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.
Take the conference home with you! Dove Audio Visual is selling individual workshop, keynote, and hemp and farm finances Food and Farm School MP3 recordings, and the set for one low price.
Friday Keynote Speaker
Climate Change, Resilience, and the Future of Food
Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 25 years as a researcher, policy-maker, educator, author, consultant, and farmer.
She is the author of the 2015 book, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate, and contributed to the 3rd National Climate Assessment as a lead author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture report Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation.
Laura founded Cultivating Resilience, a private consulting firm that works with organizations to integrate resilience thinking into operations, assessment, and strategic planning, and is currently writing a new book, Opportunity in Change: Resilience Thinking for Small Business.
Previously, she led the academic program in sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College for more than a decade, where she also served as the Director of Sustainability Education.
Laura is a Fellow of the Center for Integrated Agriculture Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the lead Resilience Partner for Foragable Community, and serves as an advisor to the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance. Her work in soil quality and sustainable farming systems was nationally-recognized with a USDA Secretary's Honor Award.
Saturday Keynote Speaker
Food, Farm, and Climate Justice: A New Deal for a Just Transition
Eric Holt-Giménez is an agroecologist, political economist, activist, and author.
From 2006-2019, he was the Executive Director of Food First, where he worked to end the injustices that cause hunger, build a global movement for food sovereignty, and advance agroecology and sustainable food systems.
After growing up on farms in northern California, from 1975 to 2002 he worked in Mexico, Central America, and South Africa in sustainable agricultural development and helped to start the Campesino a Campesino (Farmer to Farmer) Movement.
He is the editor of the Food First book Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems; co-author of Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice, and author of the books Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America's Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture and A Foodie's Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat. His work has appeared in many academic, magazine, and news articles, including The New York Times and Huffington Post. His latest book is Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?
He holds a Masters degree in international agricultural development from the University of California (UC) Davis and a Ph.D. in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz. He has taught development studies at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Boston University, the National Gastronomic University in Italy, and the Universidad de Antioquia in Columbia.
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 members' 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 networking opportunities are also free and open to the public. All other conference events require paid registration.
10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
In this full-day training, renowned author and market gardener Jean-Martin Fortier will demonstrate the important components of his success, including both physical techniques and management practices that enliven his agro-ecological approach to productive, profitable market gardening. He will use a combination of slides, lecture, and interactive dialogue to help you understand his system and how you can apply its lessons to your own operation. This new and updated presentation will focus on crop planning and management, new physical tools and computer-based organizational tools, and the often-overlooked importance of standard operating procedures.
10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
You've concentrated on building a farm business that fits you, developed basic skills in financial recordkeeping, and can produce out a few simple reports. Now it's time to understand how the numbers associated with your business can be used to improve management decisions. Are products priced correctly? Are various enterprises making or losing money? Have you chosen markets that will generate the most profit? Will cash be available to pay for expenses when you need it? Do you have the information you need to make sound equipment or other capital purchases? How profitable is your farm operation over time?
Jody Padgham, co-author of Fearless Farm Finances, supported by Becky Rondy, co-owner of Green Edge Organic Gardens, will introduce numerous ways in which your financial records can be refined and used to explore these and other issues. Leave this workshop with a copy of Fearless Farm Finances, worksheets, and other tools to help manage your operation profitably.
10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
Legalized hemp gives farmers a new option for diversifying their crop rotations, as well as their businesses, but many questions remain about how to grow and sell it profitably and legally. This day-long session will look at the various market opportunities, like CBD oil, fiber, grain, and certified seed crops, and their corresponding production considerations. A team of experts from the Ohio Department of Agriculture hemp program, the Ohio Seed Improvement Association, and Central State University Extention will discuss seed, transplant, and clone availability; fertilization and weed control; planting and harvesting; short- and long-term market opportunities and important financial considerations; regulation and compliance. Learn about common pitfalls so that you can take advantage of this opportunity with your eyes wide open.
After the Food and Farm School, join us in the Exhibit Hall!
On Thursday from 4:00-7:00 p.m., the trade show will be open to everyone at no cost!
