It’s time we get back together again!
Save the date for OEFFA’s 43rd annual conference, Rooted and Rising, set for Saturday, February 12 online and Thursday, February 17-Saturday, February 19, 2022 in Dayton.
We are planning for hybrid conference event, which will offer you the best of both worlds, and registration will open by December. Read on for details and watch this page for more information as the big event comes together!
Saturday, February 12, 2022
|9:30-10:30 a.m.||Workshop Session I|
|11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.||Farm Bill Forecast|
|1:00-2:00 p.m.||Workshop Session II|
|3:00-4:00 p.m.||Workshop Session III|
|4:15-5:30 p.m.||Welcome, Keynote Address with Mary Hendrickson|
|7:00-8:00 p.m.||Members’ Meeting|
|8:00-9:30 p.m.||Open Mic Night|
Thursday, February 17, 2022
|10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.||Food and Farm School|
Friday, February 18, 2022
|8:00 a.m.||Exhibit Hall Opens|
|8:30-10:00 a.m.||Workshop Session IV|
|10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.||Community Conversations, Networking, and Exhibit Hall Break|
|1:00-2:30 p.m.||Workshop Session V|
|3:00-4:30 p.m.||Community Conversations, Networking, and Exhibit Hall Break|
|4:00-6:00 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Social|
|4:30-6:00 p.m.||Heartland FarmLink Mixer|
|6:00 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Closes|
Saturday, February 19, 2022
|8:00 a.m.||Exhibit Hall Opens|
|8:30-10:00 a.m.||Workshop Session VI|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Exhibit Hall Break|
|10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.||Workshop Session VII|
|12:00 p.m.||Lunch, Chapter Meet Ups, and Exhibit Hall Break|
|1:30 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Closes|
|1:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.||Announcements, Keynote Address with Francis Thicke|
Schedule is subject to change. Online events will take place on OEFFA’s Socio app and Zoom. In-person events will be held at the Dayton Convention Center unless otherwise noted. Recordings of the event will be accessible through the conference app until March 31. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time. Friday and Saturday lunches and registration for the Food and Farm School classes must be purchased separately; they are not included in general registration. OEFFA members are invited to attend the Members’ Meeting on February 12 and the Heartland FarmLink Mixer on February 18 at no cost. All other conference events require paid registration.
Corporate Power and Our Food System’s Future
February 12 Keynote Address
Mary Hendrickson is a rural sociologist whose passion is making the world a better place through food. As an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she specializes in community food systems, sustainable agriculture, rural development, competition and antitrust, and the sociology of agriculture and food. She also advises students in the university’s sustainable agriculture degree program.
She was previously an assistant professor in the University of Missouri’s Division of Applied Social Sciences. Prior to that, for nearly 15 years, she served as director of the Food Circles Networking Project and as associate director of the Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program for University of Missouri Extension, where she worked extensively with community groups to transform the food system. She has also previously served as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Rural Sociology, a Kellogg Food and Society fellow, and helped to create the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition.
Hendrickson has received many awards and honors over the years, including Fulbright Scholar to Iceland in 2020, Excellence in Instruction from the Rural Sociological Society in 2019, Outstanding Senior Teacher from the University of Missouri in 2019, Excellence in Extension and Outreach from the Rural Sociological Society in 2014, Meritorius Service Award from the National Farmers Union in 2012, the Cooperative Service Award from the National Farmers Union in 2002, and the Family Farm Leadership Award from the Missouri Farmers Union in 2001.
She earned a Ph.D. in rural sociology from the University of Missouri in 1997 and a Master’s degree in rural sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1994.
Our Roots are Regenerative
February 19 Keynote Address
Francis Thicke is a long-time dairy farmer, soil scientist, and leader in the organic community.
