Ohio State Experts to Speak at Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Jan. 18, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ten experts from The Ohio State University will be among the 100-plus presenters at this year’s annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

Organizers call the event, which is Feb. 9-11 in Dayton, the largest sustainable agriculture conference in Ohio.

It will have, for example, nearly 80 hour-and-a-half educational workshops, two keynote speakers, a three-day trade show, four full-day intensive preconference workshops, a banquet featuring Ohio-grown foods and “The Contrary Farmer’s Social” honoring the late Ohio farmer-writer Gene Logsdon.

Now in its 38th year, this is the first time the conference is being held in Dayton.

CFAES well represented

The Buckeye presenters — most of them from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — will speak on topics such as cover crops, local meats, food policy and soil organic matter. They’ll be, for example, from the college’s research and outreach arms — which are the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension, respectively — and programs including the Organic Food and Farming Education and Research program.

The college is one of the conference’s many sponsors.

The presenters from Ohio State will be:

Alan Sundermeier, director and agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Wood County office, in a panel discussion called “Organic Grain Production Systems for Quality and Profitability.”
Ryan Haden, assistant professor of soils and agronomy at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, “Interseeded Cover Cropping Experiments in Ohio.”
Hannah Scott, manager of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center at the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, “Local Meats and the Co-op Model.”
Sabrina Schirtzinger, agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Knox County office, in a panel discussion called “Farmer-Friendly Approaches to Combating Food Waste.”
Steve Culman, assistant professor and state soil fertility specialist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, “Active Organic Matter in Your Soil.”
Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Wayne County office, “Co-existing with a Killer: Small Ruminant Parasite Management.”
Andy Wapner, clinical assistant professor with OSU Extension and Ohio State’s College of Public Health, and Jill Clark, assistant professor in the university’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, helping present “Ohio Food Policy Network: Mapping the Vision for Ohio’s Food Systems.”
Mike Hogan, agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Franklin County office, “Understanding Food Security in the U.S.”
Jeff McCutcheon, agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Morrow County office, “Key Things to Pay Attention to in a Grazing Operation.”
A complete list of all the conference’s speakers is at oeffa.org/conference2017.php. Online registration for the event is available at the same URL and is open until Jan. 23. Onsite registration will also be available. Prices range from $95 to $225 depending on full-conference, one-day, student or adult registrations.

Grassroots coalition

OEFFA, according to its website, is a “grassroots coalition of farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, retailers, educators, researchers and others who share a desire to build a healthy food system that brings prosperity to family farmers, meets the growing consumer demand for local food, creates economic opportunities for our rural communities and safeguards the environment.” It was founded in 1979.

Ohio State has made transforming food production and agriculture, and improving people’s food security as a result, one of its university-wide areas of focus. Details are at discovery.osu.edu/focus-areas/infact/.

Kurt Knebusch

Lauren Ketcham
614-421-2022, ext. 203