Food and Farm School pre-registration is required. Check-in opens at 9:00 a.m.
Lunch is included.
Harriet Behar—For almost 40 years, Harriet Behar has been an organic educator and organic inspector, visiting and working with thousands of diverse organic farmers in the Midwest and beyond. She is the outgoing chair of the National Organic Standards Board. She and her husband have managed a certified organic farm since 1989, growing bedding plants, vegetables, herbs, and small grains, in addition to eggs and honey.
John Biernbaum—John Biernbaum is Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University. He researches and teaches organic soil and fertility management, use of high tunnels, and vermicomposting of food scraps for year-round diversified organic farming and urban agriculture. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance.
Jean-Martin Fortier—Jean-Martin Fortier is a farmer, educator, and best-selling author specializing in organic and biologically intensive vegetable production. His award-winning book, The Market Gardener, has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide to reimagine ecological human-scale food systems. He works to educate, empower, and inspire people to pursue a farming career and lifestyle.
Meg Grzeskiewics—Meg Grzeskiewics is a farmer, speaker, and consultant who got her start in regenerative agriculture while interning for nationally renowned grazing expert Greg Judy. For six years, Meg raised 100 percent grass-fed breeding stock in New York and now manages grazing on a 25,000-acre ranch in Oklahoma. She is a contributor to On Pasture and the owner of Rhinestone Cattle Consulting.
Jody Padgham—Jody Padgham is the co-author of Fearless Farm Finances. Currently an outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jody was formerly the long-time financial manager of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and a past coordinator of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. She owns a 60-acre farm where she raises small flocks of sheep and organic pastured broilers.
Jeff Schahczenski—Jeff Schahczenski is an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. He has more than 30 years of experience working on issues related to sustainable and organic agriculture. He wrote and helped develop an Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant to explore issues related to risk management, crop insurance, and organic farming.
Thursday, February 13—7:00-9:00 p.m.
2nd Street Market, 600 E. 2nd St., Dayton, Ohio
Kick off the weekend by joining us at Dayton's 2nd Street Market for an evening celebration of our community named in honor 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.
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 13—1:00-4:00 p.m.
Join us for a half-day workshop exploring the region's changing climate and its impact on your farm and food production. Aaron Wilson, Rafiq Islam, Vinayak Shedekar, and Alan Sundermeier of The Ohio State University will help you engage with topics including climate change, soil health, and water management as they share the state of the science, current impacts, future models, and the latest innovations and actions that can be taken to improve your farm's climate resilience.
Thursday, February 13—5:00-6:00 p.m.
HeartlandFarmLink.org, OEFFA's new land-linking service, is online and filling up with the profiles of landowners and land seekers. Still, there's nothing like meeting prospective sellers, leasees, or co-operative business partners in person. Join this informal networking reception to learn more about how OEFFA supports land transfer and mingle with others looking for land or a farmer.
Thursday, February 13—5:00-6:30 p.m.
Tour nearby urban farms with year-round production during two free open houses.
Visit Dayton Urban Grown, 933 Xenia Ave., from 5:00-5:45 p.m. and Mission of Mary Cooperative, 619 Silver Ln., from 5:45-6:30 p.m.
THE CREAM OF THE CROP BANQUET
Friday, February 14—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, featuring a special menu of organic, locally-sourced fare. This is a full service, seated meal so you can sit back and savor the evening.
Registered guests have a choice of non-alcoholic or adult beverage. Cash bar available.
We incorporate organic and/or local meats, dairy products, vegetables, and grains into our meal offerings. Given this sourcing work, a limited number of meals are available for sale. 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.
In exchange for four hours of on-site work, pre-approved volunteers may pre-register for both days of the conference for only $60. No further discount applies and meals are not included. The deadline to apply for the reduced volunteer rate has passed, but contact Renee Hunt at (614) 947-1642 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see if space is still available.
If you'd like to volunteer just to volunteer, we also need help in the office during the weeks leading up to conference and help with set up on Thursday, February 13. Let us know if you can pitch in.
