Thanks so much to the many sponsors, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, and others who helped make this year's conference possible! We couldn't do it without YOU! Please check out the list of this year's sponsors below, and support the farms and businesses that support OEFFA.
We also encourage you to take the conference home with you! Dove Audio Visual is selling individual workshop, keynote, and Food and Farm School MP3 recordings, and the complete set for one low price.
Friday Keynote Speaker
Creating a Food System Worth Sustaining
Elizabeth Henderson is a pioneer of the community supported agriculture (CSA) model and outspoken advocate working to address the many injustices of a cheap food system.
She co-founded the Genesee Valley Organic CSA in Rochester, NY in 1989, and later Peacework Farm in Newark, NY in 1998, where she's farmed for more than 30 years.
She's the author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture and her writings on organic agriculture appear in Grist, The Natural Farmer, and other publications.
She is a core leader behind the Agricultural Justice Project and its Food Justice Certification label, working to create fairness for farmers and farmworkers. She helped to shape the National Organic Foods Production Act, is a member of the board of Directors of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, and is honorary president of the international CSA network, Urgenci.
Saturday Keynote Speaker
Unearthing Our Roots
Onika Abraham is a farmer and educator with more than 15 years of experience in teaching, nonprofit management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
She was a teacher at Farm School NYC, before becoming its Executive Director in 2014, where she works to recruit students that reflect the diversity of New York City and help cultivate future leaders in the food justice movement. The organization trains local residents in urban agriculture to help them achieve their professional farming goals.
She has completed the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Brooklyn Urban Gardener certification program and the 1,000 hour Farm and Garden Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) in Santa Cruz.
She served on CASFS's Social Justice Action Committee, helping expand the curriculum, diversify staff and faculty, and create more support systems for apprentices of color.
Onika is one of the co-founders of Black Urban Growers and has helped organize three national Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conferences.
She has previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Safe Horizon, which empowers victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Schedule is subject to change. Events will be held at the Dayton Convention Center, unless otherwise noted.
Food and Farm School, The Contrary Farmers' Social, and The Cream of the Crop Banquet registrations and lunches must be purchased separately; They are not included in general registration.
*OEFFA members are invited to attend the member meeting at no cost. The Exhibit Hall is open to the public on Thursday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and Friday from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Thursday's Soil Health Workshop and Farm Land and Labor Mixer are also free and open to the public. All other conference events require paid registration.
10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
Agroforestry is an intensive farming system that intentionally combines trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock on the land to optimize biological interactions to maximize farm output and environmental services. John Munsell, Catherine Bukowski, John Fike, and Katie Trozzo of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will provide a comprehensive primer on agroforestry and practical applications in urban, suburban, and rural areas and the techniques underpinning highly productive operations. This session is ideal for beginning forest farmers, early career farmers, or experienced farmers looking to enhance their management with agroforestry principles. Topics include: agroforestry principles and concepts; silvopasture and alley cropping; multi-functional riparian buffers and forest farming; windbreaks, multi-story cropping, and community food forests. The session will include a mixture of slide shows, discussion, and planning and design exercises using virtual reality and pen and paper.
8:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m.
Join author Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin and Tony Wells of the Main Street Project for a full-day workshop, which will cover regenerative poultry production and system-level design, farm-level production, and local, regional, and national implementation strategies. It will also help you align farm enterprise and system-level enterprise management based on five core areas. Reginaldo and Tony will describe the process for organizing and deploying fully integrated regional farm clusters designed to solve some of the most critical aspects of launching a regenerative poultry industry such as feed, poultry processing, steps to achieving scale, manure management, grain growing, and game-changing innovations that are revolutionizing the labor and cost of producing top quality poultry at a larger scale.
Get an A-to-Z exploration of this innovative system design, learn about enterprise stacking and integration and its value as a foundation for building a regenerative poultry industry sector, and discover how you can integrate more than 14 enterprise sectors capable of generating large-scale results.
10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
"Lean" is a Japanese work method designed to increase the flow of value in a workplace with less labor. Toyota, in particular, is looked to as a model of this lean approach. In this workshop, Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, and co-owner of Clay Bottom Farm in Indiana, will explain how he and his wife, Rachel, use concepts borrowed from lean to earn a comfortable living working about 35 hours per week each on less than an acre of land.
