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  • Organic Valley CEO to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farming Conference: George Siemon to Explore How Cooperative’s Model and Organic Farming Can Provide Farmers with a Secure Income and Protect the Environment | OEFFA News
    the company s mission this way in the Huffington Post in May Organic Valley represents a pioneering effort of farmers and employees to bring organic foods and farming to a level of maturity that can compete at all levels with chemical based agriculture Organic Valley currently has 171 farmer owners in Ohio and has had a presence in the Buckeye state since 2002 Two of those farmers are Jim and Janice Gasser They have more than 80 cows in milk production outside of Wooster Ohio in Wayne County When they started out they were the only organic farmers in their area Today according to Jim Our road is like a row of organic It doesn t seem like much in the big scheme of things but when you drive down our road there s continuous organic farming for over two miles Scott and Charlene Stoller are also Organic Valley farmer owners and OEFFA members in Wayne County Before transitioning to organic Scott says he would argue that you cannot feed the world farming organically He doesn t feel that way anymore The system has proven itself It works And the success that organic farming has brought has paved the way for his children to continue in agriculture There s no question that farming organically gives my kids a better chance at farming in the future Scott says Siemon was instrumental in developing the national standards for organic certification initiated Farmers Advocating for Organics the only organic focused granting fund in the U S which is funded entirely by Organic Valley farmer owners and currently serves on the boards of directors for The Organic Center and Global Animal Partnership Most recently Siemon was recognized by the National Resources Defense Council with the 2012 Growing Green Award in the Business Leader category and was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame in the Environmental Evangelist category His keynote address is titled Organic Changing a Broken Food System and will take place Saturday February 16 at 4 p m Siemon will share CROPP s story and his vision for the future of organic agriculture and discuss issues currently affecting agriculture such as genetic engineering He will also be presenting a Saturday morning workshop The Cooperative Model where he will examine how a cooperative model works and the opportunities they offer for farmers For more information about the conference or to register go to www oeffa org 2013 About OEFFA The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA is a state wide grassroots nonprofit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information go to www oeffa org Conference and Pre Conference Registration To register or for more information about the conference including maps directions workshop descriptions speakers and a schedule go to www oeffa org 2013 For additional questions contact Renee Hunt at 614 421 2022 Ext 205 or renee oeffa org The

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=970 (2016-02-17)
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  • Organic farmers honored | OEFFA News
    and healthy approach to agriculture I ve never considered any other way to farm said Garcia I think its more in line with natural law It s more pleasing to God and less toxic I went to agricultural college just one year I didn t like what they were teaching I ve never thought of farming any other way added Siebert My father never used anything but chicken manure in his garden If you know a lot about chemistry you know you don t want to eat a lot of what s going onto the fields on conventional farms I can t appreciate soil loss or pollutions in our streams It doesn t make sense to me Visitors to the Yellow Springs Farmer s Market will recognize Seibert and Garcia as market regulars selling their organic mixed vegetables microgreens fresh cut flowers bedding plants mushrooms hay and greenhouse plants The duo also sells their products to local restaurants grocery and health food stores For a time during the early nineties Seibert and Garcia were Greene County s only organic farmers According to Siebert the organic way of life has experienced steady growth and expansion since that time When you look at health food stores it s certainly on the rise said Siebert You see more people talking about it The reality is that it is escalating Science is starting to convert itself to organics It works better As a shopper myself it s easy to find organic products now added Garcia The award winning organic farmers are dedicated to OEFFA s mission to educate people concerning sustainable ecological and healthy food systems In addition to raising and selling produce Siebert and Garcia hold farm tours host agriculture classes for Wilmington College and present OEFFA conference workshops Most of my friends

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=691 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA conference champions ‘slow money,’ keeping food and cash local | OEFFA News
    and economy Slow money recognizes that respecting the interrelationships between ourselves the connectedness of ourselves as a community we will lead our way to a restorative economy and in doing so transform ourselves both as individuals and as a society The event was in its 33rd year and attracted more than 1 000 attendees to Granville Preconference sessions were held Feb 17 and a wide variety of producer and environmental workshops were held the next two days Other speakers Eric Hanson extension berry crop specialist at Michigan State University discussed the benefits of using high tunnels higher yields longer growing seasons higher quality reduced diseases and reduced populations of Japanese beetles Jeff Moyer director of farm operations at the Rodale Institute led a workshop on no till organic farming and discussed the importance of cover crops to increase soil fertility He said if farmers plan to continue feeding the world they need to pay more attention to the biology of their soils instead of chemistry We have to shift our gears he said keeping chemistry in mind but focusing on the life and fertility of the soil Several presentations were held on hydraulic fracturing the modern practice of extracting oil and gas from deep shale formations Vanessa Pesec president for the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability Protection gave a talk on protecting land and communities from irresponsible leasing and drilling She handed out stop fracking signs to those who were opposed to the practice Different perspectives Presenters at times disputed facts over hydraulic fracturing and the tone toward the subject depended on the speaker Cheryl Johncox of Buckeye Forest Council discussed the legislative and regulatory landscape of fracking She showed pictures of properties that had reportedly suffered losses in land value and use Mike Hogan Ohio State University Extension

