DAYTON — The role that technology, biology, consumers, and farmers play in changing agriculture and food will be the focus of a keynote address by long-time organic farmer and advocate Jeff Moyer at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, this February in Dayton.
In his Friday, Feb. 16 keynote address, “Welcome to the Future of Change!,” Moyer, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, will share his perspective on the organic movement and organic agriculture’s role in our present and future food system.
“We are in the midst of an expanding food fight, a fight for how our food will be produced and marketed. To be successful, farmers will need to rethink their practices to meet the rapidly changing landscape technology is creating,” said Moyer.
Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture with expertise in organic crop production systems, weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design.
In September 2015, Moyer was appointed as Executive Director of Rodale Institute after spending the last four decades at the Institute, helping countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods. The Rodale Institute, a 330 acre research farm and non-profit in eastern Pennsylvania dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, is home to the Farming Systems Trial, America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture.
In 2016, farmers from across the country came together to launch the Organic Farmers Association to unite organic farmers for a better future together. Rodale Institute supports this initiative as fiscal sponsor and partner with OFA’s farmer leadership.
“A lot of people say they speak for farmers,” Moyer said in a Rodale Institute press release. “But there are no national organizations that exist specifically for organic farmers, by organic farmers. A lot of organic farmers are still isolated in their communities. We’d like to unite the nearly 20,000 organic farms around the country to provide that voice, provide a network, and provide the resources that farmers need to be successful.”
He conceptualized and popularized the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture and in 2011, he wrote Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world.
Moyer is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board; a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic; board chair of The Seed Farm; board member of the Soil Health Institute, PA Farm Link, and IFOAM North America, and a past board member of the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
On Friday, February 16, Moyer will also be a panelist in a 90 minute conference workshop, “Better On-Farm Research for Better Organic Farming,” along with Tim Kline of Meandering Creek Farm, Elizabeth Maynard of Purdue University, and Douglas Jackson-Smith of Ohio State University. He will address the components of quality on-farm research and the importance of organic research to farming practices and growing the industry economically and politically.
“We’re excited to welcome Jeff to this year’s conference,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “As a leader in the organic movement for decades, and as one of the country’s leading authorities on organic farming and research, he has a wealth of knowledge to share.”
Moyer will speak as part of Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, which will run Thursday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Dayton Convention Center.
In addition to Moyer, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Stacy Malkan on Feb. 17; nearly 80 educational workshops; four full-day Food and Farm School classes on Feb. 15; a three-day trade show; networking events; activities for children; locally-sourced meals; a raffle; book sales and signings, and more.