DAYTON — Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier educational and networking event for ecological farmers, backyard growers, and others committed to sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, will run Thursday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Dayton Convention Center.
“The conference is three days of learning, networking, sharing, and breaking bread with an inspiring and growing community of farmers and local food advocates,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Each year, we draw more than 1,200 attendees, and our diverse schedule offers something for all tastes.”
Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2018.
Friday keynote speaker Jeff Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture. He conceptualized and popularized the No Till Roller Crimper and wrote Organic No-Till Farming. He is the Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, which helps farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
Saturday keynote speaker Stacy Malkan is an author, journalist, and leading consumer advocate for safer products. Stacy is co-founder and co-director of the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know, whose mission is to educate and inform consumers about the often hidden practices that shape the food system. She served as media director for the 2012 ballot initiative in California to label genetically engineered foods.
Food and Farm School
Four full-day Thursday Food and Farm School class options are designed to help gardeners take control of their health and assist farmers in honing their farm skills and meeting new challenges:
- Grazing School with Sarah Flack, author of The Art and Science of Grazing
- Restorative Health From Your Backyard with Barbara Utendorf, a Doctor of Naturopathy and OEFFA Conference favorite
- Produce Safety Alliance Food Safety Training Course with the Ohio Department of Agriculture
- Finding and Funding Your Farm with the National Young Farmers Coalition
- Workshops, Networking, and More
The event offers more than 100 hours of workshops, abundant networking opportunities in the Exhibit Hall and beyond, moments to unwind and share a drink with new friends, activities to please the whole family, and more including:
- Nearly 80 90-minute workshops on topics including sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, livestock, business management, and policy, with an urban agriculture workshop track presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension, a beginning farmers workshop track, and more;
- 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 Thursday, Feb. 15 at 2nd Street Market;
- The Cream of the Crop Banquet on Friday, Feb. 16;
- A Farm Land of Opportunity reception, Old MacGyver Had a Farm discussion and reception, and a Homeplace Under Fire screening and discussion on Thursday, Feb. 15;
- A kids’ conference for children ages 6-12 and a playroom for young children; and
- Locally-sourced, from-scratch breakfasts and lunches; raffle; book table; morning yoga and chi kung; book signings, and much more.
For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2018. A limited number of beginning farmer scholarships and reduced rate volunteer spaces are also available. Online registration will be open until Jan. 29. On-site walk-in registration will also be available for an additional fee.