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DAYTON, OH -- Registration is now open for the largest sustainable agriculture conference in Ohio, which is relocating in 2017 to a larger venue in order to offer an expanded program and more networking opportunities for farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, businesses, and others interested in sustainable and organic agriculture.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.

"We are thrilled with this new location, and excited about this year's line up," said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. "There certainly is something for everyone interested in food and farming."

Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2017. As a special "Move With Us" incentive, OEFFA is offering a reduced registration rate for members who register by December 15. A limited number of beginning farmer scholarships and reduced volunteer spaces are also available. Online registration will be open until January 23.

The state's largest sustainable food and farm conference will feature:

• Friday keynote speaker Jim Riddle has been an organic farmer, inspector, educator, policy analyst, and activist for more than 30 years. From 2001 to 2006, Riddle served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, chairing the board from 2004 to 2005. He is founding chair of the International Organic Inspectors Association and owns Blue Fruit Farm in Minnesota.

• A former financial and food industry analyst, Saturday keynote speaker Robyn O’Brien, presented by Horizon Organic, has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich.” O’Brien analyzed the impact that our food system has on the health of our families, companies, and our economy in her bestselling book, The Unhealthy Truth, and became recognized around the world after her TEDx talk in 2011, which has been viewed by millions.

Four full-day Thursday pre-conference intensive workshop options are designed to help farmers grow their businesses and hone their farm skills:

• Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune Up Your Farm Business and Increase Your Net Profit, with Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm and author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook

• Respect Your Elderberries: Growing and Selling Niche Fruit Crops from Aronia to Service Berries, with Jim Riddle of Blue Fruit Farm

• Growing Bionutrient Rich Food: Applying the Principles of Ecological Systems, with Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association

• Building a Profitable Pastured Broiler Business, with Mike and Christie Badger of Badger's Millside Farm and the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association

• Nearly 80 workshops on topics including sustainable farming, gardening, cooking, livestock, business management, and policy, with workshop tracks dedicated to beginning farmers; urban agriculture, presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension; and other topics;

• A three-day trade show featuring dozens of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies offering an array of food, books, products, and services;

• The Contrary Farmers' Social on Thursday, February 9 at 2nd Street Market featuring food, drinks, and a remembrance of Ohio's Contrary Farmer, Gene Logsdon, led by David Kline of Farming Magazine;

• The Cream of the Crop Banquet on Friday, February 10 featuring a dinner celebrating Ohio's farming community;

• A Farm Land of Opportunity reception, Old MacGyver Had a Farm discussion and reception, and an OEFFA oral history discussion on Thursday, February 9;

• A kids' conference for children ages 6-12; a playroom for young children, and a teen conference for teenagers ages 12-15; and

• Locally-sourced, from-scratch lunches; raffle; book table; morning yoga and ta chi; book signings, and much more.

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017.

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