Keynote Address

Jim Embry

Jim Embry

Pathways to a Caring and Sustainable Future

February 17 Keynote Address
8:45-10 a.m.

Exhibit Hall / Ohio Event Center


We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history. Humanity must choose its future: great peril or great promise. Our challenge is to more fully recognize that we are one human family. We must reimagine what it means to be human in the 21st century. Although our nation’s agriculture was founded on stolen land from Indigenous peoples and stolen labor from African peoples, our food system also represents the fulcrum point of transformational change.

Such a transformation has already begun, but the gravity of the situation demands more effective and inclusive action. Big ideas are necessary. We must think not just “out-of-the-box,” but also “out-of-the-barn” to achieve a caring and sustainable future.

The proud great-grandson of enslaved Africans brought across the Appalachian Mountains, Jim Embry regards himself an agrarian intellectual activist. As the founder and director of the Sustainable Communities Network, he contributes to the theory and practice of sustainable living at the local, national, and international levels with a focus on food systems. 

Beginning in the Civil Rights Movement, he has participated in most of the major social justice movements of his era, and now believes the sustainability movement encompasses all the other movements. In 2023, Jim was honored with the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award “for his lifelong work as a community activist advocating for sustainable living practices and Black and Indigenous rights.”

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


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

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