The workshop will cover management strategies like heijunka (load-leveling), 5S organizing, and kaizen (continuous improvement), as well as production techniques like single-piece flow. He will also cover Clay Bottom Farm's specific techniques for growing a range of vegetables with lean thinking. He will explain how they use lean to reach their sales goals while ensuring they have time to spend with family and friends and on hobbies they enjoy.
10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
Spend a day with leading organic grain farmer, educator, and consultant, Gary McDonald of Organic Resources as he discusses the nuances of his holistic approach to healthy soil and clean crops. Gary will draw on his decades of experience in organic farming to provide practical strategies with proven results. Learn Gary's bio-"logical" system for biological proliferation and nitrogen fixation, including crop rotations, tillage, and cover crops. He will also review the finer points of mechanical weed control.
Food and Farm School pre-registration is required. Check-in opens at 8:00 a.m.
Lunch is included.
Catherine Bukowski—Catherine Bukowski is a researcher, author, educator, and PhD candidate at Virginia Tech. She is also a consultant with Kindred Roots Design focusing on creating abundant landscapes and growing connected communities. She is the co-author of The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places.
Ben Hartman—Ben Hartman is the author of The Lean Farm, and winner of the Shingo Institute's Prestigious Research and Professional Publication Award. He and his wife, Rachel Hershberger, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Indiana, where they make their living on less than one acre growing and selling specialty produce to restaurants, at a farmers' market, and through their community supported agriculture program.
Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin—Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, of the Main Street Project, is a native Guatemalan who began working on economic development in indigenous communities in 1988. He is a founder of Regeneration International and Regeneration Agriculture Alliance, and an advisory board member for the Savanna Institute. He is co-owner of Regeneration Farms and Tree-Range Chicken in Minnesota and is the author of In the Shadow of Green Man.
Ed Maltby—Ed Maltby has more than 45 years of experience managing conventional and organic dairy, beef, sheep, and vegetable enterprises. Since 2005, Ed has worked as Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, an organic family farm member organization. He has served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dairy Industry Advisory Committee and on the Executive Committee of the National Organic Coalition.
Gary McDonald—Gary McDonald was raised on an Illinois grain and livestock farm. An early leader in organic farming, he rented his first farm in 1979 and transitioned more than 800 acres to organic production and served as the first president of the Illinois Organic Crop Improvement Association. Today, Gary manages an organic grain farm and provides consultation services to those transitioning their land to certified organic.
Abby Youngblood—Since 2015, Abby Youngblood has served as the Executive Director of the National Organic Coalition, an alliance of farmers, nonprofits, and companies dedicated to organic integrity. Abby lives in Massachusetts and has been a passionate participant in the organic farming and food justice movement for nearly two decades.
Thursday, February 14—7:00-9:00 p.m.
2nd Street Market, 600 E. 2nd St., Dayton, Ohio
Kick off the weekend and help us celebrate our 40th anniversary by joining us at Dayton's 2nd Street Market for an evening celebration of our community named in memory of Ohio's beloved Contrary Farmer, Gene Logsdon. Guests will sample fine small plates prepared by 2nd Street Market vendors and local beer as they walk the historic market building enjoying live music and good company.
This event is now SOLD OUT.
NETWORKING AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Join other food and farm enthusiasts to share information and make connections during these free events. Although there is no cost to attend, please pre-register, where indicated.
Thursday, February 14—1:00-4:30 p.m.
This interactive workshop will help strip away some of the complexity of soil testing and soil health, providing practical advice for improving soils. Bring your own soil test results and receive help interpreting what the numbers mean. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of soils, soil testing, and soil health; be able to successfully navigate soil test reports; and learn concrete steps to improve soil health in their fields. The Ohio State University, as part of their work to build bridges between the knowledge base held by farmers and the agricultural research community, is offering this training at no cost.
Thursday, February 14—5:00-6:30 p.m.
If you need a farm, or need a farmer, attend this informal networking reception designed to connect farm hands and aspiring farmers with established farmers looking for employees, retiring farmers interested in a transition plan, and landowners with land to lease.
THE CREAM OF THE CROP BANQUET
Friday, February 15—6:30-8:30 p.m.
After a day of learning and networking, OEFFA welcomes you to treat yourself to a refined dinner with friends. The Cream of the Crop Banquet will feature a special menu of locally-sourced fare created by Chef Aaron Watson. This is a full service, seated meal so you can sit back and savor the evening as we celebrate OEFFA's 40th anniversary.
This event is now SOLD OUT.
