Ohio's largest sustainable sustainable agriculture conference will feature keynote speakers, approximately 100 workshops, local and organic meals, a kids' conference, childcare, a trade show, and Saturday evening entertainment. Registration will open in December.
Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, consultant, activist, and author. Her husband, Martin, founded the successful organic farm, Gardens of Eagen in Eagen, Minnesota and together they operate Organic Farming Works, which provides one-on-one coaching and consulting to organic farmers.
She is the editor of Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Food Safety, Post-Harvest Handling, Packing, and Selling Produce, and trains farmers on selling to wholesale markets.
Atina's autobiographical memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, which received the Minnesota Book Award in 2013, explores the Diffleys' unbreakable commitment to their land, the impacts of suburban sprawl and pipeline development in their community, and the struggles and triumphs that farmers face every day. The book describes how Atina led a successful campaign against Koch Industries to reroute a crude oil pipeline to protect organic farmland. The Diffleys were also featured in an award-winning 1991 documentary film by the same name which explored the loss of greenbelt farmland to suburban development in the Eagan area.
Atina was named Successful Farmer of the Year in 2008 by EcoFarm and Organic Farmer of the Year in 2004 by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). She currently serves on the board for the Organic Seed Alliance and the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture.
Kathleen Merrigan served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2013. Before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Merrigan was a top aide to Senator Patrick Leahy, former chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. There, she helped write the original law that created the National Organic Program to establish organic standards and a certification process for organic farms and processors. From 1999 to 2001, she helped to implement the new organic rules as head of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which oversees the agency's organic program.
While at the USDA, she played a vital role in developing the department’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, championed a national farm-to-school program and funding for farmers to build hoop houses, increased crop insurance and conservation support for organic producers, and served as a strong advocate for the organic program, organic farmers, and local food systems.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Merrigan was also an assistant professor and director of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment graduate program at Tufts University in Boston. In 2010, Time magazine named her as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World."
Announcing a Special Feature for OEFFA’s 2014 Conference: NCR-SARE Farmers Forum
OEFFA is excited to host the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program’s Farmers Forum in 2014! This is an annual event that gives farmers, ranchers, and others funded by NCR-SARE grants the chance to share information about their sustainable agriculture research and projects. The Farmers Forum will be offered as special conference workshop track, with additional projects featured in other workshop tracks.
Ideas, Food Donations, Volunteers, and Workshop Presenters Wanted
Workshop applications, workshop topic and presenter ideas, food donations, and volunteers to help plan and organize workshops, meals, the book table, raffle, and kids’ conference are needed. For more information or to request a workshop application, contact Milo Petruziello at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 206 or email@example.com.
248 New Burg St.
Granville, OH 43023
FROM THE NORTH
If coming from the north, you should exit I-71 at Bellville and take OH-13 south into Mt. Vernon. (When you enter the roundabout, take the first exit onto OH-13/Main St.) Continue south on S. Main St./OH-13. At Blackjack Rd., turn right and then left onto Route 661 headed south. Continue south into Granville. Just after the speed limit drops to 35, you will see New Burg St. Turn right. The school is on the right.
FROM EAST, WEST, OR SOUTH
Granville is less than 10 miles north of I-70, on Route 37. Take Route 37 north into Granville. At the main intersection in town, turn right onto Broadway, then left onto Pearl St./Route 661. Pass Denison University and watch for New Burg on your left. Turn left onto New Burg. The school is on the right.
From the west you can also take Route 161 east. When Route 161 ends, stay straight on Route 37 east. Take the second Granville exit (Lancaster/Granville), turning left at the end of the ramp and continuing into Granville. Turn right onto Broadway, continue two blocks, and turn left onto Pearl St./Route 661. Pass Denison University and watch for New Burg on your left. Turn left onto New Burg. The school is on the right.
The conference will be held in the charming town of Granville, OH, about 30 miles northeast of Columbus, at the Granville Middle and High schools, 248 New Burg St., Granville, OH 43023. The facility offers rooms for large group sessions, workshops, exhibitors, dining, kids’ activities, and entertainment – all under one roof.
The following hotels are offering special conference rates or reserved rooms: