Spread Your Wings this Summer
Spread your wings this summer with workshops to help you start and grow your farm business, video replays which give you a taste of the OEFFA conference, and farm tours featuring Ohio’s community of inspiring, sustainable farmers!
The 2021 OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series features 10 recorded presentations from the 2021 OEFFA conference, four on-farm tours, and two workshop series designed to help early career farmers build legal resilience and established farmers transfer their land.
Please note: All in-person farm tours, online workshops, and facilitated discussions require pre-registration. To help better manage crowds and ensure the safety of guests, no walk-ins will be permitted at in-person events and attendees must review and follow OEFFA’s COVID-19 safety protocols.
Enjoy a taste of the OEFFA conference all summer long! We’ve compiled 10 presentations from our 2021 online conference, Our Time: Essential Links for a Strong Food Chain, representing many of the diverse agricultural approaches, ideas, interests, and experiences shared by our members. Selections include practical production trainings, inspiring visions of a prosperous small farm future, honest reflections on 2020, and an insightful investigation of faith, food, and race.
Watch the following free recorded sessions on OEFFA’s YouTube channel; videos will be added in three “bites” on June 29, July 20, and August 10, 2021 and can be viewed anytime after. Conference Bites do not require registration, unless otherwise noted, and allow for all OEFFA members and supporters to learn from our community at no cost in lieu of being able to gather in large groups this year.
First Bite: Reflecting on 2020 and Finding Opportunity in Crisis
Tuesday, June 29
Our Time is Now: Conversations about 2020 and the Road Ahead
Panel 1: Ben Bebenroth, Spice Companies; Jonathan Gingerich, Yonie’s Greenhaus; Sasha Sigetic, Hocking College Agroecology Program
Panel 2: Dave Sokoll, Oberlin Food Hub; Adrienne Williams, Growing and Growth Collective; Drausin Wulsin, Grassroots Farm and Foods
Panel 3: Sophia Buggs, Lady Buggs Farm; Erin Harvey, Keller Market House; Rose Smith, Organic Valley
Panel 4: Beth Knorr, Summit Food Coalition; Richard Stewart, Carriage House Farm; Ted Stutz, Ohio Earth Food
2020 was a hard year for all of us. All of us felt loss in 2020, all of us faced uncertainty, and all of us persevered. In our perseverance we learned, we grew, and we now look ahead to a world that will never be the same and we have no choice but to try and shape for the better. This series of panel discussions features a diverse array of people from all over our food system who describe how their year went, what they faced, how they adapted, what gives them hope, and how they plan to move forward stronger.
Opportunity in Crisis: Building Power for a Sustainable and Just Food System in Ohio
Tevis Foreman, Produce Perks Midwest; Jaime Hadji, Ohio Farmers’ Market Network; Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA; Amy Bodiker Baskes, Ohio Food Policy Network; Brian Estabrook, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning
This pandemic laid bare the systemic injustices and fragility of our conventional food system, while highlighting the tremendous resilience of our local and regional food systems, as well as our urgent unmet needs. Together we helped protect small farms, farmers’ markets, and their customers—particularly those who rely on nutrition assistance—from worst case scenarios. Moving forward we must build on our success and cultivate a diverse coalition for just and resilient local food systems that can press state and federal leaders for change. Listen as these food system leaders discuss what was revealed in this crisis, the importance of collaborative approaches, and why we need to build our power.
Second Bite: Skill-Building for Farmers and Foragers
Tuesday, July 20
Foraging: It’s Not Just for the Wilderness
Alexis Nikole Nelson, Black Forager
Experienced forager Alexis Nikole Nelson discusses many common edible plants that are often found where they are not supposed to be and can be easily foraged by city dwellers. She shares some important safety considerations unique to urban areas, explains how to identify common edible “weeds,” and gives some tasty tips for preparing them.
Pivoting from Tillage to No-Till Practices in Vegetable Production
Matt Herbruck, Birdsong Farm
Long-time certified organic vegetable grower Matt Herbruck discusses his farm’s four-year transition from an entirely tillage-based approach to a no-till, regenerative system. Learn about bed preparation and flips, weed control, pests, plotting and planning, crop selection, and small tools and equipment. Matt shares lessons learned from both types of systems and why he settled on no-till as the most efficient, productive, and environmentally friendly way to run his market farm.
Regenerating Land with Livestock
Will Harris, White Oak Pastures
A farm vision focused on animal welfare, regenerative land practices, and rural revival is the focus of this keynote address by Will Harris. Will is a fourth-generation cattleman at White Oak Pastures, a 154-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia raising 11 species of livestock and poultry using regenerative land management, humane animal husbandry, and multi-species rotational grazing. The on-farm meat processing facilities, or abattoirs, have allowed them to vertically integrate their production system, control the quality of their products, and hire 165 employees, making them the largest private employer in the county.
Intensifying Cover Crops in Organic Grain Systems through Interseeding
Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cover crops can add multiple ecosystem services to organic grain systems, but intensifying cover crop practices beyond planting rye after row crops can be a challenge. Dr. Erin Silva, an associate professor of plant pathology and creator of OGRAIN, discusses some of the research her program has conducted with different interseeding techniques, including legumes into cereal grains, planting cover crop mixtures between corn on 30” rows at last cultivation, co-planting winter cereal rye and soybeans, and interplanting cover crops with corn on 60” rows. She also discusses some of the equipment options available to implement these techniques.
Third Bite: Creating a More Equitable Food System
Tuesday, August 10
A Conversation about Faith, Food, and Race
Rev. Marcia Dinkins, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light; Dr. Timothy Van Meter, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Join Bishop Marcia Dinkins and Dr. Timothy Van Meter for an open and honest conversation about the intersections of faith, food, and race in our society. To take the conversation deeper, OEFFA is working with Bishop Dinkins and Dr. Van Meter on a live online facilitated program (date and time TBD) to build on the themes in this special pre-recorded conversation. Look for details later this summer.
Please note: In order to better manage crowds, keep everyone safe, and compensate our hosts for the added risk and effort involved in hosting farm tours during COVID-19, we are requiring all attendees register in advance and pay a small fee to support OEFFA and the host. Guests must review and follow OEFFA’s COVID-19 safety protocols at all in-person farm tours.
Organic Dairy Pasture Walk
Wednesday, August 4—10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
Settlage & Settlage
Farmer Jordan Settlage, (419) 953-8035, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Mary’s, OH (Auglaize County)
Settlage & Settlage is a certified organic dairy milking 120 cows for Organic Valley on more than 300 acres of perennial and annual pasture. Join Jordan Settlage to tour this sixth generation livestock operation to see how he manages pasture, moves and waters cows in a high rotation system, and serves as a master grazier in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) program. Chelsea Gandy, OEFFA’s DGA Education Coordinator, will be on hand to answer questions about the program.
Registration: $5 members/$10 non-members. Pre-registration is required by August 1. Attendance is limited. An address and driving directions will be provided after registration.
Flowers, Berries, and Hemp Farm Tour
Saturday, September 11—10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET
Creek’s Edge Farm is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians in southwest Ohio. The diversified organic homestead includes a 130-year old farmhouse, two barns, a corn crib, original spring house, natural woodlands, and wetlands. Join farmers Denise and Skip to see learning gardens using companion planting with herbs, vegetables, and perennials. Tour blueberry, raspberry, elderberry, and goji berry production, as well as hemp cultivation and production. This scenic farm will also feature a sunflower field in full bloom, rain garden, native plant pollinator habitat, apiary and honeybee observation hive, and wetland milkweed habitat. Denise will share how they raise and release hundreds of Monarch butterflies each year.
