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Award-Winning Journalist to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference

Award-Winning Journalist to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference: Alan Guebert to Discuss Future of Farming
Award-winning agriculture journalist Alan Guebert will be a featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil, on Saturday, February 14 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

“For more than 20 years, Alan has had his finger on the pulse of American agriculture, offering keen insights into the politics, money, and technology behind our nation’s food and farm system,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.

Guebert will speak as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the country.
In his Saturday, February 14 keynote address presented by Northstar Café, “Farming’s Future Faces: Shaping the Course of Our Food System,” Guebert will explore the ways in which science, technology, and big business have changed farming over the last 50 years—from the introduction of synthetic nitrogen and genetic engineering, to the rise of large grocery chains that have replaced small corner shops—and what the next 25 years may have in store.
In a December radio interview, Guebert told Ag Today in Central Ohio, “It’s all going to change because it always changes… Every 25 years or so, something really big comes along and changes everything in agriculture.”

His keynote will explore why the future of farming will require us to focus on public policy and private muscle to ensure the tools, resources, and knowledge we use today and tomorrow are intelligent, sustainable, and profitable.

On Saturday, February 14 at 10:35 a.m., Guebert will also lead a one hour workshop, “Should We Have an Organic Check-Off Program?” This moderated debate will explore both sides of a proposed organic check-off program.

Guebert, an award-winning freelance agricultural journalist and expert who was raised on a 720 acre dairy farm in southern Illinois, began the syndicated agriculture column “The Farm and Food File” in 1993. It now appears weekly in more than 70 newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Throughout his career, Guebert has won numerous awards and accolades for his magazine and newspaper work. In 1997, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association honored him with its highest awards, Writer of the Year and Master Writer.
Guebert has been described as “one of America’s finest writers on the workings and the politics of our food system” by Eric Schlosser and “a rare gift to farmers and non-farmers alike since he provides down-home wisdom that helps us all make sense of the important, but often misunderstood food and farm issues” byFred Kirschenmann.
He has worked as a writer and senior editor at Professional Farmers of America andSuccessful Farming magazine and contributing editor at Farm Journal magazine.

His new book, The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey: Memories from the Farm of My Youth, will be published by the University of Illinois Press in spring 2015.

In addition to Guebert, this year’s conference will feature respected scientist and biotechnology expert Dr. Doug Gurian Sherman as keynote speaker on Sunday, February 15; nearly 100 educational workshops; three in-depth pre-conference workshops on Friday, February 13; a trade show; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.
The OEFFA conference will be held at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St. in Granville. For more information about the conference, or to register, go Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.

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