The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association
Founding OEFFA member Mick Luber, of Bluebird Farm in Cadiz, Ohio, in Harrison County. Mick was active in the food co-operative movement that helped give birth to OEFFA, and served as an organic inspector during OEFFA’s early years. His organic farming operation has been under threat from ongoing fracking operations in Harrison County.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) — Growing Right‘s “mother” organization — is a grassroots coalition of farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, retailers, researchers and others working together to promote sustainable agriculture in Ohio. For 37 years, OEFFA has used education, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to support local and organic food systems.
OEFFA was founded in 1979 by farmers and consumers seeking access to healthy food. Its founders came from many walks of life — from the Civil Rights movement, the cooperative movement, environmental activism, the back-to-the-land-movement, and from many years of conventional family farming. At the time, state institutions couldn’t support organics; so, Ohio farmers took it upon themselves. Out of this grassroots network came a robust educational program, and, in 1981, the launch of one of the first organic certification programs in the country.
• helps members find resources and problem-solve production and marketing challenges;
• offers an apprenticeship listing program to connect host farms with those seeking on-farm work experience
• educates on sustainable and organic practices, business management and marketing each year through its conference, farm tours series, workshops, and print materials
• promotes members’ products through the Good Earth Guide, an online resource for farms and farm-related businesses.
OEFFA boasts 4,000 members and certifies more than 1,000 organic farms and businesses in 15 states. In addition, OEFFA has a long, successful record of agricultural educational programming since 1979—3,000 outreach programs to date. OEFFA has invested in Growing Right from the very beginning, by researching and contacting potential project narrators, organizing an oral history narrative stage at its 2016 conference, and providing staff time for project logistics and communications. In 2017, OEFFA will deepen this support by coordinating project public programs drawing from our network of organizations and businesses, offering space at farm-related outreach events— including OEFFA’s annual conference, in Dayton in February 2017.