OEFFA conference offers full day of local food/farming connections


GRANVILLE, Ohio — Registration is open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty, Feb. 18-19 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the event draws more than 1,000 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest, and has sold out in advance the past two years.


This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Woody Tasch and Andrew Kimbrell; more than 70 workshops; two featured pre-conference events on Feb. 17; a trade show; a kids’ conference and child care area; locally sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.

Saturday’s keynote lecture, “Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter,” will be provided by Woody Tasch.

Tasch is the chairman of the Slow Money Alliance and inspired the Slow Money movement by writing Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered. The Slow Money Alliance advocates for sustainable financial investments that support local, community-based food and farm businesses. So far, $4.5 million has been invested in 16 small food enterprises.

Sunday’s keynote lecture, “The Future of Food,” will be provided by Andrew Kimbrell, environmental attorney and the founder and executive director of the Center for Food Safety and the International Center for Technology Assessment.

Kimbrell is author of 101 Ways to Help Save the Earth, The Human Body Shop: The Engineering and Marketing of Life, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food and general editor of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture.


To register or for more information about the conference, including maps, directions, workshop descriptions, speakers, and a schedule, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2012.php.

For additional questions, contact Renee Hunt at 614-421-2022 ext. 205 or renee@oeffa.org. The 2010 and 2011 conferences sold out in advance.


The conference workshops and cooking demonstrations include: bramble and strawberry production; no-till farming; edible landscaping; pest management; compost; pork, beef, and lamb production; poultry nutrition; food preservation; food safety; social investing; business planning; renewable energy; mushroom production; season extension; cover crops; aquaculture; dairy health; recordkeeping; farm bill policy; co-ops; small space gardening; companion planting; organic certification; fiber production; permaculture; genetic engineering; field crops; conservation funding; cheesemaking, and more.

In addition, the conference will offer a three-part series of workshops about high volume hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” which is an intensive extraction process to fracture rock to release natural gas.

Other key presenters

The conference will also offer the following featured conference guests:

• Jeff Moyer, director of farm operations at the Rodale Institute and an expert on organic crop production, will discuss no-till organic farming, utilizing cover crops to enhance soil fertility, and effective compost management.

• Gary Zimmer, farmer, author, educator, and president of Midwestern Bio-Ag, will discuss nutritional considerations for pasture-based dairy operations.

• Dan Ravicher, a patent law professor and executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, will provide an update on a federal lawsuit against Monsanto which seeks preemptive court protection for farmers who may be accused of patent infringement if they become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed.


Two on-site pre-conference events will be featured Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first, “Slow Money for Ohio? Financing the Local Food System,” will feature Slow Money Alliance founder and chairman Woody Tasch and a panel of experts. The second pre-conference event, “No Till, No Drill, No Problem: Integrating No-Till Methods into Organic Production Systems,” will feature Jeff Moyer, director of farm operations at the Rodale Institute.


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