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=688 (2016-02-17)
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  • ‘Slow Money Alliance’ creator pushes cause in Ohio | OEFFA News
    is healthy food grown on human scale farms Our industrial food system is fraying our way of life he said citing soil erosion loss of organic matter in the soil and a decreased population of microorganisms and earthworms necessary for growing crops Not everyone agrees Cargill one of the world s largest agribusinesses tries to encourage sustainable farming said company spokesperson Pete Stoddart Using a technology called precision agriculture the company can tell farmers exactly which nutrients are needed for the soil in each part of their farms he said In addition Mr Stoddart said Cargill works to lessen its environmental impact by lowering its own use of energy and emission of greenhouse gasses Last year he said 11 percent of the company s energy came from alternatives to fossil fuels The slow money movement is fairly new Mr Tasch said and it is still finding its direction As of this writing there are 14 chapters around the country with more coming soon where members get together and try to determine the best ways to give financial support to local food producers and distributors Four investment clubs have formed from these chapters in which the members pool their money and vote to decide how it should be invested In one club in Maine 20 people invested 5 000 apiece and have been using this pool to make small loans to farmers and a few small businesses In North Carolina 12 people got together and refinanced a loan for their local food co op paying off a loan at 10 percent and offering instead a rate of 3 percent to the co op They get to help the co op and at the same time make a small return of 3 percent on their investment he said Of course not everyone has 5 000 to invest in anything and Mr Tasch is sensitive to criticism that his organization is elitist Organic and locally produced food is typically more expensive than food grown by agribusiness firms which benefit from the economies of mass production and the higher yields created by using pesticides and chemical fertilizer Many people cannot afford the higher cost of the organic or locally grown food he promotes There is no question everyone will not have access to this increased organic or locally produced food all the time The way to think of this is to think of it generationally he said adding in a few generations everyone will benefit from a balance of organic and corporately grown produce Mr Tasch said he does not believe the giant agriculture corporations set out to do harm they were trying to grow more food for more people at a cheaper price But they did realize how their policies would affect people s health he mentioned the high rates of obesity and diabetes and the vitality of local businesses Just like we saw in the financial system when companies become too big they become detached from real life real people real consequences

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=670 (2016-02-17)
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  • Athens-Area Farmer To Speak At Ecologial Food And Farm Conference | OEFFA News
    independence An Athens area farmer will be speaking at this weekend s conference J B King will talk about niche pork production King says his farm and many farmers who will attend the conference have a more sustainable way of farming Well we try to be real sustainable We try to do things that not only are we doing them today but we re doing several years down the road A lot of the people in the organization try to work without chemicals and without drugs we do the same says King King was a guest on WOUB s newswatch last night The conference will also include several discussions about fracking Watch J B King Interview Post navigation Mechanicsburg woman educates others in farm management Slow Money Alliance creator pushes cause in Ohio Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=660 (2016-02-17)
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  • The 33rd Annual OEFFA Conference | OEFFA News
    days when mentioning the word Organic elicited laughter Today OEFFA s membership is 3 000 strong and Green B E A N Delivery is a proud member business OEFFA is extremely important to sustainable agriculture in Ohio They are the state s largest and oldest Organic certifier In fact their Organic Certification program predates the USDA s making them one of the longest operating certifiers in the country They certify over 700 farms and processing facilities throughout the Midwest and approximately 550 in Ohio which encompasses between 70 to 80 percent of organic operations in the state So if you frequent a Buckeye State farmers market there s a good chance your favorite organic grower is certified by OEFFA Organic Certification is just one facet of OEFFA s work They engage in multiple programs and initiatives that build their grassroots networks and empower farmers In addition to their certification program they coordinate the annual conference host a series of public workshops free farm tours and webinars maintain the Good Earth Guide which lists over 300 farms and food businesses support and connect the state s agriculture community through educational resources an apprenticeship program and a comprehensive listserv and advocate for sustainable farm friendly policies at the state and federal level Advocacy is particularly important in 2012 with the Farm Bill up for reauthorization Yeah they re pretty busy folks especially these days with the conference looming Speaking of the conference it features many great workshops on a variety of topics a screening and discussion of The Greenhorns Contra Dance with the Back Porch Swing Band and big exhibit hall packed with businesses nonprofits and government agencies And if you can t make it this year or since you are only one person you can t make it to everything OEFFA

