COLUMBUS — Some farmers and growers in Ohio are ready to share their knowledge and showcase the work they do to get food from the field to the table.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has offered its Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series for more than four decades, but reluctantly cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA communications director, says they’re excited to be able to offer some in-person events for 2021, as well as new online learning opportunities.
“After the past year, I think we’re all ready to spread our wings and have a little fun this summer,” Ketcham said. “OEFFA’s farmers and members are an invaluable source of practical knowledge and firsthand experience, and these events bring our diverse community together and provide opportunities for connection. “
The series features four tours, including an organic dairy pasture walk, and two online workshops focused on transferring land to the next generation of farmers, as well as 10 free online presentations, kicking off next Tuesday, June 29.
For those not involved in agriculture, Ketcham explained, the tours and videos illuminate the inner workings of the local food system: “The more that consumers know about how their food is grown, the better prepared they are to make informed choices about who to support with their food dollars, and what sort of agricultural systems they want to support in Ohio.”
The presentations are from OEFFA’s online conference from earlier this year. It’s the first time the event was held completely online, and Ketcham described the feedback as positive.
“Online learning allows people to engage without needing to travel or purchase lodging, or find someone to help watch the kids or milk the cows,” she added. “Not only can it be more convenient and affordable, we’re able to bring that same level of educational quality.”
She noted they cover a variety of topics, including practical production trainings, visions of a prosperous small-farm future and an insightful investigation of faith, food and race.