training and helps his students understand why we need food system transformation everywhere, but especially in the Midwest.

Joel Gruver

Joel Gruver

Dr. Joel Gruver is an Associate Professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture at Western Illinois University (WIU). He is the Director of the WIU Organic Research Program and conducts large scale replicated field experiments each year at the WIU Organic Research Farm, where he examines cover crops, nutrient sources, crop genetics, weed control practices, and solar corridors in organic cropping systems.

Alice Percy

Alice Percy

For 10 years, Alice Percy operated a commercial hog operation, becoming the largest certified hog producer in Maine. Alice has mentored hog farmers through the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), presented workshops on organic hog husbandry at MOFGA events and the annual Northeast Organic Farmers Association summer conference, and served on the MOFGA board. She currently works as the manager of the Organic Growers Supply division at Fedco Seeds.

Buy Alice’s book Happy Pigs Taste Better!

Holly Ripon-Butler

Holly Ripon-Butler

As the National Young Farmer Coalition’s Land Access Director, Holly Ripon-Butler works to ensure that current and future generations of farmers have access to land on which they can support a career in agriculture. Holly grew up on her family’s multi-generation dairy and beef farm in upstate New York, where she continues to farm with her parents.

Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz

For 32 years, Mark Schultz has led numerous successful farm and rural organizing campaigns at the Land Stewardship Project, including development, passage, and implementation of the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. He has been a leader in building the power of Minnesota’s progressive movement and served in key roles with national racial, economic, and environmental justice organizations.

Erin Silva

Erin Silva

Dr. Erin Silva is an Associate Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on sustainable and organic cropping systems, including cover crops, no-till production, variety selection, and the impact of organic management on the soil. Erin has launched an organic grain training program, OGRAIN, for farmers in the upper Midwest and serves on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council.


CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Included in general registration. Re-watch recorded workshops until March 31. Workshops are subject to change. Workshop descriptions are available here.

Thursday
February 11

Workshop Session I: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Advocating for Organic—Patty Lovera, Organic Farmers Association

Three Practical Strategies to Improve Access to Fruits and Vegetables Among Vulnerable Populations—Kamyar Enshayan, University of Northern Iowa

Proven Strategies for Profitable Urban Agriculture—Lisa Helm Hancock, Dayton Urban Grown Cooperative

Setting Up an Efficient Seed Starting Workspace—George Mertz, Patchwork Gardens

Utilizing Side-Dressed Swine Manure in Organic Corn—Eric Richer and Glen Arnold, The Ohio State University Extension

Poultry Disease Diagnosis—Mohamed El-Gazzar, Iowa State University

When Your Cows are Tired of Hearing About It: Addressing Farmer Mental Health—Kelly Cabral, The Ohio State University

Growing and Thriving on E-Commerce for Farmers’ Markets—Ross Olsen and Sam Sharkey, Ohio Farmers’ Market Network

Thursday
February 11

Workshop Session II: 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET

Creating Fair, Democratic Workplaces: Walking Our Talk—Liz Henderson, Agricultural Justice Project

Tips and Tools for On-Farm Research—Cassy Brown and Elizabeth Hawkins, The Ohio State University

Soil Lead: Myths and Facts—Alyssa Zearley, The Ohio State University

Pivoting from Tillage to No-Till Practices in Vegetable Production—Matt Herbruck, Birdsong Farm

Farming with the Grain–Mark Dobson, reMARKable Farms

Live Question and Answer with Will Harris—Will Harris, White Oak Pastures

Practical Biogas Systems for Home and Small Farms—Matt Steiman, Dickinson College Farm

COVID and Organic Agriculture: One Year Later—Kellee James and Megan Thomas, Mercaris

Friday
February 12

Workshop Session III: 10:00-11:00 a.m. ET

Opportunity in Crisis: Building Power for a Sustainable and Just Food System in Ohio—Tevis Foreman, Produce Perks Midwest, Jaime Hadji, Ohio Farmers’ Market Network, Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA, Amy Bodiker Baskes, Ohio Food Policy Network, Brian Estabrook, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning

Organic Machinery for No-Till and Weed Control—Jos Pelgröm, Treffler Man@Machine

Reliable, Restorative Harvests: Securing Supply with Easy-to-Grow, Nutritious Foods and Herbs—Barbara Utendorf, Wilmington College

Successful Succession Planting and Planning for the Flower Holidays—Dave Dowling, Ball Seed

Organic Perennial Grain Crops for Grain and Forage—Steve Culman, The Ohio State University Extension

Pasture-Based Livestock: Advancing Ecological, Economic, and Emotional Resilience—Paul Dorrance, Pastured Providence

Ohio AgrAbility: Assistive Technology to Keep You Farming— Laura Akgerman and Rachel Jarman, Ohio AgrAbility

Do Private Carbon Markets Make Sense for Farmers or the Climate?—Colin Mitchell, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Ben Lilliston, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Friday
February 12

Workshop Session IV: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

The Right to Grow: Working at the Local Level to Expand Urban Agriculture—Brittany Jones, University of Toledo

Compost Quest for Glory: Exploring Newly Developed Methods— Nathan Rutz, Rust Belt Riders Composting

Heritage Meat Rabbits for the Homestead and Small Farm—Jerah Pettibone, Pettibone Urban Game

Irrigation System Design for Organic Production—Evan Axelbaum, Front Axle Farm

Organic Grain Market Outlook— Megan Thomas, Mercaris

Forage Grasses and the Impact on Birdsfoot Trefoil—Nathan Blake, West Virginia University

Civic Agriculture in a Food Desert: Healthy Living in Bronzeville—Julialynne Walker, Bronzeville Growers Market

E-Commerce Solutions for Direct-Marketing Farms—Michael Parker, National Young Farmers Coalition


Saturday
February 13

Workshop Session V: 10:00-11:00 a.m. ET

A Bigger Food Movement: Building and Maintaining Broader Coalitions—Brennan Grayson, Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center and the Good Food Cincinnati Coalition

Organic Seeds and You: Insights from the Seed World—Daniel Eggert, High Mowing Organic Seeds

Incorporating Native Plants in Your Landscapes—Dianne Kadonaga, Sunny Glen Garden

Using Shade Cloth and Sprinklers to Mitigate Summer Heat for Leafy Greens—Michelle Nowak, Franklinton Farms, Tim McDermott, The Ohio State University Extension

Intensifying Cover Crops in Organic Grain Systems through Interseeding—Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Happy Pigs Taste Better—Alice Percy, Fedco Seeds

Marketing Organic Products in Ohio—Monica Bongue-Bartelsman, Muddy Fork Farm

Saturday
February 13

Workshop Session VI: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Building OEFFA’s Impact on the Food and Farm System—Mark Schultz

Life in the Soil: The Soil Food Web’s Five Over-Arching Principles—Elaine Ingham, Soil Food Web

Foraging: It’s Not Just for the Wilderness—Alexis Nikole Nelson, Black Forager

Growing Late Season Tomatoes Using Suckers vs. Seeds—Guy and Sandy Ashmore, That Guy’s Family Farm

Crop Rotation: Evolving, Not Revolving, for Improved Management—Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University

How Dairy Farms Can Thrive in Our Changing World—Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Dairy

Mulberry: An Easy Fruit and Forage Crop for Any Farm—Weston Lombard, Solid Ground Farm

What’s Your Break Even Price?—Ellen Polishuk, Plant to Profit

Sunday
February 14

Workshop Session VII: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET

Getting Your Hands Dirty: Fighting Polluting Energy Projects in Our Communities—Rose Monahan and Lauren Ketcham, Friends of Perry State Forest

Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds—Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance

Gardening: Where to Start, Where to Finish—Deb Knapke, GardenComm

Successional Planting in High Tunnels—Dana Hilfinger, Central State University

Integrating Steel and Ecology for Better Weed Management— Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University

Adding Livestock Guardian Dogs to Your Farm: Things to Know—Keba Hitzeman, Innisfree on the Stillwater