For 30 years, Thicke has owned and operated Radiance Dairy, a 736-acre grass-fed organic dairy farm in Fairfield, Iowa. With his wife Susan, they locally market value-added organic bottled milk, cheese, and yogurt, which they produce on their on-farm processing plant. This innovative farm also uses alternative energy systems and an integrated grazing system to manage livestock ecologically.
He served on the National Organic Standards Board as an environmentalist and resource conservationist from 2013-2018. Thicke previously worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service as the National Program Leader for Soil Science, and he has served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the Scientific Congress on Organic Agriculture Research, the Organic Farming Research Foundation Board, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service Board, the Iowa Food Policy Council, the Iowa Organic Standards Board, and the Organic Farmers Association Policy Committee.
Thicke has received many awards and honors over the years, including the Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from the Practical Farmers of Iowa, Friend of Extension Award from Iowa State University Extension Service, Outstanding Pasture Management Award from the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Steward of the Land Award from the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club.
He earned a Ph.D. in agronomy and soil fertility from the University of Illinois in 1988 and a Master’s degree in soil science from the University of Minnesota in 1984.
Join us online, in person, or both! Your conference registration gives you access to it all!
We again will be using Socio to host our online portion of the event, but the phone app will also be an amazing tool to use at the in-person conference. The easy-to-use Socio app and online event platform allow you to have important information at your fingertips, attend video sessions, and network with other attendees using your customer profile.
Beyond all of the top-notch education this conference will provide, the online environment means you also have the option to: create your own custom schedule and set reminders; join live online sessions from your computer of 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, and watch recordings of online and in-person keynote sessions and workshops until March 31!
Because COVID-19 remains an unpredictable public health threat, OEFFA is obligated to create the lowest possible risk environment for all its participants. OEFFA is monitoring the situation, reviewing public health guidance, and researching large indoor event best practices to establish an appropriate protocol to meet this safety obligation. Attendees will be required to follow OEFFA’s COVID-19 safety policies, which may include measures up to and including masking while indoors, providing proof of vaccination, or if not vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test administered within a time frame specified by OEFFA. These measures will be taken only if deemed necessary by conference organizers, and attending the conference remotely is always an option.
FOOD AND FARM SCHOOL CLASSES
Thursday, February 17—10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET
Not included in general registration. OSP Help-Shop $25 members/$25 non-members. All others $90 members/$150 non-members. All classes included lunch.
Creating Living Soil in the Market Garden
No matter if you specialize in flowers, fruit, herbs, or vegetable production, living soil is the key to success, and the steps that contribute to living soil also lead to increased profitability by reducing weeds, improving production, and aiding in overall soil resilience. In this day-long session, farmer Jesse Frost will dive deep into the principles, techniques, and tools behind soil management in a way that fits nearly
any context or scale.
Ohio Meat School Intensive
Ready to take your meat business to the next level? Want to scale your livestock and poultry business to a viable, profitable enterprise? Come spend a day with Rebecca Thistlethwaite, author of The New Livestock Farmer, creator of the Western Meat School, and director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, to learn the ins and outs of building a successful meat business. Over the course of the day, you will learn about identifying your core customers, marketing strategy, pricing, the logistics of processing, maximizing carcass values and selling the whole animal, packaging and labeling, and ways to improve efficiencies and control costs while upholding your values. Rebecca will also discuss options and opportunities for starting your own processing or butchering operation.
Optimize Your Farm’s Marketing Funnel
Are customers and leads getting lost in your business? Do you have a strategy that turns new clients into lifelong brand ambassadors? In this intensive farm marketing workshop, Corinna Bench of Shared Legacy Farms, MyDigitalFarmer.com, and the My Digital Farmer podcast will help you build out a marketing ”funnel” for one of your farm’s key enterprises. Using the eight stages of the Marketing Funnel Framework, you’ll per- form a self-audit of your business to see what sections of your funnel are currently active and which ones are missing, to help you diagnose what systems you need to optimize to boost your sales. Corinna will also take you on a deep dive into how to optimize Google My Business listings to increase online visibility. By the end of the workshop, you’ll walk away with a map of your key customer milestones and a short list of marketing systems you need to build out this winter.
