COLUMBUS, Ohio — Registration is now open for Ohio’s renowned 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) 43rd annual conference, Rooted and Rising, will take place both online Saturday, February 12 and in-person Thursday, February 17-Saturday, February 19, 2022, at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
“Being part of a rooted community is an essential piece of forming a more resilient and sustainable food system,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “This year’s event not only features speakers and sessions committed to that future, but welcomes those from any distance who believe the same.”
Online registration is now open at oeffa.org/conference2022.
OEFFA’s 2022 conference will feature:
- Saturday, February 12 online keynote speaker Mary Hendrickson will speak on corporate power and the future of the food system. Hendrickson is a rural sociologist whose passion is making the world a better place through food. As an associate professor at the University of Missouri, she specializes in community food systems, sustainable agriculture, rural development, competition and antitrust, and the sociology of agriculture and food.
- Saturday, February 19 in-person keynote speaker Francis Thicke will speak on how to apply regenerative agriculture to farms. Thicke is a long-time dairy farmer, soil scientist, and leader in the organic community. For 30 years, he has owned and operated Radiance Dairy, a 736-acre grass-fed organic dairy farm in Fairfield, Iowa. Thicke served on the National Organic Standards Board, and previously worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service as the National Program Leader for Soil Science.
Food and Farm School Classes
Four full-day Thursday, February 17 Food and Farm School class options provide in-depth learning opportunities:
- Creating Living Soil in the Market Garden—Farmer Jesse Frost will dive into the principles, techniques, and tools behind soil management.
- Ohio Meat School Intensive—Author and Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network director Rebecca Thistlethwaite will teach the ins and outs of building a successful meat business.
- Optimize Your Farm’s Marketing Funnel—MyDigitalFarmer.com’s Corrina Bench will help build out a marketing “funnel” for one of a farm’s key enterprises.
- Organic Systems Plan Help-Shop for Transitioning Farmers—OEFFA Sustainable Agriculture Educators Julia Barton and Eric Pawlowski and others will guide those planning to certify organic for the first time.
Workshops, Food, Networking, and More
This four-day event offers a diverse array of workshops, abundant networking opportunities in the Exhibit Hall and beyond, moments to unwind and share a drink with new friends, and more, including:
- More than 50 workshops on sustainable farming, livestock, homesteading, gardening, and business with speakers such as Jim Embry, Margaret Krome, Scott Marlow, Kathleen Merrigan, Thelma Velez, Léa Vereecke, and more;
- An in-person trade show featuring dozens of businesses, nonprofits, products, and more;
- A Farm Bill Forecast discussion with national experts on the 2023 Farm Bill;
- A free Heartland FarmLink networking session to connect landowners and land seekers;
- Chances to socialize, including an open mic night and Exhibit Hall social;
- An easy-to-use app with recordings of online and in-person sessions, the option to create a customized schedule, and share messages with attendees and vendors; and
- Lunches, a raffle, chapter meet ups, and much more!
Conference registration includes both the online and in-person event, as well as access to dozens of hours of recorded educational video sessions. Scholarships for persons of color, beginning farmers, and specialty crop growers are available, along with sliding scale and volunteer rates.
For more information about the conference, or to register, visit oeffa.org/conference2022.
— Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association