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    OEFFA Conference Kids’ Activities

    The OEFFA conference is for kids too!

    Bring the youngins into the conference experience with kids’ activities provided by OEFFA’s Youth Agricultural Education Chapter!

    Children pre-k through high school can 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 regenerative agriculture trivia.

    Children do not need to register separately to participate. Learn more and register by February 8.

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    Virtual Land Linking Mixer

    Join national land transfer expert Kathy Ruhf from Land For Good and OEFFA’s Rachel Tayse on Thursday, February 11 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET for the 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.

    This event is free and conference registration is not required. On February 11, join using this link.

    Can’t make it? 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.

    Learn more about this and other 2021 OEFFA conference special events at www.oeffa.org/conference2021.

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    OEFFA Chapter Meet Ups

    An engaged community is essential to cultivating a future in which sustainable and organic farmers thrive, local food nourishes our communities, and agricultural practices protect and enhance our environment. Your participation in OEFFA chapter activities not only helps us to maintain a strong, regional network of local food and farm champions; it’s also a great way to get more out of your OEFFA membership and stay connected with other OEFFA members throughout the year!

    Many of OEFFA’s chapters have rotating steering committees that allow for experience in community organizing and all welcome volunteers to help organize chapter events and share feedback. Members are the heart and soul of OEFFA, and chapters are the vessel that channels and magnifies the hands and voices of our members.

    Conference guests are welcome to attend any OEFFA chapter meet up. Learn more about all the chapters, including their service areas, here. OEFFA members can select up to 4 chapters to participate in; contact Kristy Yonyon at (614) 421-2022 or kristy@oeffa.org to update your chapter affiliation.

    Not coming to conference, but still want to connect with a chapter? Watch our website for direct links to the meet ups (no registration required), or contact Kristy!

    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! Now that 2021 is here, the chapter would love to reinvigorate our good food community and cook up some plans for the months ahead, so 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 also be chosen, so please consider serving in this capacity for the coming year.

    MOON (Miami Oxford Organic Network) Chapter

    Thursday, February 11—3:30-4:30 p.m.
    The MOON chapter has a history of more than 20 years collaborating 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 of providing educational programs and sharing OEFFA’s resources in the region. Join them to learn more about how you can get involved!

    Market Gardening Chapter

    Friday, February 12—11:00-12:30 p.m.
    The Market Gardening chapter connects market gardeners throughout the state in order to share ideas and experience and learn from each other. They hold meetings and potlucks with educational speakers and host a Facebook group for members to share questions and experiences and to make connections. 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, as well as other takeaways from the first three days of conference. Don’t miss this opportunity to socialize with other growers, and bounce around ideas of how to set yourself up for success to make your grain operation the best that it can be.

    Southwest Chapter (SWOEFFA)

    Friday, February 12—3:30-4:30 p.m.
    All are welcome to gather for a virtual meet up to great SWOEFFA members and learn more about joining this vibrant chapter. SWOEFFA’s 2020 monthly Zoom meetings (second Sundays from 7-8:30 p.m.) 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 is focused on creating a collaborative and cooperative marketing strategy that can benefit organic, transitional, and aspiring organic growers in Ohio. The chapter’s goal is to increase communication regarding organic producers’ marketing efforts and help members learn from each other about what marketing works and what could be improved. Please join them for their first meeting as a chapter to help create something meaningful and impactful within the OEFFA community.

    Lake Effect Chapter

    Saturday, February 13—11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    The Lake Effect chapter meet up will include some time for socializing and a slideshow on the soil web of life. The chapter was formed to encourage the production and consumption of organic food in Northeast Ohio and works to accomplish this through educational meetings on organic agriculture, activism at local markets and county fairs, and by facilitating interaction between local farmers and consumers.

    Heart of Ohio Chapter

    Sunday, February 14—3:00-3:30 p.m.
    The Heart of Ohio chapter will be discussing a plan to meet quarterly, with the intention to schedule some farm tours and seasonal workshops. Join this meet up if you live in east central Ohio!

    Little Miami Chapter

    Sunday, February 14—3:30-4:00 p.m.
    The Little Miami Chapter in southwest Ohio 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.
    The Youth Agricultural Education chapter provides support and connection for OEFFA members who work with or are interested in working with youth to cultivate the next generation of sustainable farmers and consumers. Chapter meetings provide a venue for agricultural educators to share strategies and ideas that promote sustainable agriculture instruction both inside and outside of traditional classroom environments.

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    Debates on Hydroponics in Organic and Lab-Grown Meat Presented by Earth Tools

    OEFFA is excited to offer two thought-provoking conference special events presented by Earth Tools:

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

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

    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

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

    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!

    Click here to learn how to add your voice to these conversations and discover all that the OEFFA conference has to offer. These sessions are included in general registration.

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    It’s All Fun and Games During the OEFFA Conference Special Events!

    Join us for the following special events to have some fun with your OEFFA family during OEFFA’s 42nd annual conference February 10-15, 2021! 

    • Shake things up with Ohio’s only certified organic craft distillery, Western Reserve Distillers, for an educational happy hour and mixology lesson in distilled spirits and cocktails on Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. Get the list of ingredients you’ll need to make two shaken cocktails—a vodka gimlet and a vodka sidecar—and find Western Reserve spirits near you. You can also meet organic farmer, Dean McIlvaine of Twin Parks Organic Farm, who supplies meat proteins for the distillery’s on-site restaurant.
    • Share your artistic side with songs, poems, stories, or skits during a special OEFFA Open Mic Night on Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 p.m.! Start practicing now and sign up for spots on a first-come, first-served basis once conference begins.
    • You can also rack up points throughout conference by playing the Quest for Points game! You could win one of five $100 gift certificates to Eban’s Bakehouse to enjoy delicious, gluten-free bread, cookies, and other baked goods.

    Get in on the fun by registering at www.oeffa.org/conference2021!

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    OEFFA Conference Virtual Bookstore

    We know the OEFFA conference book table is a big part of the annual trade show experience.

    This year OEFFA is excited to still bring you a comprehensive selection of books right at your fingertips…virtually!

    OEFFA has partnered with Acres USA to offer books from Acres USA, Chelsea Green Publishing, Island Press, New Society, Storey/Workman, and other publishers.

    Use this link to start shopping great farm and food-related titles (including Happy Pigs Taste Better by conference speaker Alice Percy)! In order for your purchase to support OEFFA, be sure to use OEFFA’s custom bookstore link.