Organic Systems Plan Help-Shop for Transitioning Producers
Writing your first Organic Systems Plan (OSP) can be overwhelming. If you are planning to certify for the first time in 2022, OEFFA invites you to bring your draft OSP and your questions to this supported work session. OEFFA’s Sustainable Agriculture Educators Julia Barton and Eric Pawlowski, along with several experi- enced Certification Specialists, will address common stumbling blocks farmers encounter in their first OSP, provide individualized assistance, and answer your questions, so that your first year of certification goes as smoothly as possible.
FEATURED CONFERENCE SPEAKERS
Alexander Ball is the owner and manager of Old City Acres, a four-season community supported agriculture (CSA) farm outside of Detroit. Beyond growing food, he works with local organizations to increase food and land access throughout southeast Michigan.
Corinna Bench is the co-owner of Shared Legacy Farms, a 400 member community supported agriculture and certified organic vegetable farm in northwest Ohio. After a lot of experimentation she began to study and apply the principles of digital marketing to her farm business. The results were so life-changing that she now helps other farmers with marketing, as founder of MyDigitalFarmer.com and the popular My Digital Farmer podcast.
Justin Duncan is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. He has a Bachelors in Agronomy from Prairie View A&M University and a Masters in Plant Breeding. His work has focused on organic farming practices in the humid South, concentrating mainly on sweet potatoes, strawberries, niche market ethnic specialty crops, and drought mitigation. He is currently working on cover crop projects in south Texas to help farmers build soil organic matter.
Jim Embry is the founder and director of the Sustainable Communities Network, where he contributes to the theory and practice of sustainable living while cultivating collaborative efforts at the local, national, and international levels with a focus on food systems. As a “Sacred Earth Activist,” he has participated in most of the major social justice movements of his era and now believes that the sustainability movement encompasses all the other movements.
Jesse Frost, aka Farmer Jesse, is a certified organic market gardener, freelance journalist, and the host of The No-Till Market Garden Podcast. He is also a cofounder of notillgrowers.com, where he helps collect the best and latest no-till insights from growers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He and his wife, Hannah Crabtree, practice no-till farming at Rough Draft Farmstead in central Kentucky.
Margaret Krome is Policy Program Director for the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in Wisconsin. She helps develop federal, state, and local programs and policies supporting environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible agriculture. She also conducts workshops and webinars nationwide on grant writing, using federal programs to support sustainable agriculture, risk management, and crop insurance.
Scott Marlow is the CEO of Long Rows Consulting, where he provides education and policy analysis on farm financial crisis, credit, risk management, and disaster assistance. Scott previously worked with Rural Advancement Foundation International, providing financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on natural disaster assistance and credit programs, and policy initiatives addressing farm resilience. He has 10 years of experience as an operator on farm survival hotlines, including as co-organizer of Farm Aid’s Farm Advocate Link.
Taylor Mendell is a farmer, mother, and teacher in Starksboro, Vermont. She and her husband run Footprint Farm, a year-round diversified vegetable farm that serves a 200 member community supported agriculture program and small-scale wholesale accounts. Taylor also runs Habit Farming, an online source for business management, work/life balance, and efficiency building resources.
Kathleen Merrigan is an expert in food and agriculture, celebrated by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010. Currently, she serves as a professor in the School of Sustainability and Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. From 2009 to 2013, she was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is known for authoring the law establishing national standards for organic food.
With more than 23 years experience working in agriculture, Rebecca Thistlethwaite is the Director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network at Oregon State University. She is author of Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat, and provides business and marketing consulting for sustainable farms and food businesses.
Thelma Velez is the Research and Education Program Manager for the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She earned a Ph.D. in Environment and Natural Resources from The Ohio State University and has more than 15 years of experience in U.S. and international organic agriculture and sustainable food systems, including education, research project management, and multi-institutional collaborative work.