Be part of the conversation before and during the conference, and get the latest event updates. Use #oeffaconference2020 and follow:
Please join us for one of the following meet ups to learn more about OEFFA’s chapters:
Thursday, February 13--6:30-9 p.m.
Mission of Mary Cooperative | 619 Silver Ln.
Market Gardening Chapter
Friday, February 14--12:15-1 p.m.
Dayton Convention Center | Room 101 in the Beehive
Grain Growers Chapter
Little Miami Chapter
Moon (Miami Oxford Organic Network) Chapter
Southeast Ohio Chapter
Youth Agriculture Education Chapter (potential new chapter)
Saturday, February 15--12:15-1 p.m.
Dayton Convention Center | Room 101 in the Beehive
Heart of Ohio Chapter
Lake Effect Chapter
Real Food (Farmers of Organic Delicacies) Chapter
Southwest Ohio Chapter (SWOEFFA)
Staff and Board Alumni Chapter
Scroll down and take note of the many generous businesses and organizations that provide support to the OEFFA Conference.
We encourage parents and caregivers to bring the family! Kat Christen of Smaller Footprint Farm and Antioch College Farm is organizing this year's Kids' Conference, which offers 6-12 year olds educational and fun hands-on activities. Kat previously worked for Five Rivers MetroParks and has developed and taught programs in urban gardens in Dayton.
Child care is available for younger children. Megan DeLaurentis will again organize and offer age-appropriate activities and time to take a nap.
Private space for nursing will be available. Children must be with parents during meal times.
With almost 80 workshops offered, how do you choose? You don't have to! Dove Audio Visual will give you the choice of purchasing individual workshop and keynote presentation MP3 recordings, or the complete set for one low price. Recordings from the Thursday Market Gardening 2.0 Food and Farm School with Jean-Martin Fortier will not be for sale.
Order on site or after the event at www.dovecds.com/oeffa.
Friday, February 14—5:15 p.m.
Join us for OEFFA's annual membership meeting, where we review the past year, elect new members of the Board of Trustees, and discuss other issues on our members' minds. This is YOUR organization. Please come to listen, learn, and share.
All are welcome here. OEFFA values diversity within our organization and at our annual conference. Like in ecological agriculture, diversity plays an important role in cultivating symbiotic and sustainable relationships between both plants and humans. A community that embraces everyone regardless of race, nationality, creed, political belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or ability braves the harshest season and bears the sweetest fruit.
If you have concerns about enjoying the conference due to physical limitations or accessibility issues, please let us know and we'll work with you to try to find a solution.
Workshops are subject to change. Detailed workshop descriptions are now available in the conference program (pdf). With more than 70 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 more booths, larger equipment displays, and hospitality 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 keynote speakers Laura Lengnick (Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches), Eric Holt-Giménez (Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?), best-selling author Jean-Martin Fortier (The Market Gardener), and Ohio’s own Shawn and Beth Dougherty (The Independent Farmstead).
There are seating areas available within the trade show for attendees and exhibitors to relax, reflect, and engage with fellow conference-goers. Grab a cup of coffee and some literature to peruse, and sit and visit for a while with your OEFFA family.
33 E. 5th St., Dayton, OH 45402
Book Online | OEFFA Reservations
$112.00 per night
(Ask for the OEFFA room block rate. Deadline: January 12, 2020)
A limited number of rooms are available at this OEFFA group rate. Please use the booking link provided to reserve your room at this special OEFFA room block price. If you need additional assistance in making your reservation or to confirm availability, call (937) 229-9835 and ask for Sam or Ronda. If necessary leave a message to be called back.
Do not call the general (800) number for the hotel, as these reservationists do not have the details for the OEFFA conference.
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”).
100 Prestige Pl., Miamisburg OH 45342
Book Online | OEFFA reservations
$84.00 per night
(Ask for the OEFFA room block rate.)
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.
RTA Flyer: A free shuttle bus service in downtown Dayton that can help you tour the city at no cost! RTA website | RTA Flyer
Show your OEFFA conference name tag at nearly 30 participating Dayton attractions, restaurants, and retail businesses for special discounts!
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: