Category Archives: OEFFA Press Releases

See, Taste, and Experience Life on the Farm: 2017 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series Guide Available

Columbus, OH—The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 2017 farm tour, workshop, and event line up offers a multitude of experiences, including: strolling through organic fields and pastures, acquiring basic homesteading skills, learning from early career growers following their farm dreams, hearing stories from Ohio’s founding sustainable farmers, grasping the ins and outs of growing food in the city and on reclaimed urban lots, scaling up vegetable production, choosing the right farm equipment, and processing poultry.
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OEFFA’s 27 summer farm tours, workshops, and other special events are part of the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. Five of these events focus on urban agriculture and are presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension.
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Meet knowledgeable local farmers ready to share their wisdom, and experience sustainable agriculture up close during these farm tours:
  • Saturday, June 17: Renewable Energy Farm Tour—Woodland Ridge Farm and Learning Center, Athens Co.
  • Tuesday, June 20: On-Farm Research and Organic Vegetable Farm Tour—Artisan Acres, Wayne Co.
  • Sunday, June 25: Diversified Beginning Farm Tour—Homecoming Farm, Athens Co.
  • Saturday, July 29: Youth Urban Farming Tour—Green Corps Midtown Learning Farm, Cuyahoga Co.
  • Friday, August 11: Organic Grain Seed Breeding Farm Tour—Valley View Farm, Logan Co.
  • Sunday, August 13: Vegetable Equipment Systems Farm Tour—Mile Creek Farm, Montgomery Co.
  • Tuesday, August 22: Grass-Fed Livestock Farm Tour—Grassroots Farm, Pike Co.
  • Sunday, September 10: Healthy Soil Farm Tour—Margraf Family Farm, Seneca Co.
  • Saturday, September 23: Cheesemaking and Homestead Tour—Blackstone Farm, Monroe Co.
  • Saturday, October 21: Pasture-Raised Livestock Beginning Farm Tour—Moores Heritage Farm, Ashtabula Co.

Develop production skills, explore a dream to farm, tour the countryside, network with beginning farmers, and taste summer’s bounty during these workshops and special events:

  • Tuesday, August 8: Young and Beginning Farmers Q&A and Networking Session—Rambling House Soda, Franklin Co.
  • Sunday, August 20: The Farmers’ Table—Maplestar Farm, Geauga Co.
  • Sunday, September 10: Poultry Processing for the Small Farm and Homestead Workshop—Tea Hills Farms, Ashland Co.
  • Sunday, September 24: Harvest Bicycle RideFairfield Co.
  • Sunday, October 15: Farm Vision Workshop—OEFFA, Franklin Co.
  • October 2017-February 2018: Heartland Farm Beginnings® Training Course—OEFFA, Franklin Co.
  • Friday, November 3-Saturday, November 4: Grow More Vegetables, Make More Money Workshop—Procter Center, Madison Co.

Learn how to farm in the city and achieve food security, and tour thriving urban agriculture projects that are reclaiming vacant properties, during these urban agriculture farm tours and workshops presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension:

  • Saturday, June 24: Urban CSA Farm Tour—Urban Greens, Hamilton Co.
  • Friday, July 28: Diversified Urban Development Farm Tour—New Harvest Cafe and Urban Arts Center, Franklin Co.
  • Saturday, August 12: Personal Food Security Workshop—CSU Dayton Auditorium, Montgomery Co.
  • Saturday, September 2: Urban Livestock Farm Tour—Glass City Goat Gals, Lucas Co.
  • Wednesday, September 20: Farm the City on Solid Legal Ground Workshop—Cuyahoga County CSU Extension, Cuyahoga Co.

Explore audio excerpts, photography, multimedia pieces, and print materials from OEFFA’s Growing Right Oral History project during one of 15 stops on its tour of central Ohio farmers’ markets and groceries June-August. Get the full schedule here.

Visit with OEFFA member farms during four annual open houses held at Snowville Creamery on June 10, Foraged & Sown on July 16, Carriage House Farm on September 17, and Pastured Providence Farmstead on October 21.

This series is also promoted in cooperation with The Ohio State University Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Clintonville Farmers’ Market, who are sponsoring additional tours.

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated in the series brochure.

