OEFFA Conference Features OSU Experts

State's largest organic and sustainable production conference to be held Feb.-15-16 in Granville.

Published on: Jan 31, 2014

From stink bug and weed management to recruiting farm labor and agricultural marketing trends, researchers and industry experts from Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will present the latest information on some of the key issues in organic and sustainable agriculture next month during Ohio's largest sustainable food and farm conference.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's 35th annual conference, "Affirming Our Roots, Breaking New Ground," is Feb. 15-16 in Granville, Ohio. With 13 workshops and a full-day pre-conference event featuring Ohio State scientists, specialists and students, participants will get an updated look at some of the key issues facing growers in organic and sustainable agriculture, organizers said.

BIG STINK: Celeste Welty, OSU entomologist, will discuss management of pest like the stink bug at the OEFFA conference.
BIG STINK: Celeste Welty, OSU entomologist, will discuss management of pest like the stink bug at the OEFFA conference.

"This conference will be rich with information and networking opportunities, drawing on the expertise of both nationally recognized agricultural professionals and local farmers and educators," says Renee Hunt, OEFFA program director. "Whether you're a full-time farmer, backyard gardener or local food enthusiast, this conference has much to offer you."

In all, the conference features more than 100 workshops plus a trade show; activities for children and teens; locally sourced and organic homemade meals; and keynote talks by Atina Diffley, an organic farmer and writer, and Kathleen Merrigan, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

The conference will also feature a daylong pre-conference workshop, "Eco-Farming, Biodiversity and Soil Health: A Systems Approach to Enhancing Productivity," presented by CFAES experts Rafiq Islam, Randall Reeder, Jim Hoorman, Brad Bergefurd, Harit Kaur Bal, Alan Sundermeier and Vinayak Shedekar.

Early bird registration ranges from the $65 one-day student member rate to $205 for both days for an adult nonmember of OEFFA. Early bird registration ends Jan. 31, after which rates increase. Meals, the kids' conference and the pre-conference workshops are purchased separately. Register online at http://www.oeffa.org/conference2014.php.

The soil health pre-conference workshop will be held Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cherry Valley Lodge, 2299 Cherry Valley Road SE, Newark, Ohio. Pre-registration is required and costs $60 for OEFFA members and $70 for nonmembers.