Category Archives: OEFFA Press Releases

OEFFA Announces 2015 Stewardship and Service Awards

Bill Dix and Stacy Hall of Athens County and John Sowder of Franklin County Recognized

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COLUMBUS, OH—The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2015 recipients for the Stewardship Award and Service Award.Bill Dix and Stacy Hall of The Brick Dairy Farm received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and John Sowder received the Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to OEFFA.

The announcements were made on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15 as part of OEFFA’s 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil.

2015 Stewardship Award Winners—Bill Dix and Stacy Hall, Athens County

In 1992, Bill Dix and Stacy Hall started Big Rumen Farm, a 300 acre pasture-based dairy farm in Athens County with a small herd of Jersey heifers and a milking parlor. In the years that followed, they joined a regional network of dairy farmers known as “Prograsstinators,” which in conjunction with Cornell University, helps producers compare financial information to improve the management and profitability of grass-based dairy operations.

Bill and Stacy also purchased a second farm outside of Albany, called The Brick Dairy Farm, named for its red, clay soil which had been degraded after years of conventional production. By focusing on grazing rather than confinement, the couple has been able to build top soil and make the land productive.

Smart business people committed to creating change in their local community and in the dairy industry, they worked with Warren and Victoria Taylor to create Snowville Creamery in 2007, a small-scale dairy processing plant located on The Brick Dairy Farm. Fresh, grass-fed milk from Bill and Stacy’s 250 cross-bred dairy cows is minimally processed and packaged on-site. Today, Snowville’s milk, yogurt, and other products are available in more than 125 retail locations.

Early supporters of OEFFA, Bill and Stacy have been members for more than 25 years.

“The partnership between Bill and Stacy and Snowville Creamery is a great story that shows what’s possible when farmers, food processors, and the community team up to support sustainable agriculture and local producers. Bill and Stacy took a gamble, and made their vision a reality,” said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland.

2015 Service Award Winner—John Sowder, Franklin County

Long-time OEFFA member John Sowder of Columbus served on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees from 1992 until 2015, including multiple terms as board treasurer. John helped to grow OEFFA, develop new administrative systems, and provided dependability and financial guidance during lean years in the organization’s history.

He regularly lends his catering and event management skills to OEFFA, helping to organize farm-to-table events and OEFFA’s conference meals, which are locally sourced and made from scratch. He can be found each year in the kitchen at the OEFFA conference, where he helps to serve more than 2,000 meals to attendees. He has also helped encourage his peers within Ohio’s catering and food industry to serve more local food from Ohio producers.

“John’s commitment to OEFFA and central Ohio’s local food movement is unquestionable. Always quick to smile and laugh, John has played a leading role in OEFFA’s growth and success, though, in John’s modest way, it’s often behind the scenes and out of sight to most people” said Goland.

For a full list of past award winners, click here.

“All of our award winners—Bill, Stacy, and John—have shown an unwavering commitment to sustainable agriculture over the course of decades.  These awards are a small way that we, as a community, can recognize their contributions and express our gratitude for their work, from which we all have benefited,” said Goland.

Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference Features Three Pre-Conference Workshops: Regenerative Agriculture, Poultry, and Dairy Herd Health Sessions Will Provide In-Depth Knowledge to Farmers and Veterinarians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2015Contact:
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 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will host three full-day pre-conference workshops in Granville, Ohio on Friday, February 13 as part of its 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil.

“These events feature some of the country’s top experts, and are designed to provide ecological growers a deeper education than short workshops or webinars can,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “This year, we’re also offering a session geared toward livestock veterinarians so they are better positioned to serve organic dairy clients. These practices can be used in non-organic dairy systems as well.”During this pre-conference workshop, John Kempf, founder of Advancing Eco-Agriculture, will help farmers learn regenerative farming principles which allow soil and plant health to improve, not degrade, over time. Using these techniques, growers will discover how they can produce disease- and pest-resistant crops, which are healthier and more nutritious.

An Amish grower from Middlefield, Ohio, Kempf is an internationally recognized lecturer on biological agriculture, plant immunity, mineral nutrition, and soil microbiology.
Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network will discuss effective and profitable strategies for sustainable poultry production during this pre-conference workshop. For the past 30 years, Adkins has raised more than 50 breeds and varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. A licensed poultry judge, he established the International Center for Poultry in 1992 and has taught at field days, workshops, and conferences.Designed for poultry producers of any scale, this session will explore the unique advantages of sustainable production systems while exploring the history of traditional heritage breeds and the transition to hybrid breeds and industrial production models. Growers will walk away with an understanding of the breeding, feed, forage, facilities, and care required for different size production models, and how to make their poultry businesses profitable through effective financial planning, marketing, and consumer education.

During this pre-conference workshop, veterinarians Dr. Päivi Rajala-Schultz and Dr. Luciana da Costa from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Organic Valley staff veterinarian Dr. Guy Jodarski will help dairy producers and veterinarians serving organic dairy farmers learn how practical management and mastitis control practices can improve milk quality and farm profitability. Attendees will learn the basic requirements for good udder health, strategies for managing clinical mastitis, and more.
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Thanks to funding from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program, a limited number of scholarships are available for veterinarians to attend the dairy herd health pre-conference event at no cost. To request a scholarship, or to nominate a veterinarian who would benefit from this opportunity, contact Eric Pawlowski at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209 or eric@oeffa.org.
All pre-conference workshops will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, February 13 at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St, Granville, Ohio. Pre-registration is required and costs $75 for OEFFA members and $90 for non-members.
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The pre-conference workshops will be offered as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the U.S.
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In addition to pre-conference events, this year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Alan Guebert and Doug Gurian-Sherman; nearly 100 educational workshops; a trade show; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment. Separate registration is required for all conference events.
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For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2015.

Scientist and Biotechnology Expert Doug Gurian-Sherman to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2015

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

Respected scientist, author, and expert on sustainable agriculture and genetic engineering (GE), Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman will be the featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil, on Sunday, February 15 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

“Doug is one of the nation’s foremost experts on genetic engineering and its impacts,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “His scientific perspective will help attendees cut through the misinformation, hyperbole, and rumors about GE crops.”

Gurian-Sherman will speak as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the country.

In his Sunday, February 15 keynote address presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill, “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Techno Fixes, Agroecology, and the Future of Agriculture,” Gurian-Sherman will discuss the ways in which farmers that emphasize technological improvements rather than whole systems solutions are approaching farming from fundamentally different perspectives. He’ll explore whether these systems can coexist, what approaches actually work in successful agricultural systems, and the relationship between biotechnology, no-till farming, agroecology, and crop breeding.

Drawing on the example of toxic algae pollution in Lake Erie, Gurian-Sherman writes for Civil Eats, “piecemeal fixes like no-till, though they have some important benefits, will not fix a system that is fundamentally broken. We need systematic change, not band-aids.” In another article, he goes onto say, “by recognizing the opportunities provided by organic farming, we might be able to reverse current misplaced priorities and move toward a resilient, ecologically sound, and highly productive approach to farming.”

On Sunday, February 15 at 9:30 a.m., Gurian-Sherman will also lead a two hour workshop, “Genetically Engineered Crops: What You Need to Know About Health and Contamination Risks.” He will present the facts about public health, contamination, and government regulations surrounding GE food, which he recently discussed during an interview on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

Gurian-Sherman is the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. He is the founding co-director and former science director for the biotechnology project at the Center for Science and the Public Interest. From 2006 to 2014, he served as senior scientist in the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Previously, Gurian-Sherman worked at the Environmental Protection Agency where he examined the human health impacts and environmental risks of genetically engineered plants. He also worked in the biotechnology group at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and he served on the Food and Drug Administration’s inaugural advisory food biotechnology subcommittee.

He is a respected scientist, widely cited expert on biotechnology and sustainable agriculture, and author of dozens of articles, papers, and reports, including the landmark Union of Concerned Scientists report Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops.

In addition to Gurian-Sherman, this year’s conference will feature syndicated agricultural writer Alan Guebert on Saturday, February 14; nearly 100 educational workshops; three in-depth pre-conference workshops on Friday, February 13; a trade show; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.
The OEFFA conference will be held at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St. in Granville. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2015. Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.

Award-Winning Journalist to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference: Alan Guebert to Discuss Future of Farming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2015
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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
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Award-winning agriculture journalist Alan Guebert will be a featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil, on Saturday, February 14 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

“For more than 20 years, Alan has had his finger on the pulse of American agriculture, offering keen insights into the politics, money, and technology behind our nation’s food and farm system,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
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Guebert will speak as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the country.
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In his Saturday, February 14 keynote address presented by Northstar Café, “Farming’s Future Faces: Shaping the Course of Our Food System,” Guebert will explore the ways in which science, technology, and big business have changed farming over the last 50 years—from the introduction of synthetic nitrogen and genetic engineering, to the rise of large grocery chains that have replaced small corner shops—and what the next 25 years may have in store.
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In a December radio interview, Guebert told Ag Today in Central Ohio, “It’s all going to change because it always changes… Every 25 years or so, something really big comes along and changes everything in agriculture.”His keynote will explore why the future of farming will require us to focus on public policy and private muscle to ensure the tools, resources, and knowledge we use today and tomorrow are intelligent, sustainable, and profitable.
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On Saturday, February 14 at 10:35 a.m., Guebert will also lead a one hour workshop, “Should We Have an Organic Check-Off Program?” This moderated debate will explore both sides of a proposed organic check-off program.

Guebert, an award-winning freelance agricultural journalist and expert who was raised on a 720 acre dairy farm in southern Illinois, began the syndicated agriculture column “The Farm and Food File” in 1993. It now appears weekly in more than 70 newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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Throughout his career, Guebert has won numerous awards and accolades for his magazine and newspaper work. In 1997, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association honored him with its highest awards, Writer of the Year and Master Writer.
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Guebert has been described as “one of America’s finest writers on the workings and the politics of our food system” by Eric Schlosser and “a rare gift to farmers and non-farmers alike since he provides down-home wisdom that helps us all make sense of the important, but often misunderstood food and farm issues” by Fred Kirschenmann.
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He has worked as a writer and senior editor at Professional Farmers of America and Successful Farming magazine and contributing editor at Farm Journal magazine.His new book, The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey: Memories from the Farm of My Youth, will be published by the University of Illinois Press in spring 2015.
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In addition to Guebert, this year’s conference will feature respected scientist and biotechnology expert Dr. Doug Gurian Sherman as keynote speaker on Sunday, February 15; nearly 100 educational workshops; three in-depth pre-conference workshops on Friday, February 13; a trade show; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.
The OEFFA conference will be held at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St. in Granville. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2015. Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.
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Our Sponsors
Northstar Café, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, UNFI, Granville Exempted Village Schools, Greenacres Foundation, Jorgensen Farms, Mustard Seed Market and Café, Natural Awakenings Central Ohio, Cincinnati, and Toledo, Organic Valley, Snowville Creamery, Albert Lea Seed Company, Eban Bakehouse, Edible Cleveland, Edible Ohio Valley, Green BEAN Delivery, Green Field Farms, Lucky Cat Bakery, Metro Cuisine, Raisin Rack Natural Food Market, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, Swainway Urban Farm, Whole Foods Market, Advancing Eco-Agriculture, Andelain Fields, C-TEC of Licking County, Casa Nueva, Columbus Culinary Institute, Curly Tail Organic Farm, DNO Produce, Eden Foods, Kevin Morgan Studio, King Family Farm, Law Office of David G. Cox, Luna Burger, Northridge Organic Farm, Ohio Environmental Council, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Sustainable Poultry Network, WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio, Bad Dog Acres, Bexley Natural Market, Bluebird Farm, Carriage House Farm, Glass Rooster Cannery, Hartzler Dairy Farm, The Hills Market, Krazy Kraut, Lucky’s Market, Marshy Meadows Farm, Middlefield Original Cheese, Nourse Farms, Schmidt Family Farms, Stutzman Farms, Wayward Seed Farm
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Press Passes and Media Inquiries
OEFFA offers a limited number of press passes to members of the media who would like to attend conference and pre-conference events. We can also help members of the press schedule interviews with keynote speakers and workshop presenters. To arrange an interview, request a press pass, or for other media inquiries, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or lauren@oeffa.org.

Last Minute Budget Makes Long-Term Mistakes: Press Statement by Amalie Lipstreu

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org

“A new spending bill unveiled by Congress this week removes critical resources for voluntary conservation programs that help farmers with the work of protecting our natural resources. Hundreds of millions of dollars are stripped from programs highly utilized by farmers including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

This move will cut funding which the 2014 Farm Bill made mandatory. It is a backdoor approach to de-fund agricultural programs by those putting together the budget bill.  When environmental regulation is opposed, voluntary approaches to address environmental concerns are held up as the solution. The commitment to improving agriculture and the environment is called into question when those measures are undercut.

