OEFFA Press Releases

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

For Immediate Release: December 21, 2017

Kelly Henderson, Begin Farming Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, kelly@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org

Early career farmers and those considering a farming vocation will get the information they need during a dedicated begin farming workshop track and networking opportunities that are part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, February 15-17 at the Dayton Convention Center.

“Our goal is to help people increase their knowledge and skills, find leads on farmland, and make business and professional connections,” said OEFFA Begin Farming Program Coordinator Kelly Henderson.
On February 16-17, six 90-minute workshops, totaling nine hours of education, will cover a range of topics, from organic certification to farming with children:
  • Your Top 10 Organic Transition Questions Answered—Julia Barton, OEFFA
  • Land Access and Affordability for Beginning Farmers—Mike Durante, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • In the Trenches with Farming and Government Regulations—Jacob Coleman, Sweet Grass Dairy
  • Marketing Your Farm: Sell More of Your Product—Gretel Adams, Sunny Meadows Flower Farm
  • Health Insurance and Risk Management: Tools for Navigating Health Insurance for Farmers—Shoshonah Inwood, Ohio State University
  • Pasture-Raised Humans: A Conversation About Raising Your Children on the Farm—Lindsey Teter, Six Buckets Farm, Sherry Chen, Andelain Fields, Jeff Suchy, Darby Meadow Farm
Additional workshop sessions on production, marketing, business, and green living will be offered over the two days, giving attendees nearly 80 workshops to choose from.
The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference will also offer other opportunities geared specifically toward beginning farmers on February 15:
  • A full-day Food and Farm School class, “Finding and Funding Your Farm.” Led by the National Young Farmers Coalition, this full-day workshop will prepare beginning farmers to approach their land access journey with confidence.
  • A free, public Farm Land of Opportunity reception is designed to connect farmers looking for land with established farmers in need of 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 10.

In addition, the conference will also feature:

  • Keynote speakers Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute and Stacy Malkan of U.S. Right to Know;
  • A three-day trade show featuring dozens of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies offering an array of food, books, products, and services;
  • The Contrary Farmers’ Social on February 15 at 2nd Street Market;
  • The Cream of the Crop Banquet on February 16;
  • A kids’ conference for children ages 6-12 and a playroom for young children; and
  • Much, much more!
For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2018. Online registration will be open through January 29.

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.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus OH 43214


OEFFA:(614) 421-2022 (614) 421-2022
OEFFA Certification:(614) 262-2022 (614) 262-2022