Natural Building and Remodeling Home Tour—Nick Leone

Diversify Smarter, Not Harder—Alexis Dragovich, Mud Run Farm, Chelsea Gandy, Fox Hollow Farm

Sunday
February 14

Workshop Session VIII: 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET

Land Access: Advocacy Tools You Can Use—Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

Tips and Tricks for Being Carbon Conscious— Theresa Isemann, Mission of Mary Cooperative

Pesticides Wintering in Your Hives—Michele Colopy, LEAD for Pollinators

Growing Organic Gourmet Garlic in Midwest Climates—Rod and Jennifer Sharpnack, Family Roots Farm

Soil Health Economics in an Organic System—Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Expanding Appalachia Ohio’s Artisanal Meat Production—Leslie Schaller, ACEnet

Achieving Personal Food Sovereignty through Community— Sherry Chen, Andelain Fields

Online and Social Media Marketing: Where Do You Belong?—Angela Blatt, The Ohio State University Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, Lyndsey and Seth Teter, Six Buckets Farm


SPECIAL EVENTS

Organic Farming

to Heal a Climate in Crisis

with the Real Organic Project

Friday, February 12—7:00-8:30 p.m. ET
Included in general registration

Organic farming is one of the most powerful tools we have for building a prosperous future in the face of the climate crisis. That future demands a food system rooted in the soil and based on integrity and transparency. In this very special presentation, the Real Organic Project’s Linley Dixon and Dave Chapman will use excerpts from the Real Organic Symposium to seed a lively discussion with OEFFA attendees. The pre-recorded excerpts feature our movement’s brightest minds and most passionate advocates reflecting on the organic movement’s beginnings, and the connections between organic farming and addressing climate change. Add your voice to the conversation!

Open Mic

Open Mic Night

Saturday, February 13—8:30-9:30 p.m. ET
Included in general registration

Share your artistic side with your OEFFA family during a very special virtual open mic night. Songs, poems, stories, and skits are welcome; please share whatever moves you. Once the conference begins, attendees will be able to sign up for spots on a first- come, first-served basis until all the spaces are filled.


Friday, February 12—4:30-5:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 13—4:30-5:30 p.m. ET

Included in general registration

OEFFA is excited to offer two thought-provoking conversations presented by Earth Tools.

The Future of Certified Organic and Hydroponic Production: A Congenial Debate

Few questions have stirred up the organic community as much as this one: Can hydroponic farming systems be certified organic?

During this substantive and thoughtful “Oxford debate,” Dave Chapman, Executive Director of the Real Organic Project, and Kelly Damewood, CEO of California Certified Organic Farmers, will share their distinct positions on whether hydroponics can be consistent with organic principles and what our path forward on this contentious issue should be.

Dave and Kelly will each offer an opening statement in support or opposition of the resolution: “The future of certified organic production includes hydroponics.” The moderator and audience members will then be able to ask questions, and each will make a closing statement. The audience’s position on the resolution will be polled before and after the debate to determine which side was able to change the most minds.

Up for Debate: Lab-Grown Meat

Many companies all over the world are developing “meat” products from animal cells cultured in laboratories. In December, Singapore approved lab-grown “chicken” for public consumption, becoming the first country to allow cultured meat to enter its commercial food supply. Advocates promote this technology as environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free, but many questions remain about the veracity of these claims, the safety of this technology, and the regulatory environment it will be subject to.

We hoped to host a robust debate about the promises and pitfalls of lab-grown meat, but proponents declined to participate. Instead, Center for Food Safety Policy Director Jaydee Hanson will seed the conversation with an overview of the technologies involved, where they are in development, how they may or may not be regulated, and what we know and do not know about their impacts on the environment, animal welfare, and human health.

Come to discuss your concerns and ask questions!

Quest 4 Points Game

Included in general registration

Racking up points playing the OEFFA Conference Quest 4 Points Game can literally earn you bread—and cookies, and other baked good deliciousness!

Five winners will get a $100 certificate to the Eban’s Bakehouse online store! All of Eban’s products are made from quality ingredients, and because they are delicious and gluten free, everyone will enjoy them!


Virtual Land Linking Mixer

Thursday, February 11—5:30-6:30 p.m. ET
Free and open to the public

Join national land transfer expert Kathy Ruhf from Land For Good and Begin Farming Program Coordinator Rachel Tayse for the conference’s fifth annual networking conversation for land seekers and landowners! If you are a farmer looking for land or a landowner seeking a farmer, join us to share your stories, ask questions, and explore new opportunities. Registration isn’t required; join using this link.

Can’t make the mixer? Visit the Begin Farming booth in the conference exhibit hall, browse landowner and land seeker profiles online at Heartland FarmLink, or contact Rachel at (614) 947-1633 or rachel@oeffa.org for land transfer support.


Members’ Meeting

Thursday, February 11—7:00 p.m. ET
Free and open to all OEFFA members

Join us for OEFFA’s annual membership meeting, the time each year when our members come together to hear the latest about OEFFA and share their own thoughts. This is YOUR organization. Please come to listen, learn, and share as we vote for Trustees and kick off strategic planning. Registration isn’t required; join using this link.


Mixing Craft Cocktails

MIXING CRAFT

COCKTAILS

An Educational Happy Hour

with the Western Reserve Distillers

Friday, February 12—6:00-7:00 p.m. ET
Included in general registration

Looking to shake things up this Valentines Day?! Hand crafting a cocktail for that special someone is a great way to show them how much they mean to you. Western Reserve Distillers, Ohio’s only certified organic craft distillery, is hosting a mixology lesson in which you will learn about distilled spirits and make two shaken cocktails: a vodka gimlet and a vodka sidecar. Meet organic farmer Dean McIlvaine of Twin Parks Organic Farm, who supplies meat proteins for the distillery’s onsite restaurant.

Come prepared to mix things up using this list of cocktail ingredients and supplies and locations for finding Western Reserve spirits near you. Or, just show up to enjoy the company of others after a day of learning and networking!

Chefinar

Sunday, February 14—5:00-7:00 p.m. ET
Chefinar registration is now closed

Prepare dinner in your kitchen with a Michelin star-rated chef! This live, interactive virtual cooking class led by Fēst’s exceptional chefs, including Chef Tiffany Swan, will guide participants through a delicious meal: chickpea sofrito with creamy polenta and roasted root vegetables, with apple galette for dessert. The ingredient list will be shared ahead of time, so you can gather everything and be ready to cook!


A Conversation with Senator Sherrod Brown

Friday, February 12—3:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Included in general registration

OEFFA welcomes Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for a special conversation about the issues that matter most to OEFFA members. After brief opening remarks, Senator Brown will answer your questions about agriculture, food access, and policy.

If you are interested in submitting a question to the Senator, please contact OEFFA Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu by February 7 at amalie@oeffa.org and include your contact information.

Senator Brown was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and serves on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, where he has been instrumental in strengthening the farm safety net and addressing childhood hunger. He was recognized by OEFFA in 2018 with the Food and Farm Champion Award for his consistent work supporting investments in local and regional food systems that contribute to farmer viability, job creation, and improved public health.


Make More Money by Investing in Soil Health

Wednesday, February 10—9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Free! Not included in general registration; separate registration required.

Healthier soils can make farmers more money. This free, half-day workshop will provide farmers with real world data on the benefits of soil health practices and field-tested methods to improve your farm’s bottom line and the soil.

Brian Brandt of the American Farmland Trust, with three participating farmers, will share the results of their case studies quantifying the financial and ecological impacts of soil health practices on real working farms. To help Ohio farmers achieve these benefits on their own farms, nationally recognized Ohio no-till farmer David Brandt, cover crop specialist and seed dealer Ann Brandt, and Muskingum County Soil and Water Conservation District Agricultural Resource Specialist Van Slack will share agronomist recommendations on best practices and compare those to their current practice, yields, and profitability per acre using an input worksheet.


A Community Day for Reflection, Regeneration, and Action

The final day of conference reserves time for reflection and action. Hear one-on-one interviews with OEFFA changemakers and and essential conversations with diverse voices in the food system about their experiences this year and what they are doing to prepare for 2021. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your feedback and ideas for building collective strength and developing a new strategic plan to guide OEFFA’s work.

Our Time Is Now: Conversations About 2020 and the Road Ahead

Monday, February 15—10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET
Included in general registration

2020 has been a hard year for all of us. From the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastation of lives, businesses, and social fabric, to the killing of George Floyd, the ensuing protests, and the urgency and awareness it created around long standing injustices, all of us have lost this year, all of us have faced uncertainty, and all of us persevered. In our perseverance we learned, we grew, and we now look ahead to a world that will never be the same and we have no choice but to try and shape for the better. In that spirit of reflection and action, OEFFA will host a series of panels on the final day of conference featuring a diverse array of people from all over our food system. We will ask them how their year went, what they faced, how they adapted, what gives them hope, and how they plan to move forward stronger.

OEFFA Strategic Plan Listening Session

Monday, February 15—1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Free and open to all OEFFA members

OEFFA is working on a new strategic plan, and we want to hear from you, our members, as we set our goals and priorities for the coming years. Join us for an open, honest, and welcoming conversation about the big questions we face as an organization, the strengths and weaknesses we have, the opportunities emerging in the coming years, and the issues most important to you. Registration isn’t required; join using this link.

Essential Conversations with OEFFA Changemakers

Monday, February 15—4:30-5:30 p.m. ET
Included in general registration

One of the most inspiring things about OEFFA is our members’ passion, dedication, and unique stories. It may be cliché to say, but it is fundamentally true that we cannot do what we do without you. To drive this point home, and simply to have an excuse to chat with some of the insightful folks who make OEFFA what it is, our staff will record interviews with a few of the OEFFA members who have shown up for us over the years to learn more about what inspires them. These are folks whom we rely on to move our work forward, and we think you should get to know them.


EXHIBIT HALL

Exhibit Hall Hours

Open throughout conference!

Dedicated exhibit hall hours:

Thursday-Sunday 2-3 p.m. ET

Saturday 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET

Visiting exhibitors is easier than ever! Just click on the online trade show to find a diversity of vendors, offering you a one-stop shopping experience. You’ll find businesses that can help you find your market, products that you can use on your farm or in your backyard, services that will help your farm or homestead succeed, quality locally-produced merchandise for your pantry and home, and useful information from knowledgeable nonprofit and educational institutions.

The online experience makes it simple to send an instant request for more information, and you can even sort the exhibitor list if you are searching for specific goods or services. Grab informational handouts, watch educational videos, and connect to online stores. Talk directly with representatives through Zoom, phone, or electronic messaging. Learn more about the conference’s virtual exhibit hall and networking features here.

ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ASSISTANCE

OEFFA Certification

Are you certified organic or considering certification?
OEFFA Certification welcomes your questions and wants to help you with your paperwork! Visit the OEFFA Certification booth in the exhibit hall. Staff will answer questions about the organic certification process, standards, and guidelines, and provide one-on-one assistance as needed. Aluminum “No Spray” and other signs and organic logo stickers are available for sale on the OEFFA online store.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Getting your hands on OEFFA swag is now easier than ever, just in time for the holidays and in anticipation of OEFFA’s first online conference!

CLOZTALK, an online merchandise business set up to help raise not-for-profit awareness, selected OEFFA as one of its charities. A wide selection of branded clothing—t-shirts, hoodies, trucker baseball caps, and much more—is available. Shopping and delivery are made easy, and OEFFA receives a share of CLOZTALK’s net profits.

Shop OEFFA merchandise now!

ACRES USA Bookstore

We know the OEFFA book table is a big part of the annual conference trade show experience, and this year OEFFA is excited to still bring you a comprehensive selection of books right at your fingertips…virtually! OEFFA is partnering with Acres USA to offer books from Chelsea Green Publishing and many others, so you’ll be able to order many of the same great farming and food-related titles.

Shop for books now!

Mini-NCR-SARE Farmers Forum

Included in general registration

SARE

OEFFA is proud to host a mini North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR- SARE) Farmers Forum! Workshops describing projects funded by the NCR-SARE Program are found throughout the conference workshop schedule, featuring topics like meat rabbits, using suckers for late season tomatoes, value-added processing for meat, and mulberry production.

Kid's

Children’s Activities

Included in general registration

The OEFFA conference is for kids too! OEFFA’s Youth Agricultural Education Chapter is organizing 1 live event and 5 on-demand activities for our youngest farmers and foodies. Children do not need to register separately to attend.

Write a letter to the president on Monday, February 15 or enjoy activities anytime like story time with Chapter President Josh Stephens, a digital escape barn and dungeon, or answer regenerative agriculture trivia.

Learn more here.

Chapter Meet Ups

Included in general registration

During conference, you can easily find a list of your fellow OEFFA chapter members attending the event using the filter feature of our conference app. Learn more about all the chapters, including their service areas, on our website. To change your chapter affiliations (select up to 4!), contact Kristy Yonyon at (614) 947-1611 or kristy@oeffa.org.

All are welcome at the following chapter meet ups:

Southeast Ohio Chapter
Thursday, February 11—12:00-1:00 p.m.

If you live in Southeast Ohio, you are encouraged to connect or reconnect with others in your region! Bring your ideas for what the chapter can do to make progress at the local, state, and national level. A chapter president and secretary will be chosen, so please consider serving.

MOON (Miami Oxford Organic Network) Chapter
Thursday, February 11—3:30-4:30 p.m.

For more than 20 years, the MOON chapter has collaborated with local residents and nonprofit groups enthusiastic about organic food and growing. Current leadership is ready to retire, so new member-leaders are needed to carry on the tradition. Join them to learn more about how you can get involved!

Market Gardening Chapter
Friday, February 12—11:00-12:30 p.m.

This chapter connects market gardeners throughout the state, holding meetings and potlucks and hosting a Facebook group for members. Join them in a unique virtual space that you’ll want to experience for yourself!

Grain Growers Chapter
Friday, February 12—3:00-4:00 p.m.

All current and up-and-coming organic grain producers are welcome to join this chapter meet up following the Organic Grain Market Outlook workshop and exhibit hall break. They will be discussing the state of our markets and takeaways from the first three days of conference. Don’t miss this opportunity to socialize with other growers and set yourself up for grain farming success.

Southwest Chapter (SWOEFFA)
Friday, February 12—3:30-4:30 p.m.
All are welcome to gather to greet members and learn more about this vibrant chapter. SWOEFFA’s 2020 monthly Zoom meetings have been lively, informative, and fun. Bring ideas for topics you’d like to learn about at future meetings!

Marketing Our Organic Ohio Chapter
Saturday, February 13—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

This newest OEFFA chapter’s goal is to increase communication about organic producers’ marketing efforts and help members learn from each other. Please join them for their first meeting as a chapter!

Lake Effect Chapter
Saturday, February 13—11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Socialize and enjoy a slideshow on the soil web of life. Learn about the chapter’s work to encourage the production and consumption of organic food in Northeast Ohio.

Heart of Ohio Chapter
Sunday, February 14—3:00-3:30 p.m.

Join members to discuss a plan to schedule quarterly farm tours and seasonal workshops. Join this meet up if you live in east central Ohio!

Little Miami Chapter
Sunday, February 14—3:30-4:30 p.m.

The chapter is a group of farmers, gardeners, and consumers dedicated to sharing and promoting organic growing practices, marketing, and new ideas. Join them to connect and encourage each other!

Youth Agricultural Education Chapter
Monday, February 15—3:00-4:00 p.m.

This chapter provides support and connection for OEFFA members who work with youth to cultivate the next generation of sustainable farmers and consumers. Join them to share strategies and ideas that promote sustainable agriculture instruction both inside and outside of traditional classroom environments.


CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

Registration Pricing at a Glance

Sliding scale payment options and scholarships available! Registration ends February 8.

Members
Non-Members

General Registration

Sliding scale for members begins at $90

$150.00

(suggested)

$190.00

NOFA-NY Conference Special*

Register by January 10

$250.00

$250.00

Students

Sliding scale for members begins at $90, Become a student member for $10!

$90.00

(suggested)

$110.00

Food and Farm School

$50.00

$75.00

Chefinar

Register by January 25

$35.00

$35.00

View OEFFA’s Frequently Asked Questions and Community Standards for participation in the OEFFA conference, as well as our conference mobile and web app guide.

*NOFA-NY CONFERENCE SPECIAL

We know 2020 has been a tough year, tougher for some. If you can make it possible for someone else to come to the OEFFA conference, you will be thanked with a complimentary registration to the Northeast Organic Farm Association-New York (NOFA-NY) conference online January 16-23!

Here’s the special give-and-get deal: For $250, you can register for both the OEFFA and NOFA-NY conferences and donate an OEFFA conference scholarship to someone else! And, like the OEFFA conference, if you can’t attend all the NOFA-NY sessions live, you can watch the videos on demand.

The NOFA-NY Conference Special ends January 10.

FLEXIBLE PRICING FOR OEFFA MEMBERS

Because this year has been hard on many people, OEFFA is offering a sliding scale for conference registration to our members. Members who can’t afford the full registration price of $150 can pay what they can, from as little as $90 until February 8. We want everyone who wants to attend to be able to attend! Contact Renee at (614) 947-1642 or renee@oeffa.org if you can’t afford the sliding scale price and don’t qualify to apply for a beginning farmer or diversity conference scholarship.


CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR PERSONS OF COLOR

Thanks to generous funds from the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) and others, OEFFA is able to offer scholarships to increase the diversity of conference attendees, with particular focus on underrepresented participants such as Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people who are or want to be in food system work, for example as farmers, farmworkers, food preparation and service workers, food nutrition and food system advocates, or food and farm educators. Award priority will be given to Ohio residents who have not previously attended the conference. Apply here or call Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642. Scholarships will be awarded beginning the week of January 4.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BEGINNING FARMERS

To support beginning farmers with a financial need, OEFFA will again offer scholarships to help farmers start or improve their operations. Click here to see if you’re eligible or to apply for a scholarship or contact Rachel Tayse at (614) 947-1633. The deadline to apply is January 6.

Begin Farming scholarships are made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY FARMERS

Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT) will award scholarships to cover registration fees for livestock and poultry farmers to participate in the 2021 OEFFA Conference. Scholarships are limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis to eligible farmers.


OUR SPONSORS

Turner Farm

Columbus, Indy and Kentucky Magazines



The Andersons
Columbus Irrigation Company
High Mowing Seeds
Farm and Dairy
Farm Aid
The Fertrell Company
KULT Kress
Mercaris
Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance
Ohio Earth Food
Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative
Agroecosystems Management Program (AMP), CFAES, OSU
Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)
OSU Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER)

Eban’s Bakehouse
Five Rivers MetroParks
Jorgensen Farms
Kevin Morgan Studio
Nature’s Path Foods

OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter
Plant Talk Radio
Shagbark Seed & Mill
Treffler Man@Machine
Western Reserve Distillers


Dayton Urban Green
Dayton Urban Grown
Nourse Farms
Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)
OSU AgrAbility Program

Rosebud’s Real Food
Snowville Creamery
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Weston A. Price Foundation


Conference Champions: Wesley Anderson, Amy Baskes, Bryna Chandler, Britton Devier, Steve Edwards, Carol Eichert, Christine Hughes, Susie Huser, Bob Huston, Ben Jackle, Katie Jesurun, David Karikomi, Nick Leone, Sean McGovern, Dean McIlvaine, Jeff Molnar, Logan Morrow, Harv Roehling, Helen Sites, Edward Snavely, Kim Whitehead, Anna Wolak


OEFFA GEAR from Cloztalk

Conference artwork created by Kevin Morgan Studio. Conference photography provided by Ed Chen.

OEFFA
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus OH 43214

oeffaoeffaorg

OEFFA:(614) 421-2022 (614) 421-2022
OEFFA Certification:(614) 262-2022 (614) 262-2022