The EQIP program is an important tool for farmers implementing measures to address natural resource concerns, like toxic algae affecting Ohio’s waterways such as Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys. Nationally more than1.5 million acres were planted with cover crops between 2009 and 2012 as a result of the EQIP program, helping to reduce nutrient runoff.

The demand for EQIP technical assistance and resources already exceeds the funding allocated to Ohio. Further reductions in funding are a disincentive to conservation.

The new spending bill also includes a detrimental anti-farmer provision that would create an unfair marketplace for meat and poultry producers. It removes protection from retaliation when they use their first amendment rights, denies them the right to a jury trial, and even denies them the right to know how the prices they receive are calculated. This should not be part of any legislation in a free market economy.

As lawmakers hurriedly craft a deal to prevent government shutdown, sustainable agriculture and the rights of family farmers should not be sacrificed.”

Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil: Online Registration Now Open for Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2014

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 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil. Pre-conference intensives will be held on Friday, February 13 and the conference will take place Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15, 2015 at the Granville Middle and High schools in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

As the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the U.S will come together to enjoy keynote sessions with Doug Gurian-Sherman and Alan Guebert; nearly 100 educational workshops; three pre-conference intensives; a trade show; locally-sourced and organic from-scratch meals, and more.

“How we care of our soil has everything to do with the well-being of our food and water, how we feed ourselves in the future, and who will be raising our food ,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Soil health is at the core of sustainable agriculture, but by building connections between eaters and farmers we are also renewing the heart of our community-based food systems.”

Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman is Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. He is the founding co-director and former science director for the biotechnology project at the Center for Science and the Public Interest and formerly served as senior scientist in the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). He is a widely cited expert on biotechnology and sustainable agriculture, and author of dozens of articles, papers, and reports, including the landmark UCS report Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops.

Alan Guebert is an award-winning freelance agricultural journalist who was raised on a 720 acre dairy farm in southern Illinois. He began the syndicated agriculture column “The Farm and Food File” in 1993 and it now appears weekly in more than 70 newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Guebert has won numerous awards and accolades for his magazine and newspaper work. In 1997, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association named him Writer of the Year and Master Writer.

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The conference will offer nearly 100 beginner, intermediate, and advanced workshops across eighteen tracks, covering a range of topics including sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, cooking, livestock and poultry production, business management, food and farm policy, research, and more.
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“OEFFA’s conference offers something for everybody. Whether you’re an experienced grower, backyard gardener, or local food enthusiast, this conference has workshops for you,” said Hunt.
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The conference will also feature three pre-conference intensives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 13 in Granville.
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The first, Principles of Regenerative Agriculture, will be led by John Kempf of Advancing Eco-Agriculture. Participants will learn the principles which support regenerative farming systems and how to produce disease- and pest-resistant crops.
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The second, Slow Poultry: Sustainable Poultry Production, will be led by Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network, and focus on effective and profitable strategies for sustainable poultry production.
  
The third, Udder Health and Mastitis Control in Organic Dairies, will provide organic dairy producers with information about practical management and mastitis control practices to improve milk quality and farm profitability. The intensive will be led by veterinarians Dr. Päivi Rajala-Schultz and Dr. Luciana da Costa from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Organic Valley Cooperative staff veterinarian Dr. Guy Jodarski.
The conference will also feature:
  • Saturday evening entertainment, including a performance by The Back Porch Swing Band and a film screening of GMO OMG presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill;
  • A trade show featuring dozens of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies offering an array of food, books, farm and garden products, tools, information, and services;
  • A kid’s conference with engaging activities for children ages 6-12;
  • A playroom for young children;
  • A teen conference where teenagers ages 12-15 can create their own personal weekend schedule;
  • A raffle, book table, book signings, and much more.
For more information about the conference, or to register, click here. Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.
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Our Sponsors
Northstar Café, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, UNFI Foundation, Granville Exempted Village Schools, Greenacres Foundation, Jorgensen Farms, Mustard Seed Market and Café, Organic Valley, Snowville Creamery, Albert Lea Seed Company, Eban Bakehouse, Edible Cleveland, Edible Ohio Valley, Green BEAN Delivery, Green Field Farms, Lucky Cat Bakery, Metro Cuisine, Raisin Rack Natural Food Market, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, Swainway Urban Farm, Whole Foods Market, Andelain Fields, C-TEC of Licking County, Casa Nueva, Columbus Culinary Institute, Curly Tail Organic Farm, DNO Produce, Eden Foods, Kevin Morgan Studio, King Family Farm, Law Office of David G. Cox, Luna Burger, Northridge Organic Farm, Ohio Environmental Council, WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio, Bad Dog Acres, Bexley Natural Market, Bluebird Farm, Carriage House Farm, Fedco Seeds, Glass Rooster Cannery, Hartzler Dairy Farm, The Hills Market, Krazy Kraut, Lucky’s Market, Marshy Meadows Farm, Middlefield Original Cheese, Nourse Farms, Schmidt Family Farms, Stutzman Farms, Wayward Seed Farm
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About OEFFA
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (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. For more information, go to www.oeffa.org.

