ATHENS, Ohio — Innovative Farmers of Ohio is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting an agriculture that preserves and strengthens the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Ohio’s farms. To that end, every year it holds annual meeting where significant subjects reflecting their mission are presented.
This year on March 5 and 6 in Athens, Ohio, Innovative Farmers of Ohio will center its theme around on-farm energy production, “The Power of Agriculture: Sustaining the Future.” There will be three bus tours to local sites where individuals, colleges, and nonprofits have innovated to extract and utilize power from the land.
Tours. Buses will visit OU’s Russ College of Engineering Institute of Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, and the Voinovich Center for Energy and Environment Programs.
Another bus tour will include US Forestry at “The Wayne HQTR’s,” Rural Action’s woodlot carbon credit cooperative, and Hocking College’s Forestry, Natural Resources, and LEED Certified Energy Institute. And finally a bus tour will visit ACE Net Cooperative, (community kitchen), Snowville Creamery, and Chris Chmiel Farms (goat cheese and pawpaw guru).
Sack lunches will be included and/or a stop at Casa Nueva in Athens. Dinner March 5 will feature over 30 local vendors who will serve up a Taste of Athens. After a keynote speaker, music by The Back Porch String Band will entertain guests.
There will be a keynote speaker March 5. Sylvia Zimmerman, president of Innovative Farmers of Ohio’s board of directors and Delaware Co. dairy farmer, will speak about on farm cheese-making business, and her heritage in southeast Ohio.
On March 6, there will be breakout sessions on such subjects as pastured livestock, grain processing, solar and wind power, biofuels from farm waste, Start-up farmers markets, and local processing and alternative farm equipment.
The latter session on alternative farm equipment will be headed by Robert Recker. He is a retired agricultural engineer with John Deere for 31 years who worked on the 5000 Series as well as in many foreign countries whose demands for tillage and harvesting equipment were quite different from America’s Midwest.
For registration information, contact the Innovative Farmers of Ohio at 800-372-6092.