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=648 (2016-02-17)
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  • Is ‘Genetically Modified’ the Future of Our Food? | OEFFA News
    in our water that means it s in our food and that means it s in our bodies Last year the USDA approved unrestricted use of genetically engineered alfalfa the nation s fourth largest crop Kimbrell says the decision sends a message that no federal agency is looking out for food safety I think what you are seeing with the FDA the USDA and even the EPA is that these are agencies that are really working to benefit a handful of major chemical companies and not really acting on behalf of the American consumer which is what they are supposed to be doing Kimbrell says polls indicate the public wants genetically engineered foods to be clearly labeled And Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act which would require such labeling Kimbrell cites GMO crops as one factor contributing to the larger problems of industrial agriculture In his view consumers and farmers need to work together and get back to basics to build a lasting food future We need agriculture that s local appropriate scale diverse humane and socially just That s the beyond organic vision and it s not pie in the sky We re going to have to do this because the other system is simply unsustainable Supporters of genetically modified foods say they can help end the scourge of hunger and can help a farmer s bottom line Opponents counter that they could be dangerous and that there aren t regulations in place to manage them responsibly Kimbrell will speak at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Conference on February 19 in Granville More information is at oeffa org Post navigation Ohio produce growers and marketers urged to join food safety program The Greenhorns Documentary to Screen at OEFFA Conference Free

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=639 (2016-02-17)
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  • Annual Conference | OEFFA News | Page 6
    other as well as to consumers Serving as a concierge desk for their member businesses if a coffeeshop needs to print a menu SBB will match them with one of their printers Free of charge SBB also offers save local community cards with all kinds of deals and discounts in over 400 businesses all over Columbus At The Hills Market for instance if you spend 50 or more you will get 10 off your entire purchase says Wolf Starr the founder of SBB With over 100 000 SBB cards out it is a better way for us to connect as community he believes To keep money where we live we can also move our savings to a local bank Kroger Employee Mutual Benefits Association KEMBA the largest credit union in Central Ohio has been providing financial services since 1933 By banking with KEMBA all of our profits are shared with you and other members within our local communities says Vincent Neal KEMBA s business development officer Economic and Community Development Institute ECDI a small business micro lender and SOLE s fiscal agent takes us to the next level with its new Slow Money like program Launched in April Invest Local Ohio is a vehicle for corporations and individuals like us to put our money directly into Central Ohio small businesses The minimum investment of 1 000 goes to a special fund where ECDI leverages it with at least a double of the invested amount and then makes it available for local entrepreneurs To receive up to a 100 000 loan the candidate can but does not have to have lengthy business experience ECDI offers its services even to complete beginners giving them a hand with start up capital and training Giving money and expertise to help purchase additional equipment for Luna Burger and facilitate in the opening of the Jury Room are just a couple of many success stories at ECDI Our goals have always been to help people build assets become sustainable create jobs and businesses says Steve Fireman president and general counsel of ECDI As to the potential of playing the part of a small investor people like us would receive a 2 to 3 return for our slow return investment in three and five year terms respectively as well as a great opportunity to actively participate in developing our local economy So why not invest local Ohio Resources for those interested in SOLE and its initiatives solenow org thinkcolumbusfirst org simplyliving org local matters org thesbb com considerbiking org ecdi org kemba org moveyourmoneyproject org SOLE is a part of a large international network called the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies BALLE comprised of over 80 community networks in 30 U S states and Canada For more than a decade BALLE has been promoting sustainable local economies by catalyzing and connecting independent businesses in North America through workshops gatherings and webinars Slow Money is a partner of BALLE s very popular Accelerating Community Capital webinar series For more details about BALLE visit livingeconomies org Editor s note For more information about emerging Slow Money Columbus initiatives please contact Flippo Ravalico of Food System Bonds at usr foodsystembonds us Reclaiming Ohio s Food Sovereignty December 28 2011 Annual Conference OEFFA in the News Lauren COLUMBUS Ohio From foodies to farmers hundreds are expected at an upcoming conference to look at ways to reclaim Ohio s food sovereignty Registration is open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association s 33rd annual conference the state s largest sustainable food and farm event to be held in February Woody Tasch co founder of the Slow Money movement which aims to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises organic farms and local food systems is a keynote speaker and will discuss how investments in food and farms can help the overall economy He says the current system of investing is complicated and disconnected and we need to bring money back down to earth We ve got to take some of our money out of all this stuff that we no longer understand or can manage effectively and put it to work near where we live starting with food Tasch says that means investments that support local community based food and farm businesses He says access to healthy organic food grown with sustainable agriculture practices has increased But he says it will take more than consumer demand and dollars to help local food systems succeed Also it s going to take massive amounts of investment capital because organic farmers need to get on the land they need to create their enterprises there needs to be new distribution and processing and a whole bunch of other things that require investment capital Tasch says the idea is to put money where we live behind those entrepreneurs who are already using sustainable practices So whether it be a small farmer or someone who s developing a niche brand or someone who s got a seed company or a creamery or grain mill or a distribution business there s a myriad of small businesses that create a vibrant local food system Other topics to be covered at the conference include food safety gardening livestock green living and cooking The event draws more than 1 000 visitors from across Ohio and the Midwest and has sold out in advance the past two years It will be held February 18 19 in Granville Mary Kuhlman Public News Service OH Joan Dye Gussow talks about why the local food movement matters March 24 2011 Annual Conference OEFFA in the News Lauren Joan Dye Gussow says she has found the secret to getting a 12 hour day of vegetable gardening out of her 82 year old body She has breakfast works for four hours comes in for lunch and lies down to get her spine straightened out Then she gets up and does it two more times before the day ends Gussow a nutritionist by trade applies this dogged behavior to her 35 year campaign to get the public to think more about what happens to food before they eat it Since 1970 she has brought lessons of local and organic food to the nutritional ecology course she teaches at Columbia University She made it the core of her 1996 book This Organic Life Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader and part of her newest work Growing Older Chelsea Green 17 95 Michael Pollan best selling author and the reigning guru of local food has said that a lot of what he preaches Gussow said first She remembers appearing at the Ohio Ecological Farm Food Association conference 10 years ago This weekend she s back with the group in Granville near Columbus for another keynote speech Gussow talked by phone from her home in Piermont N Y where her garden stretches to the Hudson River a river that rose and flooded her out in 2009 an act she attributes to global warming You re not bored with teaching nutritional ecology It changes every year And it s life changing for the students This year I gave them Bill McKibben s Eaarth to read He says your children will never see glacial ice caps at the poles It s so clear and brilliantly written We live on a different planet that requires us to have to live quietly and locally Making food more local is no longer what my graduate students of years ago thought was a nutty idea Still we just elected five people to Congress who don t believe global warming is happening My real impulse is to stake them on a beach at the present high tide mark and wait until they drown Because they will Part of your new book is about becoming widowed How is that part of your life going I was married for 40 years But I was stunned to realize I didn t miss him I spent really a lot of years figuring out why I deeply believe we are in serious trouble on our planet so serious that we could cut off the capacity to support human life I was in grief about that Whenever something broke I d want to fix it He d say We can get a new one Finally I d scream It s not the money Somebody s out there mining that chrome and in a terrible environment It was a puzzle to me after 40 years that he didn t understand what drove me I wasn t unhappy The real secret to happiness and the reason I wanted to write about it is to be a person who is happy with themselves and the world around them Somebody else is not going to make you happy What s different since your last Ohio visit A lot more people are aware of the local food movement at least for reasons of freshness and transportation costs From when I started out in the 70s to now it s stunning how much has changed It s very rewarding What will you talk about I ll probably give them a history of the movement and look at the future and how we have to be very conscious of the traps along the way What traps We have a very very very powerful food industry from seed to table It s the biggest industry in the United States They argue that nothing is wrong with the way we typically raise and slaughter animals And they have a lot of money to put that message out there in large type We just lost a major battle when the U S Department of Agriculture approved genetically modified alfalfa which was fought passionately by a huge number of people They the USDA just took all boundaries off and approved it I think it s extraordinarily dangerous If you get genetically modified alfalfa pollen spreading around and contaminating all the organic alfalfa crops organic farmers will either not be able to feed alfalfa to their animals or they ll have to give up the organic label What do you say to people who don t follow this point of view I would think that nutritional and taste benefits were obvious to people There are people who think this means you can t have an orange in winter I get a box of grapefruit every year from Texas It ships once and I use it for two months It s a wonderful winter treat It s about what you do about dinner normally Two thirds of people don t understand how well fed you can be with local food in Ohio in the winter Or how dysfunctional and dangerous our present food system is It s dangerous in terms of toxic things such as E coli scares of lettuce and in the way our standard meat system handles and slaughters animals Or to the degree to which we depend on people who make less than they can live on all the way down