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Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food & Farm Conference Info

Registration is Now Open for Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

Registration is now open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 37th annual conference. Pre-conference intensives will be held on Friday, February 12 and the two-day conference will take place Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, 2016 at the Granville Middle and High schools in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).
As the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the U.S. will come together to enjoy keynote sessions with Lindsey Lusher Shute and John Ikerd; nearly 100 educational workshops; three pre-conference intensives; a trade show; locally-sourced and organic from-scratch meals, and more.
“This conference is about working with nature, rather than trying to control it,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Sustainable agriculture is not only a path for growing right by nature, but for doing right by our communities, public health, and our economy, as well.”
Lindsey Lusher Shute is the Executive Director and co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). Shute and her husband, Benjamin, raise two daughters and own and manage Hearty Roots Community Farm, an organic farm in New York’s Hudson River Valley serving 900 community supported agriculture program members. In 2014, Shute was selected as a White House Future of American Agriculture Champion of Change. Read more.
John Ikerd is one of the nation’s leading experts and speakers on agricultural economics and a well-known, passionate, and insightful sustainable agriculture advocate and speaker. He is the author of six books including Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People Through Agriculture, andThe Essentials of Economic Sustainability—along with book chapters, journal articles, magazine and trade publications, and conference proceedings on various aspects of the sustainable agriculture movement. Read more.
The conference will offer nearly 100 beginner, intermediate, and advanced workshops across 16 tracks. Taught by experienced OEFFA members, farmers, researchers, and sustainable agriculture leaders from across the country, the workshops cover a range of topics including sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, cooking, livestock and poultry production, business management, food and farm policy, research, and more.Read more.
“OEFFA’s conference offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced grower, backyard gardener, or local food enthusiast, this conference has workshops for you,” said Hunt.

The conference will also feature three full-day pre-conference intensives on Friday, February 12 in Granville.
Answering the Call to Farm, facilitated by Lindsey Lusher Shute, is designed for beginning farmers and those considering a farming profession. It will cover start-up business planning, accessing land, transition and restoration of new ground, budgeting, and more. Read more.
The Dirt on Organic Matter, led by Ohio State University soil scientist Rafiq Islam, will explore time tested holistic organic farming practices that can help retain and build soil organic matter. Read more.
During Marketing Organic Grain: A Farmer’s Guide, OFARM Executive Director John Bobbe, NForganics Field Representative Tim Boortz, and Illinois organic grain farmer Harold Wilken will take a detailed and practical look at successful organic grain marketing. Read more.
The conference will also feature:
•  Saturday evening entertainment, including a performance by The BackPorch Swing Band and a conversation with OEFFA’s founding members about the history of the organic movement;
•  A trade show featuring dozens of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies offering an array of food, books, farm and garden products, tools, information, and services;
•  A kid’s conference with engaging activities for children ages 6-12;
•  A playroom for young children;
•  A teen conference where teenagers ages 12-15 can create their own personal weekend schedule;
•  Locally-sourced, from-scratch meals; volunteer and scholarshipopportunities; a raffle; book table; book signings; seed swap, and much more.
For more information about the conference, or to register, click here. Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.

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