Saturday, December 24, 2016

NEWS | Ohio food and farm event growing for 2017

By Mary Kuhlman
Ohio News Connection

As interest in locally grown foods expands, an Ohio event for foodies, farmers and others is growing as well. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's 38th annual conference is moving for 2017 from Granville to the Dayton Convention Center, which will allow for more people and expanded programs.

Lauren Ketchum, the communications coordinator for OEFFA explained that the event serves as a gathering space where people with a passion for food and sustainable agriculture can share ideas and knowledge.

"Beginning farmers may learn from experienced farmers or find employment," she said. "Farmers with land may find a farmer looking for land and be able to pass that on for someone else to farm sustainably. And in addition, we're going to be offering lots of networking events that will help facilitate these connections."

Ketchum said there will be a three-day trade show and nearly 80 workshops covering a range of topics including cooking, gardening, livestock and business management. The conference "Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow," runs February 9-11, 2017, and registration is open.

The event will also feature four intensive pre-conference workshops that Ketchum said will help farmers grow their businesses and hone their farming skills. She added that it's exciting that this year's conference will have more opportunities for people to expand their knowledge.

"It's the centerpiece of OEFFA's educational work," she added. "We cram so much educational programming into this three days that people leave with a greater understanding and with tips to improve their farm."

There will also be a kids' conference and a teens' conference as well as locally-sourced lunches available. Ketchum said hundreds of people from Ohio and neighboring states are expected to attend.

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