For more information and complete details for all workshops and farm tours, click here.

OEFFA Announces 2017 Award Recipients: Mike Anderson, Holly Harman Fackler, and Alex Dragovich Recognized

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2017
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Contact:
Carol Goland, OEFFA Executive Director—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 202, cgoland@oeffa.org
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
   
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2017 recipients for the Stewardship Award and Service Award, as well as the first winner of the Advocate of the Year.
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Mike Anderson of Delaware County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, Holly Harman Fackler of Richland County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture, and Alex Dragovich of Stark County was named Advocate of the Year, an award which recognizes exceptional contributions to sustainable agriculture policy advocacy.
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The announcements were made on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 in Dayton as part of OEFFA’s 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow.

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2017 Stewardship Award Winner—Mike Anderson

From left: Mike Anderson, Sean McGovern
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
For 25 years, Mike Anderson of Delaware County has given his time and energy to Ohio’s organic farming community.
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He began his farming career at the Ohio State University demonstration farm, then housed at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, before managing vegetable production and field research for five years at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware. In 2001, he started Sundog Specialty Crops in Sunbury, a certified organic farm specializing in produce and cut flowers. Today, Anderson co-manages Whitebarn Organics, a certified organic farm in New Albany.
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“Patrons of many central Ohio farmers markets might have come for sunflowers, tomatoes or other produce, but they returned to hear his unmistakable and friendly laughter,” said Sean McGovern, outreach manager for the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program and former OEFFA director, who presented the award to Anderson during the Friday ceremony.
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Throughout his entire career, Anderson has generously shared his time and expertise with other growers and with OEFFA. He served on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees in the 1990s, coordinating procurement of local food for the annual conference and planning farmer training workshops. Later, he served on the board of directors for the Pearl Alley Growers Association, on the administrative council of the NCR-SARE program, and on OEFFA’s staff as a Sustainable Agriculture Educator, helping organic and transitional farmers with their certification, production, and marketing questions.
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Anderson has hosted numerous farm tours and has led many workshops at the OEFFA conference and other events to share what he knows with other farmers and grow Ohio’s sustainable agriculture community.

“I’ve met many extraordinary farmers and sustainable agriculture advocates over the past 25 years and I know for certain that there are countless individuals much more deserving of this recognition then I am. I’m grateful for the people that I’ve met through OEFFA and inspired by their dedication to help us all become better stewards of our farms, families, and communities,” Anderson said.
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2017 Service Award Winner—Holly Harman Fackler
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From left: Holly Harman Fackler, Lauren Ketcham
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
Holly Harman Fackler, a Fairfield County native who lived for 30 years in Richland County, was an important influence and leader in the early days of OEFFA, acting as the organization’s first paid newsletter editor and employee.
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During the late 1980s and 1990s, she stepped up to do some of the heavy lifting required to build the then-fledgling organization into the state-wide, 4,325 member educational network it is today. For several years, Harman Fackler’s home in Plymouth, Ohio, was OEFFA’s office and her phone was OEFFA’s phone.
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She wrote, edited, designed, and distributed OEFFA’s newsletter, labeling and bundling newsletters at the dining room table, often with a young one on her knee. “We took pretty seriously the need to get information out, which now is much easier to get ahold of, but which, then, was not,” she said.
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In addition to her work on the newsletter, she built OEFFA’s first electronic membership database from paper files kept on index cards, responded to phone and mail inquiries, and networked with other OEFFA leaders. She served several terms on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees, helped organize OEFFA’s educational events, and took an active role in planning and preparing conference meals that reflected the values of the organization.
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“Holly’s giving and kind spirit infused her efforts to develop OEFFA’s early administrative and communications infrastructure and provided crucial energy and organizing skills at the time when they were needed most,” said McGovern.
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Harman Fackler found her way to OEFFA as a partner in a small diversified grain and livestock farm. “OEFFA was a lifesaver for us, really, and an important part of what we chose to do with farming… I feel like OEFFA really enriched my life, and I’m glad that it has been part of it.”

Harman Fackler worked as a reporter, blogger, editor and online editor, retiring in 2015 from Media Network of Central Ohio. Now she works, gardens, and volunteers in her hometown of Baltimore, Ohio.

