COLUMBUS, Ohio — Registration is now open for Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture conference, a three-day event bringing together hundreds of farm and food advocates.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 45th annual conference, Cultivating Care, will take place Thursday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Cherry Valley Hotel and Ohio Event Center in Newark, Ohio.
Online registration is now open at conference.oeffa.org.
- Thursday, February 15: A panel of four farmer leaders will tell a story of a mistake they made, and the lessons they learned. Then, the floor will open for other farmers and growers to tell their stories.
- Saturday, February 17: Jim Embry will speak on how the food system can be the point of transformational change toward a more caring and sustainable future. As an agrarian intellectual activist, Embry is the founder and director of the Sustainable Communities Network and winner of the 2023 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award.
Food and Farm School Classes
These five full-day classes are intended for in-depth learning:
- Key Principles for Regenerative Agriculture Success—Wayne Knight of Holistic Management International will introduce principles and tools to guide decision making with a grazing or cropping business.
- Organic Farmer Researcher Network DIY Research—Farmers, researchers, and educators will discuss farmer-led research ideas and resources.
- Organic Systems Plan Help-Shop—OEFFA educators and certification specialists will guide those planning to certify organic for the first time.
- Raising Better Chicken with Heritage Breeds—Jim Schultz of Red Shirt Farm will cover poultry husbandry, breeding and incubation, and management practices with heritage chickens.
- Wholesale for All Scales—A wholesale buyer will explore their requirements and processes, as well as food safety, for mid-scale growers to enter the market.
Workshops, Food, Networking, and More
A diverse array of workshops, demonstrations, shopping, and more are offered during the conference, including:
- More than 60 workshops on sustainable farming, livestock, homesteading, gardening, and business with speakers such as Carmen Fernholtz, Thor Oechsner, Katy Rogers, and more;
- A packed exhibit hall with dozens of businesses, nonprofits, and products, plus flash demonstrations;
- Dedicated spaces for BIPOC farmers, queer farmers, landseekers and landowners, and more to connect and share;
- Chances to socialize, including an open mic night and happy hours; and
- Locally-sourced meals, a film screening, meetups, a raffle, and much more!
Conference registration includes access to both the in-person event and to recordings of many of the sessions afterward. A limited number of scholarships and volunteer opportunities are available.
For more information, and to register, visit conference.oeffa.org.
— Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association