Léa Vereecke is an organic farm consultant with the Rodale Institute in Wisonsin, where she consults with farmers across the Midwest who wish to transition their operation to organic or improve the environmental sustainability of their operation. She was previously a research specialist with Dr. Erin Silva at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, overseeing diverse research projects including on organic no-till soybeans and corn.
Workshops presented via the Zoom application.
Included in general registration. Re-watch recorded workshops until March 31.
Workshops are subject to change.
Workshop Session I: 9:30-10:30 a.m. ET
An Organic Approach to Farm Policy—Scott Marlow, Long Rows Consulting
2021 National Organic Research Agenda: Understanding Organic Grower Needs and Challenges Across the U.S.—Thelma Velez, Organic Farming Research Foundation
Rural, Urban, the Moon, Mars: The Basics of What Is Needed— Jim Bruner, Mezzacello Urban Farm
Decision-Making Made Easier: A Step-By-Step Process for Evaluating and Planning for a Smoother Season—Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm
The Future of Organic Grain Farming—Jim Jacobs, John Jacobs and Son, Angela and Jason Schriver, Schriver Organics, Dave Shively, Shively Farm
How Food Producers Can Be Climate Heroes—Seth Itzkan, Soil4Climate
Shmita: An Ancient Call for Agricultural Rest and Reconciliation—Jodi Kushins, Over the Fence Urban Farm
Shaking the Federal Money Tree—Margaret Krome, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Workshop Session II: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Black Culture and Green Thumbs—Yolanda Owens, Forage + Black
USDA Midwest Climate Hub: Agricultural Tools and Information for a Changing Climate—Dennis Todey, USDA Midwest Climate Hub
Using Insect Habits for Pest Management—Branden Schmurr, Healthy Hills Farm
Recordkeeping for the Busy Farmer: Tips and Tricks for Keeping the Records You Need in Ways That Work for You—Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm
Marketing Your Organic Crop through the OFARM Family of Member Co-Ops—OFARM
Heritage Turkeys: More Than a Holiday Meal—Shelly Oswald, Old Time Farm
Top Flowers and Herbs for Optimal Health and Ecological Benefit—Barbara Utendorf
Analyzing Data You Already Have to Help Your Farmers’ Market Thrive—Jaime Hadji, Ohio Farmers’ Market Network, Christie Welch, OSU Extension, Dar Wolmack, Farmers’ Market Coalition
Workshop Session III: 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
How Should Organic Grow?— Patty Lovera, Organic Farmers Association
Can Farm Work and Farm Life Really Balance? A Discussion with Farmers and Service Providers About Managing Stresses Big and Small—Kelly Cabral, OSU, Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm
Top Ten Diseases of Backyard Poultry—Tim McDermott, OSU Extension
Growing Brambles in High Tunnels—Dana Hilfinger, CSU Extension
Stepping Into Food Grade Grains—Harold Wilken, Janie’s Farm Organic
Direct Marketing Strategies for Small Cooperatives or Farms— Lori Nethero, Buckeye Valley Beef Co-Op
Permaculture in Practice: Creating an Urban Edible Perennial Food Forest and Wildlife Habitat for Self-Sustainability—Diane Kadonaga, Sunny Glen Garden
Organic is Risky? Progress and Challenges of Crop Insurance for Organic Farmers—Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT
In person workshops.
Included in general registration. Workshops will be recorded and will be available to view online until March 31.
Workshops are subject to change.
