Live Stream, Lunch, and Learn: In-person Viewing of Online Organic Vegetable Production Conference

OVPC Livestream at Wooster

Ohio vegetable growers are invited to join us Friday, January 26 in Wooster, Ohio, for a one-day in-person viewing of the 2024 Organic Vegetable Production Conference (OVPC). “Live Stream, Lunch, and Learn” is open to any local producers using, or interested in, organic production practices. The event begins with coffee and social time at 8:30 a.m. with programming from 9a.m. – 3p.m., including live-streamed and recorded sessions from the OVPC virtual conference, plus networking opportunities with other growers and Ohio State personnel. Please meet at the Ohio State Wooster Campus Secrest Arboretum Welcome Center. There is no cost to attend thanks to an Ohio State grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, but participants must pre-register by Monday, January 22. Register online at or call the W County Extension Office at 330-264-8722.

Sessions offered during the in-person viewing will be “High Tunnel Pest Management with Beneficials (recording),” “Fertilizer Injectors in the Hoophouse,” “Uncrackable Problems, Transformational Solutions,” plus a grower talk on peppers, and an in-person roundtable session on topics chosen by attendees. All attendees will have access to speaker handouts and later online viewing of OVPC virtual conference sessions for both Thursday and Friday.

The annual OVPC includes virtual (January 25 and 26) and in-person sessions (February 2 and 3 in Madison, Wisc.). Grower to grower engagement is always front and center at OVPC, ensuring farmers are learning from their peers and building a network of farms that can lean on one another during challenging times and celebrate successes together. That networking can be hard to accomplish sitting alone in your office or living room though, so join us for local in-person sharing around this online event!

Our Ohio event is planned in collaboration with OVPC organizers: University of Wisconsin – Madison, FairShare CSA Coalition, and Iowa State University – Extension and Outreach. To see full details about the OVPC, visit their conference website at  For more information on becoming a FairShare farm or about the OVPC, contact Ohio Program Manager Beth Knorr at 234-231-8166 or or visit the website at

Event flier and agenda.


Support for Mental Health in the Thick of the Season

White flowers of the common bean plant Phaseolus coccineus growing in the garden on a trellis against the blue sky and sunlight

Farming can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing, and when the season ramps up, it may feel like you don’t have the time or the energy to prioritize these needs. If you are looking for space to connect with peers about managing stress and supporting mental health and wellbeing for both farm owners and farm employees, consider participating in a virtual group discussion on August 3 from 7:30pm ET – 9:00pm ET (6:30pm – 8:00pm CT).

Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist with The Ohio State University Extension, will get the conversation started and share resources as the discussion unfolds. Bring your questions, experiences, and tips while also holding space for others to share.

Space is limited to keep this discussion more intimate. It will not be recorded. Farm owners, farmworkers, and farm adjacent professionals are welcome to attend. This event is planned by FairShare CSA Coalition and Midwest Vegetable Growers Network.

Register through this link.

Choosing and Evaluating Seed Varieties to Meet your Market Needs: A Grower Panel and Discussion

Growers of organic produce or those interested in organic varieties and production are welcome to join the Ohio Organic Farmer Researcher Network for their monthly online meeting on Thursday, January 5 at noon. We have selected a small but varied panel of Ohio produce professionals to discuss their variety selection process and priorities, some of their best and worst experiences, and how their choices relate to marketing, labor, and other concerns. Panelist Q&A will be followed by farmer-led discussion about what motivates us to choose certain seeds varieties and how we decide where/how to source them. The primary focus will be on organic vegetable varieties that perform well in Ohio.

Connection details are available at Sign up for reminders and future meeting notices by emailing Cassy Brown.

The Ohio Organic Farmer Researcher Network is a growing group of organic and transitioning farmers, agricultural professionals, and researchers who meet regularly to discuss emerging issues, possible projects, and recent or ongoing research. Our group’s organization is a cooperative effort of OEFFA, Ohio State, and Central State universities.

Farmers, educators, researchers, and other interested individuals are welcome to join us on the first Thursday of each month to discuss a variety of topics related to organic production research.

Organic Production Series

organic production series

Ohio State’s organic production winter webinar series will finish up in the next few weeks, but session recordings will remain available at, where you can also find log-in details for our final sessions.

These sessions are brief, free, and can be accessed online or by telephone. All sessions are 11:00-11:45 a.m. and will include time for questions and discussion. Speakers are from Ohio State unless otherwise noted. The webinars are intended for growers involved in, considering, or simply curious about organic agriculture.

March 31, 2021, 11 a.m.
Remediation of Post-Industrial Urban Soils by Organic Management – Larry Phelan
The loss of manufacturing in a number of U.S. cities, particularly in the Rust Belt, along with the 2008 housing crash, has led to population loss and abandonment of a large number of properties and land area. Unfortunately, what did not leave was the legacy of soil contamination and degradation caused by this industrial past. This project documents the impact of this history on chemical, physical, and biological dimensions of soil health in Cleveland’s vacant lots and investigates the changes associated with conversion of industrially damaged soils to urban organic farming.

April 14, 2021, 11 a.m.
The Organic Consumer: What We Know – Zoë Plakias
Knowing who your customers are, can help you reach them more effectively. Ohio State economist Zoë Plakias will share market research about consumer attitudes and behaviors toward organic products. Demographically, who are our customers? What motivates them to purchase organic products? How much extra are they willing to pay? And how can organic growers and retailers increase their appeal with these customers?

Previous sessions are available for viewing at, including:

  • Management Practices That Impact Soil Health and Organic Matter – Christine Sprunger
  • Tips for Using/Attracting Beneficial Insects – Mary Gardiner
  • Cultural Control Strategies for Nightmare Weeds – Douglas Doohan
  • Considerations for Organic High Tunnel Production – Matt Kleinhenz
  • Irrigation Basics – Larry Brown
  • Transition Q&A – Julia Barton, OEFFA
  • and more.

Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.


Midwest specialty crop growers are encouraged to participate in the current herbicide drift damage survey. The study seeks to document the frequency, severity, management, and economic impact of drift damage among specialty crop growers in the North Central U.S. Even if you have not experienced drift damage, your input will be helpful in determining risk factors.

If you haven’t already done so, please take the time right now to complete this survey at

The survey should take 5-20 minutes depending on your personal experience with herbicide drift. Results will help document needs for related research, education, or policy review around herbicide drift and drift management.

For more information on the study and resources on managing drift risk, please visit


Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.

A special project group of the North Central Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center wants to learn about your concerns and experiences with herbicide drift. The group is surveying growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in the upper Midwest.

To truly understand the frequency, severity, and economic impact of herbicide drift on specialty crops, we need to hear from growers: growers who have experienced drift damage, growers who can share their concerns around this issue, and even growers who have not dealt with drift but who grow sensitive crops in drift-prone regions. Survey responses are needed to establish herbicide drift as a serious economic and regulatory concern in Ohio and across our region.

Please complete the survey at

Who should take this survey?
The study is for commercial growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, or WI. Even if you have never experienced herbicide damage, we would still like to hear from you if you grow specialty crops in one of these states.

Why is this survey necessary?
Dicamba and 2,4-D drift damage has made headlines in recent years, but no study to-date has attempted to quantify the overall impact drift has on the specialty crop industry. While all states have a way for growers to file a drift complaint, the process and requirements are inconsistent and may involve time and information that a grower does not have. In most states, for instance, the source of the drift must be identified. Research has found that dicamba and 2,4-D both have the potential to travel for miles in specific weather conditions, making source identification difficult.

What good will this survey do?
This study is designed to assess the potential and actual frequency of drift damage, along with the severity and economic impact of such damage. The survey includes questions on grower awareness, experience, actions, and decisions related to herbicide drift and drift-risk management. The responses will help establish needs for research on drift mechanisms, prevention, and remediation; and/or the need to review current policy and reporting requirements.

How long will it take?
The survey takes 5-20 minutes to complete, depending on your experience with drift damage.

How will this data be shared?
Summarized survey data will be shared broadly with regulatory agencies, university educators and researchers, agricultural policy makers, grower support organizations, and the general public using news articles, report summaries, and peer-reviewed journal articles. While this study is administered by The Ohio State University, it was planned in partnership with industry experts across the region who will assist with sharing results. Participants may also request a copy of the study summary.

How will my data be used and protected?
Your privacy is important. No individual survey data will be released or shared beyond the limited group of project staff. The survey questions and procedures have been reviewed by the institutional review board at The Ohio State University and are designed to protect your data and identity. Additional details on privacy and confidentiality are provided at the beginning of the survey.

How can I learn more?
The North Central IPM Center’s special project group created a series of fact sheets on herbicide drift especially for specialty crop growers. The series includes: Overview of Dicamba and 2,4-D Drift Issues, Frequently Asked Questions, Preparing for Drift Damage, and Responding to Drift Damage. Fact sheets and more information about our special project group and study are available at

This study is facilitated by The Ohio State University and is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through agreement 2018-70006-28884.This study is being conducted in cooperation with regional universities and non-profit grower organizations, including Ohio State Extension.

“Spraying done right!” Webinar February 4, 2021

Zoom Webinar
February 4, 2021
12 pm EST, 9 am PST

This 1-hour long Zoom webinar, is meant for growers, and for people who assist them–especially pest management advisors and pesticide applicators. The event will host top-notch experts in the fields of herbicide science, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences and agricultural regulation. Register for free at:

This webinar will deal with pesticide application in agriculture, from the following perspectives:

  • Damages to crops, due to pesticide and herbicide drift from neighboring fields.
  • Inefficiency in pesticide application, and ways to correct it.
  • Pesticide drift liability: perspectives and lessons to recipients and to sources;
  • growers and pesticide applicators.
  • Meteorological factors affecting pesticide application, and localized weather forecasting.

List of speakers:

  • Prof. Doug Doohan (Herbicide Science), Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University.
  • Prof. Dorita Edelstein (Atmospheric Science), Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Institute for Biological Research.
  • John Fentis, Esq. (Law), Environmental Director, California District Attorneys Association.
  • Moderator: Dr. Nadav Nitzan, Head of Plant Pathology, Valley of Springs Research Center, Israel (formerly of the Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University).

Register for free here:

Ohio State Webinar Series Offered on Organic Production

organic production series

According to the 2019 USDA Census of Agriculture, Ohio ranks 5th among U.S. states in the number of certified organic farms. Over the past three years, Ohio’s organic sales and cropland acres have both increased by more than 35%.

For those involved in, considering, or simply curious about organic agriculture, Ohio State is hosting a series of short winter webinars on various organic production topics. These sessions are brief, free, and can be accessed online or by telephone. All sessions are 11:00-11:45 a.m. and will include ample time for questions and discussion. Speakers are from Ohio State unless otherwise noted. Log-in details and session summaries are available at

Wednesday, January 13 at 11 a.m.
Transition Q&A –
Julia Barton from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)

Wednesday, January 20 at 11 a.m.
Manure Analysis: How Much Nitrogen Can You Get from Manure?
– Glen Arnold

Wednesday, January 27 at 11 a.m.
Irrigation Basics
– Larry Brown

Wednesday, February 3 at 11 a.m.
Cultural Control Strategies for Nightmare Weeds
 – Douglas Doohan

Wednesday, February 17 at 11 a.m.
Considerations for Organic High Tunnel Production
 – Matthew Kleinhenz
(Additional educational programs on high tunnel production are available through Ohio State’s High Tunnel and Season Extension School January 12 through February 16. Learn more at:

Organic webinars for March will focus on beneficial insects, marketing, post-industrial soil reclamation, and more. To view past sessions, see the complete line up, obtain log in details, or to sign up for email reminders, visit or contact program manager Cassandra Brown at 330-263-3634.