Registration: $5 members/$10 non-members. Pre-registration is required by September 9. Attendance is limited. An address and driving directions will be provided after registration.
Diversified Permaculture Farm Tour
Sunday, September 26—10:30 a.m. ET
Sasha Miller applied the permaculture design process to implement regenerative practices on a 12 acre ridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, as part of the Countryside Initiative Program. Join this tour and discussion to learn about the permaculture design process, establishing a cider orchard, raising pastured pork, and outdoor shiitake production. The tour will be held from 10:30 until noon. Bring a brown bag lunch if you’d like to stay to eat and have a discussion beginning at 12 p.m.
Registration: $5 members/$10 non-members. Pre-registration is required by September 23. Attendance is limited. An address and driving directions will be provided after registration.
Season Extension Community Supported Agriculture Farm Tour
Sunday, October 17—1-3 p.m. ET
Eugene Goodman and Lucy Owsley started farming in 1994, and were certified organic by OEFFA from 1996 to 2002. They have owned and operated Boulder Belt Eco-Farm since 2005. They grow a wide selection of produce year round for their 40 community supported agriculture (CSA) families, the Richmond Farmers’ Market, and Oxford’s MOON Co-op. They have been specializing in season extension since the mid-1990s and run the oldest winter CSA in Ohio and one of the oldest in the USA.
Join them for a walking tour of the 2+ acre market garden that includes two high tunnels, several homemade “scissor” tunnels and portable tunnels, and outdoor crops. They will talk about proper crop selection and timing the plantings for a successful winter season. Eugene and Lucy will also discuss what pest and disease pressures one deals with in winter and how to control them. Finally, they will talk about preparing and harvesting for winter markets, including using summer- and fall-harvested storage crops (such as onions and garlic) for winter sales.
Registration: $5 members/$10 non-members. Pre-registration is required by October 14. Attendance is limited. An address and driving directions will be provided after registration.
Planning to Transfer the Farm
Thursdays October 14, November 4, December 2—9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET
If you want to transfer your farm land and/or business to a successor but need help navigating the process, this three-part online interactive workshop series will help you assess your situation, consider options, make decisions, and develop a plan.
Registration: Registration is required and attendance is limited. The cost is $75 for OEFFA members and $100 for non-members for up to two members of the senior generation on the same farm.
Discovering Resilience: A Legal Workshop Series for Farmers and Ranchers
Tuesdays, October 19-November 16—6:30-8:30 p.m. ET
Exclusively for farmers and ranchers, this workshop delivers the knowledge and skills you need to resolve key legal vulnerabilities on your farm within a collaborative, interactive community of peers. After a five week series of virtual interactive workshops and self-study, you’ll walk away ready to implement your own legal action plan and find legal answers with confidence.
Registration: Registration is required and will open in August. The cost is $49 per farm, and includes a one year farm membership to Farm Commons and a book which will be mailed to you.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols at On-Farm Events
Under Ohio law, there is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at an agritourism location if that injury or death results from the inherent risks of that agritourism activity. These include, but are not limited to, the risk of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals as well as the potential for you as a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.
Further, by attending an on-farm event you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. To reduce your risk and protect the safety of others:
- All events require pre-registration and attendance will be limited. To help ensure the safety of guests, no walk-ins will be permitted at in-person events.
- Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 guidance for outdoor gatherings will be followed. Details will be provided before the event.
Photos (from top): Seminary Hill Farm; Spice Companies; Clintonville Farmers’ Market; Alexis Nikole Nelson; Birdsong Farm; White Oak Pastures; Erin Silva; Methodist Theological School of Ohio; Settlage & Settlage, OEFFA staff; Creek’s Edge Farm Retreat; Purplebrown Farmstead; Boulder Belt Eco-Farm; Sunbeam Family Farm, Kelly Cabral; Banzhaf Garten Organic Farm, Kelly Cabral; 2020 Heartland Farm Beginnings graduates, OEFFA staff