Workshop Session IV: 8:30-10:00 a.m. ET
Winning a Better Food and Farm System—Ava Auen-Ryan and Heather Dean, OEFFA
Transformation of Agriculture Through the Lens of George Washington Carver— Jim Embry, Sustainable Communities Network
Growing Food Year-Round for Your Community: Building and Sustainably Operating a 12-Month Online Members Choice CSA—Alexander Ball, Old City Acres
Planning Your High Tunnel: Construction and Site Considerations—Kayla Preston, Grow Appalachia
Organic No-Till Soybeans and Corn: Things to Know Before Trying—Léa Vereecke, Rodale Institute
Sell the Whole Animal: Maximizing Livestock Carcass Cut Outs and Values—Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
Turning Worry into Action: Three Practices You Can Use to Stay Grounded on Your Farm and Connected to Your Community— Fiona Doherty, OSU College of Social Work
The Value of Networking—Leon Wengerd, Green Field Farms
Workshop Session V: 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
The Critical To-Do List for Organic Agriculture—Colleen Hanley and Kathleen Merrigan, ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems
Practical Insurable Risk Assessment for an Era of Climate Disruption—Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT
Growing Food Year-Round for Your Community: Crop Planning and Techniques for a 12-Month Harvest Season—Alexander Ball, Old City Acres
Sustainable Strawberry Strategies—Justin Duncan, NCAT
Using Cover Crops in Organic Farming: Seeding, Crimping, Managing—Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services
Diversifying Your Farm Through Livestock Integration—Paul Dorrance, Pastured Providence
Rooting for Old Time Genetics—Ronda Clark, Blackberry Sage Farm
You-Pick CSAs: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Four Seasons of Members Harvesting Their Own Shares—Kristen Muehlhauser, Raindance Organic Farm
Workshop Session VI: 8:30-10:00 a.m. ET
From Town Hall to Farm Bill: Dismantling Big Ag’s Fragile System Propped up by Myths and Hidden Costs—Sarah Carden and Angela Huffman, Farm Action
Making the Most of Your Seed Investment—Daniel Eggert, High Mowing Organic Seeds
Climate Resilient Gardens and Gardeners—Deb Knapke, The Garden Sage
Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers—Justin Duncan, NCAT
Organic Returns: Rotations, Weed Management, and Markets—Bryce Irlbeck and Dahn Clemens, AgriSecure
Grazing Management: From Soil Health to Community Health—Francis Thicke, Radiance Dairy
Pond Restoration with a Permaculture Approach: Lessons Learned from an Ohio SARE Project—Sasha Miller, Purplebrown Farmstead
Paperless Recordkeeping for the Modern Farmer—Kate Hodges and Jane Larson, Foraged & Sown
Workshop Session VII: 10:30 p.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Stepping Out and Stepping Up: Moving Land-Grant Institutions Toward Truth and Reconciliation with Dispossessed Native American Tribes—Michael Charles, OSU Newark Earthworks Center, Brian Snyder, OSU InFact
Integrating Livestock into a Vegetable Production System: Practices, Pitfalls, and Progress—Jennifer Mansfield and Ian Zeglin, Greenacres Foundation
Getting Started with Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation—Marc Andrew Amante, CSU
Scaling No-Till Vegetable Production: Tooling Up and Efficient Transitions—Nathan Lada, Green Things Farm Collective
Growing a Happy Sunflower Crop for Organic Grain Producers—Dan Young, Fresh Aire Farm
Where’s the Beef? Current Needs, Creative Solutions, and Cooperative Opportunities in Regional Red Meat Processing— Angela Blatt, OSU InFact, Rachel Tayse, Harmonious Homestead, Paul Dorrance, Pastured Providence
Installing Zoning Compliant Farm Infrastructures in Urban Areas While Keeping Your Sanity—April Pandora, Eden Urban Gardens
Long-Term Planning for Small Farms—Bob Cohen, Braintree Business Development Center, Ed Klesack, Centaurus Financial, Bob Hendrix, Attorney
with Eric Deeble, Jonathan McCracken, and Abby Youngblood
Saturday, February 12—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Included in general registration
The current farm bill expires in 2023, and now is the time for us to be proactive in pressing for our sustainable agriculture policy priorities. Join OEFFA Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu for this interactive conversation with National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Policy Director Eric Deeble, Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Sherrod Brown Jonathan McCracken, and National Organic Coalition Executive Director Abby Youngblood. Learn what these national experts are prioritizing, what they think is achievable, and how you can advocate for a farm bill that supports small family farms, enhances rural communities, and promotes ecological resilience.