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2017 Advocate of the Year Winner—Alex Dragovich
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From left: Alex Dragovich, Steve Maurer
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
Alex Dragovich of Mud Run Farm in Stark County has been a strong and guiding presence in OEFFA’s policy work since the program was formed in 2011, serving actively on OEFFA’s grassroots policy work groups and often speaking with the media and decision-makers about the impacts of fracking, climate change, food safety regulations, and genetic engineering on farmers.
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As a member of the fracking work group, which is focused on protecting farmers and our food system from the negative impacts of the oil and gas industry, Dragovich was literally the face of the issue when he agreed to work with a partner organization in representing farmers on a fracking billboard in southeast Ohio. He has experienced the issue first-hand; he has been approached by several companies with fracking lease offers, but has refused to sign a lease.
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“These are large industrial operations and history tells us that industrial accidents can occur, even when regulated,” Dragovich said. “I’m just not willing to sign away my land and water, and jeopardize the health of my chickens and those that I employ for the promise of some quick cash.”
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As a member of OEFFA’s genetic engineering (GE) work group, which works to secure clear and transparent labeling for GE foods and protect farmers from GE contamination, he organized and hosted a showing and discussion of the documentary, GMO OMG, and made calls to Senate candidates about their stance on GE labeling.
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Since 1980, he has owned and operated Mud Run Farm, where he raises free-range chickens and eggs and  grows vegetables, fruit, and small grains for local markets. His farm is powered mostly by horses, in part because he is concerned about climate change and wants to reduce his carbon emissions.

“Even with his tremendously busy schedule, Alex is actively involved in multiple issues, attending meetings and calls. He is known to pick up the phone and call the OEFFA office to ask what he can do help. He is truly dedicated and effective,” said Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA’s Policy Program Coordinator. “Without farmers like Alex engaging in the issues that affect farming and food systems, we will not achieve our goals of moving toward a more sustainable agriculture and ultimately, a more healthy and habitable world.”

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“The sustainable food and farm economy we have today is a reflection of the vision, commitment, and hard work of our thousands of OEFFA members over the course of almost four decades,” said OEFFA executive director Carol Goland. “We are grateful for all of their collective efforts in pioneering organic and sustainable farming in Ohio, but it is a special pleasure to be able to recognize three truly remarkable individuals for their contributions and accomplishments.”
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For a full list of past Stewardship and Service Award winners, click here.
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About OEFFA
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is a statewide, grassroots, nonprofit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to www.oeffa.org.
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For high resolution photos of the award recipients, please contact Lauren Ketcham at lauren@oeffa.org. Please provide photo credit: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography.

Urban Agriculture Featured at Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference: Central State University Cooperative Extension Presents Nine Hour Urban Agriculture Workshop Track

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2017

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
Sabrina Pritchett, CSU Associate Director of Public Relations and Marketing, (937) 376-6323, spritchett@centralstate.edu
  
Urban agriculture offers exciting opportunities for individuals to make a living farming and gain educational and job training, and provide communities with healthy food.
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Addressing the specific challenges and issues that face urban farmers is the focus of a six-part workshop track sponsored by Ohio’s recently-designated 1890 land-grant institution, Central State University (CSU) Cooperative Extension.
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The workshop track is part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, which will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“Urban Agriculture has the ability to transform our urban and blighted communities by becoming a practical solution,” said Dr. Clarence Bunch, Associate Director at CSU Cooperative Extension Service. “Food security has been identified as a critical need by Central State University Extension. Our sponsorship of the urban agriculture workshop track and OEFFA Conference provides the support needed to offer practical solutions that benefit families and the local community.”
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Six 90-minute workshops, totaling nine hours of urban agriculture education, will address production practices for small spaces, business planning, and cost-effective technologies for efficient urban production:
  • Safe Handling and Use of Organic Approved Pesticides—Terry Grace, Ohio Central Community Co-op (Friday, February 10, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • Urban Farm Planting and Management—Milan Karcic, Peace, Love, and Freedom Farm (Friday, February 10, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Business Planning for Ag Entrepreneurs—Stephen Washington, Central State University (Friday, February 10, 2-3:30 p.m.)
  • Water Quality’s Role in Sustainability on Small and Urban Farms—Krishnakumar Nedunuri, Central State University (Saturday, February 11, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • Low-Tech Farm Hacks and DIY Infrastructure—Lisa Helm, Dayton Urban Green (Saturday, February 11, 1:30-3 p.m.)
  • Growing Efficiently Through Technology—Cadance Lowell, Central State University Extension (Saturday, February 11, 3:30-5 p.m.)
In addition to the urban agriculture workshop track, the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference will feature:
For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017. Online registration will be open until January 23.
Our Sponsors
   
     
 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Rhinegeist Brewing | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms
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About OEFFA
OEFFA is a state-wide, grassroots, nonprofit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system.
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About Central State University
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 land-grant university with a 129-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research, and service. The university fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.

In-Depth Workshops to Explore Vital Farm Business and Production Practices

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2017

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
Renee Hunt, OEFFA Program Director, (614) 421-2022, renee@oeffa.org
  
Four full-day pre-conference intensive workshops designed to help farmers develop their production and business skills will be featured as part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow.
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The conference will be held Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“These day-long workshops allow farmers to delve deep into these topics with experienced presenters who have direct, hands-on experience,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
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The four pre-conference intensive sessions are:
  • Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune Up Your Farm Business and Increase Your Net Profit—This full-day session, led by Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm in Vermont and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, will help farmers plan to increase their net profit, market their products strategically, and meet their long-term business goals. Participants will learn how to efficiently determine the profitability of different enterprises, and about farm office administration, key financial statements, employee management, and more.
  • Growing Bionutrient Rich Food: Applying the Principles of Biological Systems—Dan Kittredge, founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, will take an in-depth look at soil, crop, and human nutrition and how farmers can improve crop quality by applying the principles of biological systems to their land. With a strong focus on management practices and techniques, this intensive session will cover pest and disease control, soil testing, mineral balancing, cover crops and minimal tillage, plant visual analysis, seed quality, Brix, and other topics.
  • Respect Your Elderberries: Growing and Selling Niche Fruit Crops from Aronia to Service BerriesJim Riddle of Blue Fruit Farm in Minnesota will explore how to grow high value specialty perennial berries, like black currants, elderberries, aronia berries, josta berries, service berries, and honeyberries. He will describe nursery sources, site selection and preparation, fertility, irrigation, pollination, pest management, and marketing challenges and strategies for effectively selling these niche berries.
  • Building a Profitable Pastured Broiler Business—Mike and Christie Badger of Badger’s Millside Farm will take an in-depth look at developing a profitable pastured broiler business. Topics will include breed selection, designing shelters, nutrition, management, marketing, and pricing.
All pre-conference intensive workshops will be held on Thursday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Dayton, which is attached to the Dayton Convention Center. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $75 for members and $90 for non-members, and includes lunch.
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Beyond the pre-conference sessions, other Thursday activities include:
  • The Contrary Farmers’ Social from 7-9 p.m. at the nearby 2nd Street Market featuring food, drinks, and a remembrance of Ohio’s Contrary Farmer, Gene Logsdon, led by David Kline of Farming Magazine;
  • Free, public admission to OEFFA’s Exhibit Hall from 4-7 p.m.;
  • A free, public Farm Land of Opportunity reception from 5-6:30 designed to connect farmers looking for land with established farmers with land and farming opportunities;
  • An Old MacGyver Had a Farm meet-up from 5-6:30 where farmers can share on-farm innovations they’ve developed to solve problems on the farm; and
  • An oral history presentation from 5-6:30 p.m. featuring stories, multimedia shorts, and interviews with the founders of Ohio’s organic movement.

In addition, on Friday and Saturday, the conference will feature:

For more information, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017. Online registration is open until January 23.
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Our Sponsors
    
   
     
 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Rhinegeist Brewing | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms

Beginning Farmers the Focus of Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference: Workshops, Scholarships, and Farmland Access Networking Featured

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2017

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
Kelly Henderson, OEFFA Begin Farming Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, kelly@oeffa.org
  
Helping beginning farmers start and grow their operations is the focus of a six-part workshop track, which is part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow. The event will be held Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“Our goal is to help early career and aspiring farmers increase their knowledge and skills, find leads on farmland, and make business and professional connections,” said OEFFA Begin Farming Program Coordinator Kelly Henderson.
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Six 90-minute workshops, totaling nine hours of education, will cover a range of topics from choosing the right equipment to developing a successful business:
  • Start with the Soil: Establishing a First-Year Fertility Program—Raymond Yoder, Jr., Green Field Farms (Friday, February 10, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • Starting Your Own Farm Business from Scratch—Richard Wiswall, Cate Farm (Friday, February 10, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Farming the Farm Bill: FSA Programs and How They Can Support Your Farm—Matt Kleski and David Drake, USDA Farm Service Agency (Friday, February 10, 2-3:30 p.m.)
  • Farmland Access 101: Options for Landowners and Growers—Krista McGaw, Tecumseh Land Trust (Saturday, February 11, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • The Path to Organic Certification: Lessons from Farmers—Julia Barton and Patrick Turner, Octagon Acres (Saturday, February 11, 1:30-3 p.m.)
  • Walk-Behind Tractors for Small Farms—Michael O’Donnell, Purdue University Extension (Saturday, February 11, 3:30-5 p.m.)
In addition to the begin farming workshop track, the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference will offer other opportunities geared specifically toward beginning farmers, including:
  • A full-day pre-conference intensive workshop on Thursday, February 9, “Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune Up Your Farm Business and Increase Your Net Profit.” Long-time organic farmer and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, Richard Wiswall, will explore ways farmers can plan to increase their farms’ net profit, market their products strategically, and meet their long-term business goals.
  • A free, public Farm Land of Opportunity reception on Thursday, February 9 designed to connect farmers looking for land with established farmers looking for employees, retiring farmers interested in a transition plan, and landowners with land to sell or lease.

To help budding farmers access these educational opportunities, OEFFA is offering a limited number of full scholarships for early career farmers. The application deadline is January 7.

In addition, the conference will also feature:

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017. Online registration will be open until January 23.
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Begin farming workshops and 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. For more information about OEFFA’s other beginning farmer work, go to www.oeffa.org/q/beginfarming.

Our Sponsors
   
     
 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms

Best-Selling Author Robyn O’Brien to Address Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

For Immediate Release: December 15, 2016

Contact:
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org

How we can heal a sick food system will be the focus of a keynote address by concerned mother, author, and activist Robyn O’Brien at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, this February in Dayton, Ohio.
 

In her February 11 keynote address, “Building the 21st Century Food System: Capitalizing on the New Food Economy,” presented by Horizon Organic, O’Brien will describe her journey from Wall Street to the farmers’ market aisle and call for change in the food industry to protect the health of our families.

After her youngest child was diagnosed with a life-threatening food allergy, O’Brien created an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked “Are we allergic to food or to what’s been done to it?” and exposed the skyrocketing rate of food allergies and other diet-related and environmental health issues.

“This generation of kids has earned the reputation of “Generation Rx” because of the rates of food allergies,” O’Brien said at the 2016 Environmental Media Association Awards, where she was honored. “Those kids have done nothing to deserve that and we have every opportunity to fix it.”

A former financial and food industry analyst, O’Brien has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich.”

O’Brien analyzed the impact that our food system has on the health of our families, companies, and our economy in her bestselling book, The Unhealthy Truth, and became recognized around the world after her TEDx talk in 2011, which has been viewed by millions.

Her work has drawn the connection between the rising rate of food allergies and cancer, ballooning U.S. health care costs, and the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients—now found in 80 percent of U.S. processed foods—into the American food supply.

“Governments around the world said we’re going to exercise precaution and we’re not going to allow [GE technology] into our food supply because it hasn’t yet been proven safe, and yet here we said, it hasn’t yet been proven dangerous, and we allowed it,” O’Brien said in her TEDx talk. “[Companies] need to place the same value on the lives of American eaters that they’ve already placed on the lives of eaters in other countries,” she continued.

O’Brien has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CBS, and countless media outlets, and she wrote a popular column for Prevention while serving as the Executive Director of the AllergyKids Foundation, which she founded, and doing strategic advisory work for companies making changes in the food industry. O’Brien also produces a weekly podcast, Take Out with Ashley and Robyn.