We incorporate organic and/or local meats, dairy products, vegetables, and grains into our meal offerings. Vegan and gluten-free meals cannot be guaranteed.
Conference registration is required for lunch purchases. Lunch is not included in Friday and Saturday registration. Thursday lunch is included in the Food and Farm School registration. Children 5 and under eat free.
Workshops are subject to change. With almost 80 workshops, covering everything from commercial production, livestock, food and farm policy, urban agriculture, research, sustainable living, and more, OEFFA's conference has something to offer everyone!
Enjoy an expanded Exhibit Hall which now has space for larger equipment displays, live demonstrations, and congregation areas! As always, the trade show will be packed with a diversity of vendors, offering you a one-stop shopping experience. You'll find businesses that can help you find your market, products that you can use on your farm or in your backyard, services that will help your farm or homestead succeed, quality locally-produced merchandise for your pantry and home, and useful information from knowledgeable nonprofit and educational institutions. Be sure to check out all that the Exhibit Hall has to offer, including OEFFAstead—home to all things OEFFA in the trade show.
Try your luck for a chance to win a variety of wonderful products and services, courtesy of many of our exhibitors, sponsors, and other conference supporters. Funds raised support OEFFA’s educational work.
Don't forget your OEFFA swag! Aluminum "No Spray" and other signs and organic logo stickers will be for sale.
Are you certified organic or considering certification? Bring your questions and paperwork! OEFFA Certification staff will be on hand to provide one-on-one assistance and to answer questions about the organic certification process, organic standards, and certification guidelines.
Here's your chance to get great deals on scads of food and farming book titles! We also encourage you to donate your gently used farm and food books at conference, or before the event. Book sales support OEFFA's work.
This year's author table will feature:
Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell (The Community Food Forest Handbook)
Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin (In the Shadow of Green Man)
Ben Hartman (The Lean Farm)
Te'Lario Watkins II (Te'Lario's Amazing Mushroom Farm)
John Wiley (An Inconvenient Herd)
Wondering about the nuances of compost? Curious which fertility inputs yield the most beneficial return? Our Exhibit Hall vendors are glad you asked!
New this year, there will be a demonstration space for vendors to showcase and discuss their products, services, and resources. Rotating demonstrations scheduled during the Exhibit Hall break periods will feature innovative technologies, time-tested products, and valuable supportive services available to you and your farm. Come with questions and leave with ideas.
With an expanded Exhibit Hall space, there will also be seating areas within the trade show for attendees and exhibitors to relax, reflect, and engage with fellow conference-goers.
$141.55 per night
(Close to selling out! Book your room at the Courtyard Dayton South/Mall instead or click here for more options.)
The Crowne Plaza is attached to the Dayton Convention Center by a convenient enclosed walking bridge. Complimentary parking in the Transportation Center garage attached to the hotel is included (for vehicles under 6’8”).
$82.00 per night
(ask for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association room block.)
Complimentary shuttle services will be provided to the Dayton Convention Center if room block goals are achieved.
For a list of other nearby hotel options, click here.
Parking is available in the Transportation Center parking garage () for $6 per day maximum ($2 per hour, $1 per partial hour), or at no cost for Crowne Plaza Dayton guests.
The garage is located one block east of the Dayton Convention Center on 5th St. at Jefferson St. The garage offers a covered skywalk on Level 1 that connects to the third floor of the convention center.
Please pay for your parking before you get in your car to leave the facility by using the pay stations located on Level 1 (the skywalk level) at the parking garage.
The pay stations are located directly across from the elevators on the right as you are walking across the skywalk to the garage. They are located immediately on the right before you get to the elevators, which will be straight ahead.
Please note, there are no cashiers stationed at the exits. Credit/debit cards are the only form of payment that are accepted at the exits and are subject to additional charges if used at the exit. To use cash, you must use a pay station that is located on Level 1 of the parking garage. The pay station will also accept credit and debit cards.
For more information and directions, visit the Dayton Convention Center website.
In the event that the Transportation Center parking garage is full, overflow parking is available at the Montgomery County Reibold Building parking garage () on E. 5th St. between Main St. and Ludlow St.
There's lots to see and do in Dayton when you join us for the conference! Dayton offers the best of both worlds: the dining, nightlife, and buzz of the city, at a size and scale that makes it easy to get around and enjoy. Check out some of these nearby attractions:
Conference artwork created by Kevin Morgan Studio. Conference photography provided by Ed Chen.