Press Passes and Media Inquiries
OEFFA offers a limited number of press passes to members of the media who would like to attend conference and pre-conference events. We can also help members of the press schedule interviews with keynote speakers and workshop presenters. To arrange an interview, request a press pass, or for other media inquiries, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or lauren@oeffa.org.

Free Information Session About New Oil and Gas Pipelines in Ohio

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Contact: Amalie Lipstreu, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, policy@oeffa.org

What: The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) presents a free information session, “Who’s In Charge? 70,000 Miles of Proposed Pipelines in Ohio.”

Why: Due to the growth of fracking, more than 70,000 miles of new oil and gas pipelines are being proposed in the state. Companies are asking landowners to sign easements so they can build pipelines, and more land is also being purchased, or acquired through easements, for compressors and processing facilities.

“While we’re still coping with how to protect our communities from fracking, landowners and farmers are now bracing for the next unwanted fracking activity—miles and miles of new high pressure pipeline to move fracked gas across our state,” said Christine Hughes, owner and operator of the Village Bakery and Della Zona in Athens, and one of the event’s organizers. “What we don’t know about pipelines could hurt us.”

Farmers, landowners, neighbors, and communities need to understand the environmental and financial risks.

Join OEFFA, Ted Auch, Program Coordinator for FracTracker Alliance; Nathan Johnson, Attorney with the Ohio Environmental Council; food business entrepreneur Christine Hughes, and others to learn about:
-New proposed pipelines in Ohio
-How state and federal agencies regulate pipelines
-Impacts to landowners, organic farmers, and farmland
-Eminent domain and your rights as a landowner
-When you need to speak to an attorney

This event is co-sponsored by Ohio University Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics (IAPE). Director Alyssa Bernstein will provide an introduction and facilitate the discussion.

When: Thursday, November 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: Ohio University, Porter Hall Room 105, Athens, Ohio

Who: 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 http://policy.oeffa.org/fracking.

IAPE works to promote well-informed, critical reflection about climate change and economic, social, and environmental sustainability in relation to human rights and justice at local, national, and global levels. For more information, go to http://ohio.edu/appliedethics.

FDA Responds to Farmer Concerns, Releases Revised Draft Food Safety Rules

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Columbus, OH—Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued revised proposed food safety regulations for farmers and food businesses under the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA is inviting a new round of public comments to respond to the revised language.
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“The FDA is to be commended for listening to farmers and the public and for realizing that a second draft was necessary,” said Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA). “This is the first major overhaul of food safety rules in 75 years. It is critical the FDA gets it right by setting regulations that protect consumers, but do not put small farmers and processors out of business.”

The original regulations, issued in fall 2013, contained several requirements that would jeopardize sustainable and organic farmers, discourage growth of local food systems, and negatively impact the conservation of natural resources. In response, OEFFA and other state and national groups mobilized more than 18,000 farmers, consumers, and food businesses to submit comments to the FDA.

“Based on our initial review, there are some encouraging improvements. For example, the FDA has clarified that activities that happen on a farm—like packing and holding produce—should be treated the same whether the produce was grown on that farm or a neighboring farm. This is important for community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, aggregating produce from multiple farms,” said Lipstreu.

“We also are encouraged by the FDA’s reconsideration of the criteria used to determine farm size and eligibility for certain exemptions. Basing farm size on sales of covered produce, rather than total sales, is incredibly important for diversified farming operations.

