DAYTON, Ohio — The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) named the 2017 recipients for the Stewardship Award and Service Award, as well as the first winner of the Advocate of the Year during OEFFA’s 38th annual conference, Feb. 10-11, in Dayton, Ohio.
Mike Anderson, of Delaware County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.
Anderson has served Ohio’s organic farming community for 25 years in a variety of roles, beginning his career at the Ohio State University demonstration farm.
He later managed vegetable production and field research for five years at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware.
In 2001, he started Sundog Specialty Crops in Sunbury, a certified organic farm specializing in produce and cut flowers. Today, Anderson co-manages Whitebarn Organics, a certified organic farm in New Albany.
Anderson served on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees in the 1990s, coordinating procurement of local food for the annual conference and planning farmer training workshops.
He later served on the board of directors for the Pearl Alley Growers Association, on the administrative council of the NCR-SARE program, and on OEFFA’s staff as a Sustainable Agriculture Educator, helping organic and transitional farmers with certification, production, and marketing.
Anderson has hosted numerous farm tours and has led many workshops at the OEFFA conference and other events.
Holly Harman Fackler, of Richland County, received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture.
Harman Fackler served as OEFFA’s first paid newsletter editor and employee. During the late 1980s and ’90s, she stepped up to do some of the heavy lifting required to build the organization into the state-wide, 4,325 member educational network it is today.
For several years, Harman Fackler’s home in Plymouth, was OEFFA’s office, where she wrote, edited, designed, and distributed OEFFA’s newsletter. In addition to her work on the newsletter, she built OEFFA’s first electronic membership database, responded to phone and mail inquiries, and networked with other OEFFA leaders.
She served several terms on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees, helped organize OEFFA’s educational events, and took an active role in planning and preparing conference meals that reflected the values of the organization.
Harman Fackler found her way to OEFFA as a partner in a small diversified grain and livestock farm. Now she works, gardens, and volunteers in her hometown of Baltimore, Ohio.
Alex Dragovich, of Stark County, was named Advocate of the Year — an award that recognizes exceptional contributions to sustainable agriculture policy advocacy.
Dragovich has been a involved in OEFFA’s policy work since the program was formed in 2011, serving actively on OEFFA’s grassroots policy work groups and often speaking with the media and decision-makers about the impacts of fracking, climate change, food safety regulations, and genetic engineering on farmers.
As a member of the fracking work group, Dragovich was literally the face of the issue when he agreed to work with a partner organization in representing farmers on a fracking billboard in southeast Ohio.
As a member of OEFFA’s genetic engineering (GE) work group, which works to secure clear and transparent labeling for GE foods, he organized and hosted a showing and discussion of the documentary, GMO OMG, and made calls to Senate candidates about their stance on GE labeling.
Since 1980, he has owned and operated Mud Run Farm, where he raises free-range chickens and eggs and grows vegetables, fruit, and small grains for local markets.