Financing the Local Food System


Conference and Workshop to Offer Training, Discussion About Financing the Local Food System:

Events to Feature Slow Money’s Woody Tasch

Granville, Ohio—How people and institutions can help finance the local food system, how farmers and local food business can access capital, and what local financing models are out there are the topics of an all day pre-conference workshop on Friday, February 17, and a keynote address and workshop on Saturday, February 18 featured as part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty, in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

The events will feature Slow Money Alliance founder and chairman Woody Tasch who will provide a primer on Slow Money, a national effort to encourage sustainable financial investments that support local, community-based food and farm businesses.

“Slow Money is a movement and an investment strategy,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA’s Program Director and the organizer of the event. “Slow Money is about finding meaningful places for people to put their money to work, right in their own communities.”

A former venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Tasch inspired the Slow Money movement by writing Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered. He is the former chairman of Investors’ Circle, which has invested $133 million in 200 early stage sustainability businesses since 1992 and served as treasurer of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation.

“We’ve got to take some of our money out of all this stuff that we no longer understand or can manage effectively and put it to work near where we live, starting with food,” Tasch said in a December interview with the Ohio News Service.

In a 2011 interview with Edible Columbus, Tasch went on to say, “If we are going to build a new food system and a new restorative economy, we are going to need billions upon billions of dollars. Where is this money going to come from? Wall Street? Washington? Foundations? Whatever they can do, it won’t be enough, it won’t be direct enough and there won’t be enough of it. The only place it can come from is from all of us, who have a direct, vested interest in the places where we live.”

To date, $4.5 million has been invested in 16 small food enterprises through Slow Money’s national gatherings. In the last year, $5 million more has been invested through Slow Money chapters.

Slow Money Pre-Conference Event

The full day-preconference event, Slow Money for Ohio?  Financing the Local Food System, will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, February 17 and feature panels of experts and practitioners who will discuss the challenges of capitalizing the local food economy and strategies to nurture long-term impact and prosperity. Additionally, the event will showcase Slow Money-type models in Ohio and elsewhere and provide attendees with an opportunity to network with individuals and representatives from businesses, organizations, and government interested in investing in their local food system.

In addition to Woody Tasch, pre-conference presenters will include:

–          John Mitterholzer, The Gund Foundation (invited)

–          Mark Barbash, MB Economic Development Consulting

–          Joe Cimperman, Cleveland City Council

–          Todd Deiterrle, New Harvest Ventures

–          Jessica Eickleberry, Local Roots Market and Café (recently featured in the Washington Post)

–          Leslie Schaller, ACEnet

–          Becky Rondy, Green Edge Gardens 

–          Representatives from The Economic and Community Development Institute of Columbus, Kemba Bank, Insight Bank, and Farm Credit Services of Mid-America

Slow Money Conference Events

Tasch’s conference keynote address, Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter, will take place from 4-5:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 18. Earlier in the day, Tasch will be leading a workshop, Slow Money 101: Where is it Coming From, Where is it Going?, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

About the Events

The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the event draws more than 1,000 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest. In addition to Tasch, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Andrew Kimbrell; more than 70 informative, hands-on workshops; two featured pre-conference events; a trade show; a fun and educational kids’ conference and child care area; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.

All events will take place at Granville Middle and High Schools, 248 New Burg St. in Granville. Pre-registration is required. Cost for the pre-conference is $45 for members and $55 for non-members, and includes lunch. Cost for the conference is $115 for members and $175 for non-members, and meals must be purchased separately. Prices vary for late registrations, students, and one-day only registrations. Go to for more information or to register online and receive $5 off the registration fee.