Community Conversations and Networking
Friday, February 18—10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Friday, February 18—3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
Included in general registration
The OEFFA conference community is truly something special. So many passionate people come every year to share information, see old friends, and welcome new ones. To celebrate and magnify this powerful gift we have, we decided to try something new this year by setting aside conference time for special sessions for connecting, dreaming, affirming, and sharing. These conversations will include opportunities for emotional work like a facilitated space for BIPOC farmers, practical networking like a mixer for farmers seeking labor and those seeking farm jobs, philosophical conversations featuring panels of leaders from around Ohio envisioning the food and farm system they want for their communities, and lighthearted fun activities like a recipe swap.
Saturday, February 12—7:00-8:00 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, share, and cast your vote for OEFFA Trustees.
Open Mic Night
Saturday, February 12—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 online conference platform and app go live, attendees will be able to sign up for spots on a first-come, first-served basis until all the spaces are filled.
Quest 4 Points Game
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!
Heartland FarmLink Mixer
Friday, February 18—4:30-6:00 p.m. ET
Free and open to the public
If you are a land owner looking for a farmer, or if you are a grower looking for land to start your own operation, join us for a free Heartland FarmLink Mixer! This informal, semi-structured, networking event is designed to connect people and possibilities. Whether you are interested in selling, leasing, or another arrangement, this will be an opportunity to find people with common farmland interests and needs and explore possible connections.
Not included in general registration. Must be purchased separately. Menu subject to change.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18—12:00 p.m. ET
Picadillo beef enchiladas
Roasted vegetable enchiladas
Mixed greens salad with chipotle ranch dressing
Southwestern black bean, corn, and quinoa salad
Spicy chili roasted potatoes
Roasted salsa and tortilla chips
Vegan/Gluten-Free Meal (plated and reserved):
Stuffed and roasted red peppers served on a bed of sauteed spinach
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19—12:00 p.m. ET
Mango habanero pulled pork
Spicy black bean patty
Mixed salad greens with sweet onion vinaigrette dressing
Herbed sweet potato wedges
Sweet and creamy coleslaw
Vegan/Gluten-Free Meal (plated and reserved):
Vegetable ratatouille with rice pilaf
Exhibit, Sponsor, or Advertise at Conference
Increase your visibility across the conference through sponsorship, exhibitor, and advertising opportunities.
Questions? Contact Renee Hunt at email@example.com or (614) 947-1642.
Exhibit Hall Hours
Friday, February 18 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 19 8:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET
Our trade show will be at a whole new level for the 2022 conference!
The in-person exhibit hall will be packed with 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.
Be sure to check out all that the Exhibit Hall has to offer, including OEFFAstead—home to all things OEFFA in the trade show.
Exhibit Hall Social
Friday, February 18—4:00-6:00 p.m. ET
Included in general registration
Following COVID, we can no longer take getting together for granted! This gathering, following a day of learning and networking, will provide light fare (COVID permitting) and a cash bar—a perfect way to end your conference day! Come relax, talk with others, participate in fun activites, and enjoy visiting vendors, the raffle table, and other exhibit hall features.
Try your luck for a chance to win a variety of wonderful products and services, courtesy of many of our exhibitors, sponsors, and other conference supporters. Funds raised support OEFFA’s educational work.
Exhibit Hall Hospitality
There are seating areas available within the trade show for attendees and exhibitors to relax, reflect, and engage with fellow conference-goers. Grab a cup of coffee and some literature to peruse, and sit and visit for a while with your OEFFA family.