“However, the FDA’s revised proposals regarding water and manure standards for produce farms will require a closer look. OEFFA and our partners will be undertaking a thorough review of the revised language in the weeks ahead to make sure that sustainable and organic farmer concerns are represented. We will continue work to ensure that the rules are finalized and implemented in a way that supports a flexible, scale- and supply-chain appropriate framework that supports the growth and success of a more sustainable food and agriculture system,” concluded Lipstreu.

The official public comment period will begin Monday, September 29. Farmers, organizations, and the public are encouraged to submit feedback during the 75 day public comment period. The revised draft rules are available at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection under the Food and Drug Administration section.

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, amalie@oeffa.org
Eric Pawlowski, Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209, eric@oeffa.org

Webinar and On-Farm Workshop to Help Veterinarians and Livestock Professionals Manage Organic Dairy Herd Health

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Veterinary Extension at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) are offering two upcoming events to help veterinarians and other livestock professionals manage organic dairy herd health.

On Monday, June 23 at 1 p.m., Ohio State University Assistant Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann will lead a webinar, “CSI for Dairy: On-Farm Audits to Assess Risks.” During this webinar, participants will learn about transition herd management with an emphasis on calving-related disease prevention and on-farm risk assessment.

On Thursday, June 26 at 1 p.m., Dr. Schuenemann will lead an on-farm dairy herd health workshop at Pleasantview Farm, a family-owned certified organic dairy farm managed by Perry Clutts and his family since 1899. He will cover herd health monitoring, record-keeping, and perform an on-farm risk assessment with an emphasis on herd health and productivity to identify areas for improvement. Participants will gain hands-on experience in conducting an audit using an instrument designed to identify and rank risk factors, enabling veterinarians to offer this service to their clients. Pleasantview Farm is located at 20361 Florence Chapel Pike in Circleville.

Both events are geared toward veterinarians, Extension educators, farmers, and other animal health professionals who work with certified organic farmers and dairy herds.

There is no cost to attend the webinar or workshop, but pre-registration is required. To register for the June 23 webinar, click here. To register for the June 26 on-farm workshop, contact Eric Pawlowski at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209 or eric@oeffa.org.

Veterinary Continuing Education (CE) credits will be granted on an “hour for hour” basis.

These events are part of an educational livestock health series offered by OSU and OEFFA designed to help veterinarians and other livestock professionals gain new knowledge and expand services offered by providing important information on working with certified organic livestock and poultry.

For more information about the series or to see other scheduled events, click here, call (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209, or email education@oeffa.org.

This series is made possible with funding from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program.

Good Earth Guide Connects Consumers with Local Farmers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2014

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
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Columbus, OH – Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables, ripe off the vine berries, farm fresh eggs, and orchard harvests bursting with juicy flavor. The Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms, Gardens, and Related Businesses produced by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) can help bring these delicious tastes of summer to any kitchen.
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The Good Earth Guide includes information on 450 farms and businesses, including 193 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 100 community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
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“Since the first Good Earth Guide in 1990, the directory has grown from a list of a dozen or so to  450 farms and businesses, reflecting the tremendous growth in locally-sourced and sustainably-produced foods, fibers, products, and services,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.

The searchable online directory identifies sources for locally grown vegetables; fruits; herbs; honey; maple syrup; dairy products; grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb; free-range chicken and eggs; fiber; flour and grains; cut flowers; plants; hay and straw; seed and feed, and other local farm products.
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“The Good Earth Guide gives consumers out there a one-stop shop to find not only vegetable growers, but people who are raising poultry and beef, and  a whole range of products that are close to them and grown and raised organically,” said certified organic farmer Jake Trethewey of Maplestar Farm in Geauga County.
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Each listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm or business description, and whether the farm or business is certified organic. Many listings also include locations and maps for where the farm or business products are sold. The directory includes tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product, business or contact, by county, or by sales method.
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“One of the other primary benefits of the Good Earth Guide is that it helps growers get together with other growers, finding out what worked for them, and passing on ideas, techniques, and products that work for you to other growers,” Trethewey said.
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That’s the purpose of the Good Earth Guide, said Hunt—making connections. “Connecting consumers to local farms and businesses so that their dollars support the local community and sustainably grown food and farm products. Connecting farmers with one another so they can network and develop business relationships that support a successful farming community. And, connecting businesses with farmers who can supply local food for restaurants and other retailers,” concluded Hunt.
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The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy to use online searchable database at http://www.oeffa.org/search-geg.php.