COLUMBUS – The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has bestowed its highest award on two of Ohio’s organic farmers.
The announcement was made as part of the association’s 28th annual conference.
Molly Bartlett, of Hiram; and Mick Luber, of Cadiz, each received the award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.”
Barlett. Bartlett has served on a number of local, state, and national committees and boards to promote organic and sustainable agriculture, including the OEFFA board, OSU Sustainable Agriculture Team, and the Advisory Committee of USDA-SARE’s Sustainable Agriculture Network.
Her farm, Silver Creek Farm, which she operates with her husband, Ted, has hosted countless groups of schoolchildren, foreign visitors, other farmers, and consumers.
Luber. At Bluebird Farm in Harrison County, Luber raises a diverse crop of vegetables and flowers, but specializes in lettuces and garlic.
He has served in nearly every position on the OEFFA board of trustees, as well as on a variety of its committees. He also works as an organic inspector and has been active in helping to train new inspectors.
Both Bartlett and Luber have been part of the OEFFA organization since its inception nearly 30 years ago. Back then, organic farming was viewed as an anachronism by many in the agriculture community.
Today, the explosive growth of organic agriculture, fueled by dedicated land grant research programs and rising demand for organic products, indicates that the times have changed.
Going organic. OEFFA’s Certification Program has seen a 50 percent increase in applications for organic certification in the last two years.
“Both recipients of the Stewardship Award can claim credit for leading efforts in Ohio to encourage producers, educators, legislators, and consumers to take a look at the viability of organic agriculture at a time when it wasn’t a popular opinion to hold,” stated OEFFA board president Mike Laughlin.
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