Our Sponsors

OEFFA’s 33rd annual conference is being sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill, Northstar Café, Organic Valley/CROPP, Edible Ohio Valley, Granville Exempted Village Schools, Mustard Seed Market and Cafe, Snowville Creamery, Whole Foods Market Dublin, Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, Casa Nueva, Earthineer, Earth Tools, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Lucky Cat Bakery, Midwest Bio-Ag, Ohio Earth Food, OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter, Raisin Rack Natural Food Market, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, Stonyfield Farm, Swainway Urban Farm, Whole Hog BBQ, Andelain Fields, C-TEC, Curly Tail Organic Farm, DNO Produce, Eden Foods, King Family Farm, Luna Burger, Marshy Meadows Farm, Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Noodles, Rodale Institute, Bad Dog Acres, Bexley Natural Market, Blue Jacket Dairy, Bluebird Farm, Crumbs Bakery, Equine Veterinary Dental Services, Flying J Farm, Glad Annie’s Old World Baklava, Green Fields Farm, Hartzler Family Dairy, The Hills Market, Hirzel Cannery and Farms/ Dei Fratelli, Kitchen Basics, Leo Dick and Sons, Locust Run Farm, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources Social Responsibility Initiative, Peace Coffee, Phoenix Organics, Shagbark Seed & Mill, Schmidt Family Farms, Stan Evans Bakery, and Wayward Seed Farm.


The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is a state-wide, grassroots, non-profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to


Conference and Pre-Conference Registration

To register or for more information about the conference, including maps, directions, workshop descriptions, speakers, and a schedule, go to For additional questions, contact Renee Hunt at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205 or The 2010 and 2011 conferences sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to guarantee a spot.

Artwork and Images

For the conference art image or pictures of keynote speakers, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or For photographs of the 2011 conference, go to

Press Passes and Interviews with Keynote Speakers

OEFFA offers a limited number of press passes to members of the media who would like to attend one or both days of the conference. We can also help members of the press schedule pre-conference interviews with our keynote speakers. To arrange an interview or request a press pass, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or


Event Calendar Announcement

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty, February 18-19 in Granville, Ohio is Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture conference. The event will feature keynote speakers Woody Tasch and Andrew Kimbrell, more than 70 workshops, local and organic meals, kids’ conference, childcare, a trade show, Saturday evening entertainment, and two featured pre-conference events on February 17. Workshop topics include farming, gardening, homesteading, cooking, green living, livestock production, business planning, and marketing. To register, or for more information about the conference, go to or contact Renee Hunt at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205 or

4 responses to “Financing the Local Food System

  1. This is worth so much to see this. Yes, I’m from Spain. Listen this farmer, and his experience, this is from the documentary: “Peaceable Kingdom”, produced in 2004 by Tribe of Heart that shows how some farmers stopped killing animals and adopted veganism as a way of life by creating a farm sanctuary called “Farm Sanctuary” where they collect many animals injured, half dead, abandoned, rejected by the industry to not be productive. Are a few examples of this, as a cow with mastitis or newly hatched chicks are not suitable for production.

  2. the name of this blog is “Alimentación en Paz”: “Feeding in peace”, his objective is promove information about compassion and mercy to animals, and to help people to feed in peace, feeding peace. preventing pain suffering, etc, in animals and humans… I think we all in all the world have to awake and create other forms of live. Change the obsolete systems. Don’t ask for money for banks… Stop doing wars, stop banking manipulations. stop petrolers manipulations, and I think you in USA have to awake a lot. Achieve the gmo labeling… In Europe, all products that exceed 0,9% gmo content, MUST be label and indicate that contein GMO, SO HERE PEOPLE ARE MORE FREE TO CHOOSE THAN YOU IN AMERICA. A lot of American have had a band in the eyes. You Rady in this blog have a lot of information, The problem of the band in the eyes is not a problem of a country. The thing I want to say you, is that; brothers and sisters: listen too to people of other parts of the worlds, learn too other languages like spanish. WE ALL HAVE TO WORK FOR PEACE, WE ARE BROTHERS AND SISTER BEYOND THE COUNTRIES RACES, ETC. Love and peace is the way.:

  3. interesting man . you should do financing the local food system…

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