COLUMBUS, Ohio — Registration is now open for an interactive educational online conference 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) 42nd annual conference, Our Time: Essential Links for a Strong Food Chain, will run Wednesday, Feb. 10 to Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, and be accessible anywhere by phone and computer.
“Through these challenging times of physical distance, more than ever, we need to be socially close,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “In that spirit, the online conference will be different, but with the same intent and result: sharing information so that we can all succeed, moving our food system toward greater resilience and equity, and forging a strong and dynamic community.”
OEFFA’s popular conference will feature:
Keynote Speakers — Presented by Turner Farm
February 10 keynote speaker Will Harris is a fourth-generation cattleman at White Oak Pastures in Georgia. A leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability, he’ll share his story of building a successful, job-creating certified organic farm committed to regenerative land management and multi-species rotational grazing.
February 13 keynote speaker Dr. Elaine Ingham is founder and president of Soil Food Web and director of Soil Food Web School. Widely recognized as the world’s foremost soil biologist, for the past four decades, she has pioneered research in the field of soil biology.
February 14 keynote speaker Navina Khanna is HEAL Food Alliance’s Executive Director and a 2014 James Beard Leadership Award winner. A first-generation South Asian American with more than 15 years experience transforming food systems, her worldview is shaped by growing up and growing food in India and the U.S.
“Our keynote speakers reflect the inspiring responses to a global pandemic and strength of alternative food systems, and together represent the three legs of the sustainability stool: economic profitability, environmental health, and social equity,” said Hunt.
Food and Farm School Classes
Three full-day February 10 Food and Farm School class options provide in-depth learning opportunities:
- The Soil Food Web: Structure and Function—Dr. Elaine Ingham will discuss how the correct soil biology can help plants, how to improve your soil food web, and share real world examples.
- Happy Pigs Taste Better—Hog farmer Alice Percy of Fedco Seeds will provide an in-depth introduction on how to ethically and successfully manage pigs, taking into account natural behavior, diet, pasture, and health.
- Raw Milk Risk Management—This Raw Milk Institute training focuses on the benefits of raw milk for direct human consumption, grass-to-glass risk identification, development of a risk management plan, and lessons learned from other raw milk dairies.
Workshops, Trade Show, Socials, Debates, Networking, and More
This six day event also features:
- More than 60 workshops February 11-13 on sustainable farming, livestock, homesteading, gardening, and business with speakers such as Jo Ann Baumgartener, Dave Dowling, Kamyar Enshayan, Joel Gruver, Alice Percy, Holly Ripon-Butler, Mark Schultz, and Erin Silva
- An interactive virtual trade show February 10-15
- A free soil health workshop February 10
- Debates presented by Earth Tools February 12-13
- A farming and climate discussion with the Real Organic Project February 12
- A mixology lesson with Western Reserve Distillers February 12
- An OEFFA Open Mic Night February 13
- A chefinar with Fēst February 14
- A Community Day for Reflection, Regeneration, and Action February 15
- And much more!
“The easy-to-use online platform gives attendees the ability to rewatch recorded sessions until March 31 which is a valuable new benefit,” said Hunt. “It also provides for fun and interactive ways to network and participate in conference, including the ability to create custom schedules and reminders, send private messages, interact with exhibitors, and play games for prizes.”
Past conferences have drawn more than 1,100 attendees.
Sliding scale rates, scholarships, and a NOFA-NY conference special are available. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2021.
— Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
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