The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association was founded in 1979 and 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.
For more than 30 years, OEFFA has used education, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to promote local and organic food systems, helping farmers and consumers reconnect and together build a sustainable food system, one meal at a time.
What We Do:
- Annual Conference--Ohio's largest ecological agriculture conference features nationally-recognized speakers, a trade show, entertainment, and organic and locally-sourced meals. Each conference features more than 100 workshops taught by experienced OEFFA members, farmers, and researchers on sustainable farming, gardening, and homesteading.
- Organic Certification--One of the oldest, largest, and most respected programs in the nation, OEFFA's Certification program ensures that organic crop and livestock producers meet the high standards established for organically grown food. The process of documentation and monitoring, strict production standards, and on-site inspections sets organic products apart from all others. These standards protect farmers, distributors, consumers, and the environment.
- Farm Tours and Workshops--Our annual series of free public tours features organic and ecological farms and gardens in Ohio, providing unique opportunities for growers, educators, and conscientious eaters to see, taste, feel, and learn what alternative production systems are all about from the real experts, the farmers themselves. We also offer workshops, webinars, and other educational opportunities that help beginning and experienced farmers build their production, business, and marketing skills.
- Learning from Each Other--OEFFA members are an invaluable source of practical knowledge and experience. OEFFA'S Farmer Information Network connects individuals with production and marketing questions with experienced farmers who have the answers. OEFFA's apprenticeship program links students and other aspiring farmers with knowledgable growers, and in turn provides Ohio farmers with labor and support.
- Investing in Farmers-- The OEFFA Investment Fund is the farmers' source for financing, making flexible and affordable capital available to OEFFA members engaged in sustainable food and farm business ventures. By helping mobilize additional capital,OEFFA is working to increase the availability of local,sustainably grown, fresh food in Ohio, grow food- and farm-related business opportunities, and encourage expansion of ecological agricultural practices.
- Keeping You Connected--OEFFA's quarterly newsletter keeps members updated on OEFFA's work as well as regional, state, and national news. Farm profiles, practical tips, book reviews, resources, and events are included in every thought-provoking issue. OEFFA's Good Earth Guide promotes local food and farm products and connects consumers with farmers in their area. The website is packed with useful information for growers, backyard gardeners, teachers, and students.
- Farm Policy Matters--OEFFA advocates for state and federal policies that protect and benefit sustainable agriculture, research and education, and citizens' right to know. Working with our members, we give voice to ecological family farmers who are creating rural economic opportunities and safeguarding the environment.
- Pathways to Profitability--A good dinner can satisfy more than our appetite. A vibrant, local food system can provide Ohio's family farmers with a secure income, while protecting our environment. By breaking down the barriers that small farmers face, providing direct assistance and organic certification, promoting local products, and educating consumers, we help create economic success for today's farmers, while empowering the next generation of beginning and transitioning farmers. Together, we are working to re-create a regionally-scaled processing and distribution system that moves food from farm to local fork.