She has been named by SHAPE Magazine as a “Women to Shape the World,” by Forbes Woman as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter,” and by The Discovery Channel as one of its 15 Top Visionaries.

“Robyn has made the personal political. She is giving voice to other mothers and to the children and families who are burdened with health problems as a result of the corporate manipulation of our food,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.

O’Brien will speak as part of Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, which will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center.

In addition to O’Brien, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Jim Riddle on February 10; nearly 80 educational workshops; four pre-conference intensive workshops on February 9; a three-day trade show; networking events; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced meals; a raffle; book sales and signings, and more.

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017.

Our Sponsors

   

     

Dickinson Wright PLLC | Five Rivers MetroParks | Greenacres Foundation | Morning Ag Clips | Natural Awakenings Central Ohio, Cincinnati, and Toledo | Shagbark Seed and Mill | Snowville Creamery | Sustane Natural Fertilizer

  AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
  
Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
  

Bexley Natural Market | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Carriage House Farm | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms

Organic Advocate and Farmer Jim Riddle to Address Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2016Contact:
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org

The need for personal, societal, and political transformation in our food and farm system and the challenge of growing organic agriculture with integrity to meet consumer demand will be the focus of a keynote address by farmer and activist Jim Riddle at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, this February in Dayton, Ohio.
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In his February 10 keynote address, “Transform Organic Today, Grow with Integrity Tomorrow,” Riddle will explore the environmental and health problems associated with our current food system, the need for farmers and citizens to engage in organic policy issues, and solutions for change.
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“I would like to see organic agriculture elevated to a high priority, fully integrated into long-term U.S. agricultural policy, recognizing the multiple benefits of environmental protection, climate change mitigation, food security, nutrition, health, biodiversity, and sustainable farm income,” Riddle told Natural Foods Merchandiser.For more than 30 years, Riddle has been an organic farmer, inspector, educator, policy analyst, and activist.

From 2001 to 2006, Riddle served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, chairing the board from 2004 to 2005. In the years since, he has remained engaged on organic issues and GMO labeling, calling for attention to process, transparency, and integrity.

He is founding chair of the thriving Winona Farmers’ Market and the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), and has served on the leadership team for eOrganic and on the boards of the International Organic Accreditation Service, Beyond Pesticides, and the Organic Processing Institute.

He served on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Organic Advisory Task Force from 1991 to 2009, and was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s landmark organic certification cost-share program in 1998 and a national organic certification cost-share program in 2002. From 2006 to 2013, he worked for the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center as Organic Outreach Coordinator.

From 2013 to 2016, Riddle coordinated organic research grant programs for the Ceres Trust. He has recently been appointed to chair the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force, which provides advice to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota. He and his wife also own and operate Blue Fruit Farm, a five acre fruit farm in southeastern Minnesota growing certified organic blueberries, elderberries, aronia berries, black currants, blue plums, honeyberries, and juneberries. The farm is part of a 360 acre organically-managed land cooperative.

“We’ve always tried to produce good, healthy food, educate and empower others to do the same, make sure that the word “organic” has meaning, and protect the beautiful planet that we’re lucky to live on,” Riddle told the Houston County News in 2013.

On February 9, Riddle will facilitate a full-day, pre-conference intensive workshop, titled, “Respect Your Elderberries: Growing and Selling Niche Fruit Crops from Aronia to Service Berries.”

He will also lead two 90 minute workshops as part of the conference: “Getting Started with Blue Fruits” on February 10 and “An Agenda for Organic America” on February 11.
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“We’re excited to welcome Jim to this year’s conference, now in our new home in Dayton. He has been a leader in the organic movement and a knowledgeable, vocal advocate for strong and transparent standards for decades,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
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Riddle will speak as part of the Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, which will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center.
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In addition to Riddle, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Robyn O’Brien on February 11; nearly 80 educational workshops; four pre-conference intensive workshops on February 9; a three-day trade show; networking events; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced meals; a raffle; book sales and signings, and more.
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For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017.
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Our Sponsors

   

     

Dickinson Wright PLLC | Five Rivers MetroParks | Greenacres Foundation | Morning Ag Clips | Natural Awakenings Central Ohio, Cincinnati, and Toledo | Shagbark Seed and Mill | Snowville Creamery | Sustane Natural Fertilizer

  AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms

 

Registration Now Open for Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference: New Location for 38th Annual Event Features More Space, Expanded Schedule

For Immediate Release: November 29, 2016

Contact:
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
  
Registration is now open for the largest sustainable agriculture conference in Ohio, which is relocating in 2017 to a larger venue in order to offer an expanded program and more networking opportunities for farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, businesses, and others interested in sustainable and organic agriculture.
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The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“We are thrilled with this new location, and excited about this year’s line up,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “There certainly is something for everyone interested in food and farming.”

Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2017. As a special “Move With Us” incentive, OEFFA is offering a reduced registration rate for members who register by December 15. A limited number of beginning farmer scholarships and reduced volunteer spaces are also available. Online registration will be open until January 23.

The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference will feature:
  
Keynote Speakers 
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Friday keynote speaker Jim Riddle has been an organic farmer, inspector, educator, policy analyst, and activist for more than 30 years. From 2001 to 2006, Riddle served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, chairing the board from 2004 to 2005. He is founding chair of the International Organic Inspectors Association and owns Blue Fruit Farm in Minnesota.A former financial and food industry analyst, Saturday keynote speaker Robyn O’Brien, presented by Horizon Organic, has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich.” O’Brien analyzed the impact that our food system has on the health of our families, companies, and our economy in her bestselling book, The Unhealthy Truth, and became recognized around the world after her TEDx talk in 2011, which has been viewed by millions.

Intensive Workshops for Farmers, by Farmers
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Four full-day Thursday pre-conference intensive workshop options are designed to help farmers grow their businesses and hone their farm skills:
  • Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune Up Your Farm Business and Increase Your Net Profit, with Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook
  • Respect Your Elderberries: Growing and Selling Niche Fruit Crops from Aronia to Service Berries, with Jim Riddle of Blue Fruit Farm
  • Growing Bionutrient Rich Food: Applying the Principles of Ecological Systems, with Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association
  • Building a Profitable Pastured Broiler Business, with Mike and Christie Badger of Badger’s Millside Farm and the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association
Workshops, Networking, and More

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017.

Our Sponsors

   

     

 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Casa Nueva | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms

Do You Know Where the Candidates Stand on Sustainable Agriculture Issues this Election Season?

We can’t help but notice the news the presidential candidates make on a daily basis. What is less well-reported, however, are the 132 state and federal legislative races Ohioans will vote on, and where those candidates stand on important issues that affect you every day.
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A healthy democracy requires direct and open communication, but many incumbents feel they have more to lose than to gain by attending candidate’s nights or answering questions. Thankfully, there are exceptions, like those candidates that answered OEFFA’s Food and Farming Questions for Candidates Guide survey.
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Click here to confirm your state and federal districts, see the candidates that will appear on your ballot and, if they responded to our survey, read about their views on important food and agricultural issues like genetic engineering, fracking, and the Farm Bill.
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If your local candidates didn’t respond, or if you want to dig deeper, there is still time! Click here to find a candidate’s forum close to you, take a copy of the Food and Farming Questions for Candidates Guide with you, and find out for yourself what their views are. Be an informed voter and engage in direct democracy today!

OEFFA’s 38th Annual Conference: Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Thursday, February 9 – Saturday, February 11, 2017
Dayton Convention Center, Dayton, OH
Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture conference is moving to Dayton, which means lots of exciting changes, including:
  • Conference Art 2017New, spacious location with on-site hotel and parking, cell phone reception, Wi-Fi, and other amenities!
  • Larger three day trade show
  • Thursday networking and reception and Friday banquet
  • Easy access to downtown Dayton’s attractions, dining, nightlife, and recreation

Plus, the same great features you love, including:

  • Educational, inspiring workshops on sustainable farming, livestock, business, homesteading, and cooking
  • In-depth Thursday pre-conference sessions
  • Engaging nationally-recognized keynote speakers
  • Made-from-scratch, local, organic meals
  • Activities for kids and teens
  • Raffle, book sales, and a setting that encourages networking, learning, and fellowship.
Grow with us! Registration opens this fall.
Learn more and sign up to receive conference updates here.