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Stinner Summit Will Focus on Sustainable Farms, Food, Communities

LUCAS, Ohio — It’s about growing green farms. Building sustainable communities. And helping keep more people fed.

Ohio’s ninth annual Stinner Summit is Oct. 16 near Mansfield, and anyone interested in healthy land and clean water — including such issues as local food, urban farming, food security and sustainable agriculture — is welcome to attend.

Participants in the summit will brainstorm and plan projects that enhance healthy agricultural ecosystems and sustainable communities, said Matt Porter, an organizer of the event and a graduate administrative assistant with its host, the Agroecosystems Management Program. The program is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

At the end of the day, participants will decide how to use up to $15,000 in funding from Ohio State’s Ben Stinner Endowment for Healthy Agroecosystems and Sustainable Communities, along with their own time and effort, to put the plans they develop into action, Porter said.

Participants in last year’s summit chose to support, among others, projects to establish demonstration sites for agroforestry, a land-management system where trees and shrubs are grown among crops and pasture; provide a Community Supported Agriculture program for senior citizens; and increase purchasing from local farms by Ohio universities and other institutions.

Balancing values

An agricultural ecosystem, or agroecosystem, includes all the living and nonliving parts of a farm and its neighboring communities, and how all the parts interact.

Successfully managing an agroecosystem takes a combination of social, economic and ecological values and keeping them in balance, according to an AMP webpage.

Building on legacies

The summit and endowment are named in honor of the late Ben Stinner, who was a pioneer in agroecology and sustainable agriculture in CFAES. He was the leader of AMP and was the first holder of the college’s Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management at the time of his death at age 50 in a 2004 car crash.

StinnerSummitAgOSUMalabbarFarms
Ohio’s ninth annual Stinner Summit is Oct. 16 at Malabar Farm State Park, shown here, whose roots in sustainability go deep. (Photo: OHWiki via Wikimedia Commons.)

The event is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Road, in Lucas, Ohio. The park is the former home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, conservationist and sustainable agriculture proponent Louis Bromfield.

Registration is free and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration will open Sept. 14. AMP’s website, amp.osu.edu, will have details and a link to online registration.

For more information, contact Matt Porter, 614-292-2265, porter.801@osu.edu.

Details on the Stinner Endowment are at go.osu.edu/StinnerFund. A link to donate to the fund is at go.osu.edu/OARDCfunds.

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