the chain from growers to shippers to some restaurant workers These are all minimally paid people whom we really exploit through the system The hope is that with a local food system you can watch what s going on You can be aware where food comes from and be responsible for it How do you talk about eating locally and organically to seniors and others on a limited budget I sense that the right to eat really well is very upscale at this point You can go to a store and get lot more calories of junk food for the dollar than you can with fruit and vegetables So yes it s very difficult The only thing I can say is that in summers sometimes farmers markets have produce at the peak of season that is cheaper than at the supermarket The food is fresh and the farmers get the whole benefit Now there are food stamps given out for seniors programs for poor seniors for poor mothers In some cases you can even double the value of those coupons In my view local is more important than organic And I think local is not inherently more expensive as organic sometimes is It shouldn t be if we had subsidies for fruits and vegetables as we have for things that go into junk food corn soy and wheat We would not have this disparity in price It s something people have to think about politically and push for The other thing I d like to mention is the degree to which people think they need meat all time If you really study how much protein we need it s a little over 50 grams a day It s not hard to get to that People should not spend so much of their budgets on meat It s better for them anyway Debbi Snook Cleveland Plain Dealer February 15 2011 To read the original post click here Joan Dye Gussow outspoken godmother of the local food movement comes to Granville this week for Ohio s sold out organic food conference Photo Credit Susan Frieman Local food movement founder hopes it s not a fad March 24 2011 Annual Conference OEFFA in the News Lauren Thirty five years ago Joan Dye Gussow realized that the food system in America was broken She was teaching a nutrition course at Columbia University which covered such topics as the limits to growth the impact of advertising and the relationship between people and food It looked at all those issues and where we were headed I realized that the implications of that course were that we were headed off a cliff and we had to do something about that We were headed off a cliff in terms of the production of food Ms Gussow said on the phone from her home on the Hudson River just north of New York City And so she began to teach and write and lecture about growing one s own food and buying the rest from local farmers especially those who do not use chemicals Her ideas and her passion helped ignite what became the current red hot interest in foods that are local organic and sustainable I am now known officially as the matriarch of the movement It s pretty awful to be called the matriarch of anything the 82 year old Ms Gussow said On Sunday she will be giving the keynote address at the 32nd annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Granville Ohio The speech will be about whether things are moving as they should be The news is not terrific she said When she first began thinking about the food supply chain Ms Gussow was struck by the fact that the United States exported large amounts of food to countries like India and China which have huge populations and widespread unemployment American machine and chemical based efficiency meant that very little labor was being used in this country to send food to nations with a large pool of idle laborers And Americans were consuming food from distant shores as well and even distant parts of this country And that unsettled her too In order truly to know about something she determined you have to live near it and be a part of it I figured we had to have agriculture locally and in order to keep the agriculture local we had to eat what the local farmers produced she said So we have to be willing to change our diets and not depend on things shipped from across the seas I ve been playing with that idea for 35 years and I can tell you 35 years ago it was a big hit she said sarcastically It was like a piece of lead dropped into the ocean Some of my students thought I was crazy But she persevered writing such books as This Organic Life Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader and Chicken Little Tomato Sauce Who Will Produce Tomorrow s Food And she practiced what she preached growing vegetables in two long garden plots behind her house She freezes what she can and plants hardy winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts collard greens and kale to get through the leaner months She gets fruit from a few trees including an apple tree with apples only a mother could love but they re very good if you cut out the insects And her meat bread and cheese come from upstate farmers as part of a Community Supported Agriculture arrangement an increasingly popular way for consumers to purchase their food items straight from the farmers and artisans The one treat she allows herself in the winter is to order a big box of grapefruit from Texas which her grandmother used to get for her and which she now gets for her loved ones Nature does not grow fruit in winter she said Now in large part because of her efforts there is a huge change in the amount of interest in local food It s almost a fad and I worry sometimes that it is a fad and it will end There has been a tremendous change in people s awareness There has been a tremendous spreading of the word and not just on the coasts but in the Midwest and the Ecological Farming Association There is a tremendous change but there is also a tremendous pushback The people in power are in power because they have so much money The Department of Agriculture just passed a bill eliminating restrictions on genetically engineered alfalfa Now you can plant it anywhere It is disheartening to see how the Department of Agriculture is overwhelmed by the powers that be We have a congress that has been bought by them The local food movement is growing but it still remains upscale and out of reach for most people she said The efficiencies

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=5&paged=6 (2016-02-17)
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