Organic Certification Assistance
Are you certified organic or considering certification? Bring your questions and paperwork! OEFFA Certification staff will be on hand to provide one-on-one assistance and to answer questions about the organic certification process, organic standards, and certification guidelines.
Chapter Meet Ups
Saturday, February 19—12:00-1:00 p.m. ET
Included in general registration
Learn how you can stay engaged with community discussions, activities, and learning opportunities all year long through OEFFA’s regional and issue-based chapters during this in person lunch meet up at conference!
To change your chapter affiliations, contact Scott Lawski at (614) 947-1611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Volunteers
In exchange for four hours of onsite work, pre-approved volunteers may pre-register for conference for only $60. No further discount applies and meals are not included. Limited opportunities are available, so don’t wait to sign up. For more information, contact Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642 or email@example.com by January 7.
If you’d like to volunteer just to volunteer, we also need help in the office during the weeks leading up to the conference. Let us know if you can pitch in.
Getting your hands on OEFFA swag is now easier than ever!
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.
Exhibit Hall OEFFA Merchandise
Don’t forget your OEFFA swag! Aluminum “No Spray” and other signs and organic logo stickers will be for sale.
Exhibit Hall Book Table
Here’s your chance to get great deals on scads of food and farming book titles! We also encourage you to donate your gently used farm and food books at conference, or before the event. Book sales support OEFFA’s work.
ACRES USA Bookstore Online
We know the OEFFA book table is a big part of the annual conference trade show experience but, if you can’t join us in person you still can still find 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.
Registration Pricing at a Glance
Sliding scale for members begins at $90
NOFA-NY Conference Special*
Food and Farm School
OSP Help-Shop for Transitioning Producers
Requires pre-approval. Contact Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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. OEFFA reserves the right to revoke conference access or remove content if community codes of conduct or COVID-19 policies are broken.
*NOFA-NY CONFERENCE SPECIAL
OEFFA members have the chance to attend the Northeast Organic Farm Association-New York (NOFA-NY) annual winter conference online January 18-23 at a great discount!
For $250, you can attend both the OEFFA and NOFA-NY conference. And, like the OEFFA conference, if you can’t attend all the sessions live, you can watch the videos. NOFA-NY recordings will be available through March 1.
We want everyone to be able to attend the OEFFA conference and are delighted to offer scholarship opportunities. If you cannot afford the sliding scale price and don’t qualify for one of the scholarships below, please contact Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642 or email@example.com.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR PERSONS OF COLOR
Diversity is the key to resilience in agriculture, and why it is important that the OEFFA conference is a welcoming place for all. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other farmers of color are encouraged to apply. Award priority will be given to Ohio residents who have not previously attended the conference.
Apply online or call Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642. Scholarships will be awarded beginning the week of January 3.
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. Additionally, Grow Appalachia—whose vision is a vibrant, regional food system where healthy food is accessible to all—is sponsoring 33 conference scholarships for new and beginning farmers, and half are designated for Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Applicants for these scholarships must be from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia.
Check eligibility and apply online or contact Robin Hackett at (614) 947-1633. Scholarships will be awarded beginning the week of January 3.
OEFFA’s 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 SPECIALTY CROP GROWERS
Vegetable, fruit, or other specialty crop growers in Ohio can apply for a conference scholarship, as well as a scholarship for the Food and Farm School classes Creating Living Soil in the Market Garden or Optimize Your Farm’s Marketing Funnel on Thursday, February 17.
Take a Virtual Tour of the 2020 Conference in Dayton!
Video courtesy of the Miami Valley Communications Council
Visit our YouTube Channel for more Conference Bites!
Videos recorded during the 2021 OEFFA online conference
The in-person conference events will be held at the Dayton Convention Center () located at 22 E. 5th St., Dayton, OH 45402. We’re excited to announce that the Dayton Convention Center is now under new management, and a lot of positive upgrades to the venue are being planned!
Show your OEFFA conference name tag at nearly 30 participating Dayton attractions, restaurants, and retail businesses for special discounts!
There’s lots to see and do in Dayton when you join us for the conference! Dayton offers the dining, nightlife, and buzz of the city, at a size and scale that makes it easy to get around and enjoy. Check out some of these nearby attractions:
Explore the galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and businesses of the nearby Oregon Arts District. Nearly all the businesses in this historic downtown neighborhood are locally owned and operated.
Shop the year-round 2nd Street Market, located in a charming historical freight house and featuring local growers, bakers, culinary specialists, and artisans.
Get outside at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, a 200 acre nature complex, which includes an education center, a 72-acre educational farm, six miles of walking trails, farm animals, and a discovery center.
Home to the Wright Brothers, Dayton is known as the “birthplace of aviation.” Learn about Ohio’s aviation history at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, the Wright family mansion Hawthorn Hill, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and other aviation sites—many of which are free and open to the public.
Explore 30 historical buildings on 65 acres and see the original 1905 Wright Flyer III at Carillon Historical Park, which is also home to Carillon Brewing Company, the only U.S. museum to make beer using techniques from the 1800s.
Travel back in time and learn about Ohio’s earliest peoples at SunWatch Village and Archaeological Park and enjoy family learning at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, a natural history museum, science center, children’s museum, planetarium, observatory, and zoo.
See memorabilia, hear funk music, and learn about the musicians who brought this art form to life at the new Funk Museum Hall of Fame and Exhibition Center.
Enjoy Dayton’s selection of music, dance, theater, and visual arts performances. Tour the The Dayton Art Institute housed in one of Dayton’s best-known landmarks, a 1919 Italian Renaissance-inspired building overlooking downtown. The Dayton International Peace Museum offers exhibits, activities, and events that focus on nonviolence. K12 Gallery & TEJAS is nonprofit visual arts center open to all ages, where you can view current exhibits, a sales gallery, and artists at work.
A Place to Stay
Radisson Hotel Dayton ()
33 E. 5th St., Dayton, Ohio (866) 247-5162 https://www.oeffa.org/stay
$114.00 per night (Ask for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association room block rate or use the promotional code “OEFF” in the special rates field when you book online. Deadline: February 10)
The Radisson Hotel is attached to the Dayton Convention Center by a convenient enclosed walking bridge.
Parking and Transportation
Parking is available in the Transportation Center parking garage () for $6 per day maximum ($2 per hour, $1 per partial hour), or at no cost for Radisson Hotel Dayton guests.
The garage is located one block east of the Dayton Convention Center on 5th St. at Jefferson St. The garage offers a covered skywalk on Level 1 that connects to the third floor of the convention center.
Please pay for your parking before you get in your car to leave the facility by using the pay stations located on Level 1 (the skywalk level) at the parking garage.
The pay stations are located directly across from the elevators on the right as you are walking across the skywalk to the garage. They are located immediately on the right before you get to the elevators, which will be straight ahead.
Please note, there are no cashiers stationed at the exits. Credit/debit cards are the only form of payment that are accepted at the exits and are subject to additional charges if used at the exit. To use cash, you must use a pay station that is located on Level 1 of the parking garage. The pay station will also accept credit and debit cards.
For more information and directions, visit the Dayton Convention Center website.
In the event that the Transportation Center parking garage is full, overflow parking is available at the Montgomery County Reibold Building parking garage () on E. 5th St. between Main St. and Ludlow St.
Blue River Organic Seed
Green Field Farms
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Hiland Supply Co.
Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative
Paul Hall and Associates
Shagbark Seed and Mill
SuperGro of Iowa
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Walnut Creek Seeds
Curly Tail Organic Farm
Five Rivers Metro Parks
OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter
Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)
Dayton Urban Grown
Marshy Meadows Farm
Conference artwork created by Rosanna Morris. Conference photography provided by Ed Chen.