Keynote Address


My Favorite Mistake

Walter Bonham, Sophia Buggs, David Kline, Mardy Townsend

February 15 Keynote Storytelling
6-7:15 p.m.

Exhibit Hall / Ohio Event Center


Mistakes, while often painful, teach us valuable lessons. To cultivate a culture of caring, OEFFA asks four farmer leaders from around Ohio to tell the story of a mistake they made. This mistake taught something they are grateful to have learned so that others may gain from their hard-earned wisdom. After our storytellers have shared, the floor will open for attendees to tell their own stories. Together, we care for each other by sharing the challenges and gifts of farming.

Our Storytellers


Walter Bonham is an urban farmer, consultant, and a founding member of the Richland Gro-Op Cooperative. A native of Mansfield, Ohio, he works with others in his community to bridge the food insecurity gap, creating new farmers and focusing on both the local consumption and exportation of locally grown food. His mission to "Build. Grow. Feed." guides his unique approach to working so closely with his community.

Sophia Buggs owns and operates Lady Buggs Pharm, a 1.3-acre urban farm in Youngstown, Ohio. Sophia is the director of the Mahoning Food Access Initiative and the executive director of Plant It You (“Planet You”), a grassroots organization dedicated to land stewardship, food sovereignty, climate action, Black and Indigenous farmers, and food ways. She aims to regenerate her community by offering wellbeing from seed to table.

David Kline is an active recordkeeper of the goings-on on his 120-acre sustainable farm in southern Ohio. As an Amish farmer and author, he is known as an expert voice on the ways we are connected to our environment, and the joy and pleasure that come with being considerate stewards of land and food.

Mardy Townsend raises grassfed beef cattle on certified organic pasture on 226 acres in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The land is marginal—all highly erodible or wetland, which has necessitated the careful development of specific appropriate grazing management. Mardy serves on the OEFFA Board and has hosted a number of farm tours.

OEFFA thanks the Organic Vegetable Production Conference for letting us borrow this keynote concept.

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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