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.

  .
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.
  .
“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.
  .
 .
The conference will also feature three pre-conference intensives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 13 in Granville.
  .
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.
  .
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.
 .
###
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
 .
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.