• OEFFA Press Releases

    44th Annual Ohio Food and Farm Conference Opens Registration

    Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier three-day educational and networking conference on sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 44th annual conference, Germinate, Regenerate, Agitate, will take place Thursday, February 16 through Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Cherry Valley Hotel and Ohio Event Center in Newark, Ohio. Online registration is now open at conference.oeffa.org. Keynote Speakers Thursday, February 16: Rowen White will speak on Indigenous leadership, ecological knowledge, cultural memory, cultural inheritance of land, seeds, and more. A seedkeeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, White is a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. Saturday, February 18:…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Announces 2023 Farm Bill Platform

    Today, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) released its 2023 Farm Bill Platform, comprised of five planks:  Promote soil health and climate resilience through conservation policy;  Increase investments in local and regional food systems;  Address consolidation in the food and agricultural system;  Invest in organic and sustainable research; and  Provide more support to beginning and BIPOC farmers.  The farm bill virtually structures the entire food and agricultural system in the United States. It is a major commitment by the government–and, by extension, taxpayers–to provide nutrition assistance, commodity and crop insurance subsidies, funding for on-farm conservation, support for renewable energy, and much more.   The OEFFA 2023 Farm Bill…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Organizes Farm Bill Roundtable with Sen. Brown, Green Field Farms

    Sustainable and organic farmers share their needs for the 2023 Farm Bill  On Aug. 30, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown met with Ohio sustainable and organic farmers to discuss their needs and challenges before the 2023 Farm Bill.   Held at Green Field Farms in Wooster, this roundtable brought together organic grain producers, grass-based livestock farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, and food and farm businesses involved in the sustainable agriculture economy. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) partnered with Green Field Farms for a tour and listening session.  “This is an incredibly challenging time that also provides many opportunities,” said OEFFA Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu. “We can provide greater…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Connect with Farmers at a Sustainable Farm Tour or Workshop

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and its partners invite you to experience the diversity of agriculture this summer during the 2022 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. This annual series of public tours and workshops features nearly 20 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, providing unique opportunities for farmers, educators, and conscientious eaters to learn about sustainable agriculture, local foods, and those who make it possible. Tour guests can walk through urban farm fields, livestock pastures, and more during these OEFFA farm tours:  Sunday, June 26: Commercial Urban Farm Tour—Eden Urban Gardens, Hamilton Co. Wednesday, June 29: Infrastructure Capitalization Farm Tour—Three Creeks…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Awards Funding to Beginning Farmers Impacted by the Pandemic 

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is awarding $30,000 in microgrants to beginning farmers across the state impacted by the pandemic.  The OEFFA Begin Farming Pandemic Relief Microgrants are intended to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact on beginning farmers in Ohio with direct financial assistance. After an application period, eight recipients were selected:  Louise Gartner, Fox Tail Farm (Clermont Co.)  Brandon Lester, Omni Acres Farm (Fairfield Co.)  Andrew Needham, Needham Gardens (Cuyahoga Co.)  Jesse Rickard, Fox Hollow Farm Naturally (Knox Co.)  Christopher Roe, Saunders Valley Organics (Clark Co.)  Cory Stratton, Truest Farms (Champaign Co.)  Samantha Wickham, Foxhole Farm (Montgomery Co.)  Taylor Wiggins, From Scratch Farm (Licking Co.)  The funds…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Ohio Legislature Passes HB 95 to Ease Beginning Farmer Challenges 

    House Bill 95 passed the Ohio legislature April 6, clearing the way for the next generation of farmers and a more resilient food system.  The Family Farm ReGeneration Act encourages those with farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to sell to beginning farmers with the promise of income tax credits. Beginning farmers who attend a financial management program are also eligible for tax credits.  “Young farmers in Ohio are taking on the risks inherent in farming and working hard to build successful farm businesses,” said Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu. “Access to—and secure tenure on—affordable, high quality farmland is the number one challenge young farmers…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Announces 2022 Award Recipients: Dean McIlvaine and Louise Warner Recognized 

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2022 recipients of its Stewardship and Service awards.   Dean McIlvaine of Wayne County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the cultivation of sustainable agriculture, and Louise Warner of Pickaway County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture. 2022 Stewardship Award Winner—Dean McIlvaine Since 1985, Dean McIlvaine has operated Twin Parks Organic Farm, a 1,200-acre farm in West Salem, Ohio. When he took over the conventionally farmed land from his father, he began transitioning the farm to organic, a newly emerging trend at the time. Twin Parks was certified organic by…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Funding Available for Beginning Farmers Impacted by the Pandemic

    Applications are now open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) Beginning Farmer Pandemic Relief Microgrants.   This new fund aims to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact on beginning farmers with direct financial assistance.   The microgrants, administered through the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), are intended to offset the costs of input expenses (including compost and cover crop seed), fund infrastructure projects (such as wash-area improvements or tractor implements), or cover the costs of organic certification for beginning farmers. Awards range from $500 to $5,000.  “In many ways beginning farmers were especially impacted by the pandemic,” said Robin Hackett, OEFFA’s Begin Farming Program Coordinator. “Running a new farm business is challenging under the best of circumstances, but the unpredictability and supply chain disruptions of the past two years have made it especially difficult for early career farmers to get their feet under them.”   Hackett said of his conversations with beginning farmers across the state, “I have yet to hear from any…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Rural Sociologist Mary Hendrickson and Farmer and Soil Scientist Francis Thicke to Keynote 43rd Annual OEFFA Conference

    Addressing corporate power in the food system and implementing regenerative agriculture will be the respective focal points of keynote addresses by rural sociologist Mary Hendrickson and farmer and soil scientist Francis Thicke at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 43rd annual conference, Rooted and Rising.  ————————  In her Saturday, February 12 online keynote address, “Corporate Power and Our Food System’s Future,” Hendrickson will discuss the dangers of a few large companies having such heavy influence over the U.S. food system, and how any farmer can enact change.   “The distribution of power in the food system, embodied in the power to make decisions about what food is produced, how, where and by whom, as well as who gets to eat and what they get to eat, becomes a focus of concern when that…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Registration is Now Open for Hybrid Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

    Registration is now open for Ohio’s renowned educational and networking event 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) 43rd annual conference, Rooted and Rising, will take place both online Saturday, February 12 and in-person Thursday, February 17-Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio. “Being part of a rooted community is an essential piece of forming a more resilient and sustainable food system,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “This year’s event not only features speakers and sessions committed to that future, but welcomes those from any distance who…

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