• 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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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    Ohio House Passes HB 95 to Help Farmers Overcome Land Access Challenges

    On June 28, by a vote of 96 to 1, the Ohio House passed House Bill 95, which could clear a major hurdle for the next generation of Ohio farmers and provide greater resilience to Ohio’s food system. HB 95, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, will authorize tax credits for those who sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers. It also provides a credit for beginning farmers who attend a financial management program. “Young farmers in Ohio are taking on the risks inherent in farming and working hard to build successful farm businesses. They are also facing significant obstacles that require creative policy solutions. Access to—and…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    2021 Sustainable Farm Tours, Workshops, and Videos Will Help Ohioans Learn, Grow, and Connect

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) invites you to spread your wings this summer with videos, farm tours, and workshops that will help you learn, grow, and connect. The 2021 OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series features four farm tours highlighting Ohio’s growing community of sustainable farmers and two online workshop series designed to help early career farmers build legal resilience and established farmers transfer their land to the next generation. The series also features 10 free video presentations from OEFFA’s 2021 online conference including practical production trainings, inspiring visions of a prosperous small farm future, honest reflections on 2020, and an insightful investigation of faith, food,…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Endorses Agriculture Resilience Act

    Bold Climate and Agriculture Bill Introduced in Congress will Benefit Ohio Growers Today, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA) in Congress, which outlines a farmer-focused, research-driven path to net zero agriculture. This Earth Week, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is proud to endorse this bill on behalf of our members as part of the solution to the climate crisis. The urgency of the climate crisis requires making U.S. agriculture resilient to climate impacts while moving the agricultural sector toward climate neutrality. Farmers and ranchers recognize the fundamental threat that the climate crisis poses to agriculture and our shared…

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  • OEFFA Press Releases

    OEFFA Announces 2021 Award Recipients at 42nd Annual Conference: Jan Dawson, Andy Reinhart, and Steve Edwards Recognized

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2021 recipients of its Stewardship and Service awards. Jan Dawson and Andy Reinhart of Logan County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, and Steve Edwards of Warren County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture. “Over the course of more than 40 years, this organization and the broader sustainable food and farm movement, have been built by the tireless efforts of farmers, conscientious consumers, educators, researchers, retailers, and others. It is breathtaking how far we’ve come, from a handful of folks with a shared vision to…

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