Indiana Small Farm Conference

The 2018 conference in Danville, Indiana begins with a series of daylong workshops on March 1. Topics include on-farm fresh produce food safety, regenerative farming with livestock and agroforestry, farm viability and financial management, and a four season farm tour.

Breakout sessions on March 2-3 will cover topics ranging from vegetable and livestock production to farm management and marketing. Participants will have an opportunity to network with Extension educators, expert speakers, other farmers and vendors. The complete list of speakers will continue to be updated as presenters become finalized.

The Small Farm Trade Show takes place on March 2-3 where more than 50 vendors will showcase their products and services. The Small Farm Poster Session on March 3 will feature research and programs on local foods, diversified agriculture, and small farm production and education.

Lunch is included with your registration.  Catering will be provided by Lali Hess and the wonderful staff at The Juniper Spoon, using ingredients sourced from Indiana farms and food businesses.

Download the 2018 conference program to preview the full schedule of sessions and activities.

The 2018 Indiana Small Farm Conference is generously sponsored by:

Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Champion Sponsor

North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), Platinum Sponsor

Indiana Farm Bureau, Gold Sponsor

Indiana Farmers Union, Silver Sponsor

Co-Alliance, Seedling Sponsor

Earth Tools Inc., Seedling Sponsor

Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Seedling Sponsor, Seedling Sponsor

Oliver Winery and Vineyards, Seedling Sponsor

Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Seedling Sponsor

Store It Cold, LLC, Seedling Sponsor

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Find out about our different sponsorship levels.


Thursday, March 1

8:00-9:00 | Conference Registration

9:00-12:00 Breakout Sessions (select one)

12:00-1:00 | Networking Luncheon

1:00-5:00 Breakout Sessions (continued)

Friday, March 2

8:00-9:00 | Conference Registration

9:00-11:00 | Breakout Sessions (select one)

11:00-12:00 | Trade Show Break

12:00-1:30 | Networking Luncheon

1:30-3:30 Breakout Sessions (select one)

3:30-4:30 | Trade Show Break

4:30-5:30 | Keynote Panel

5:30-7:00 | Evening Reception

Saturday, March 3

8:00-9:00 | Conference Registration

9:00-11:00 | Breakout Sessions

10:00-12:00 | Poster Session Showcase

11:00-12:00 | Trade Show Break 

12:00-1:30 | Keynote Luncheon

1:30-3:30 | Breakout Sessions (select one)

3:30-4:00 | Coffee Break

4:00-5:30 | Breakout Sessions (select one)

Friday Keynote Panel

The Third Plate in Indiana: Farmer, restaurateur and chef perspectives

Greg Gunthorp

GregGreg Gunthorp, Gunthorp Farms

Greg Gunthorp, along with his wife and three kids, owns and operates a pasture-based livestock operation in Northeast Indiana. They have about 270 acres and 30 employees. Greg’s family has raised pigs on pasture for at least four generations. They have one of the largest pastured poultry operations in the country. Their operation includes an on-farm full USDA inspected slaughter and processing plant. They supply pork, chicken, duck and turkey to some of the best restaurants in Chicago, Indianapolis, and surrounding areas. Greg has been very active in the Sustainable Agriculture and rural advocacy movement in the United States. Their operation has hosted visitors from all over the world. He is a past board member of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. He served on Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman’s Small Farm Commission as well as serving on a small farm advisory panel to President Clinton. He currently serves on the Pew/Meridian Meat and Poultry Inspection Dialogue looking at a rewrite of the Meat and Poultry Act.

Martha Hoover

MarthaHooverMartha Hoover, Patachou, Inc.

Without even one day spent working in the restaurant industry, Patachou Inc. owner Martha Hoover created a successful collection of twelve establishments—Cafés Patachou, Petite Chou Bistro, Napolese Pizzeria, Public Greens, Bar One Fourteen — and soon-to-open Crispy Bird. Today, Patachou supports more Indiana family farms than all the other restaurants in Indianapolis combined. In 2017, Hoover, a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist, was named by Food & Wine magazine one of the Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink. 

Hoover created The Patachou Foundation in 2013 to feed healthy meals to food insecure children in Indianapolis. To date, over 60,000 healthy, nutritious meals have been served by The Patachou Foundation to children in the Indianapolis community who live with pervasive food insecurity.

See her recent feature in Vogue Magazine.

Tyler Herald

Ty;erHeraldTyler Herald, Patachou, Inc.

Chef Tyler Herald came by his culinary career honestly when he was 14 years old and his mother bought a restaurant. Chef Tyler is now responsible for menu development, ingredient sourcing and overall kitchen management for all locations of Cafes Patachou, Petite Chou Bistro, Napolese Pizzeria, and Public Greens.

He is committed to developing and serving food that appeals to everyone, but that also broadens and teases the public’s palette a bit as well. His requirement for working with the best ingredients, seasonal and local, puts him in constant communication with our farmer partners-many of whom he now counts as his best friends. He is particularly proud of the fact that in the summers, the produce featured at Napolese Pizzeria and Public Greens is almost entirely local and organic.

Saturday Keynote Speaker


Farm-Life Balance: Reflections and Ideas from the Farmer to Farmer Podcast

Chris Blanchard, Purple Pitchfork 

Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Purple Pitchfork. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm since 1999, Chris raised twenty acres of vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse crops, marketed through a 200-member year-round CSA, food stores, and farmers markets. Prior to 1999, Chris managed student farms, worked as an intern, packing house manager, plant breeding assistant, and farm manager, and provided consulting for a major organic processor, in California, Wisconsin, Maine, and Washington state.

His workshops, writing, and consulting throughout the country about farm business concepts, food safety, organic vegetable production, and scaling-up have gained a reputation for fresh approaches, down-to-earth information, and honesty. He is the host and producer of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast, an internet radio show for organic and sustainable market farmers.


Four Season Farm Tour | March 1 (Tour is full) 

Participate in a tour of Indiana farms utilizing season extension to produce and market vegetables and flowers through all four seasons.



On-Farm Fresh Produce Food Safety | March 1

The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training provides the opportunity to learn about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GPA), and co-management of food safety and natural resources. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule training requirement.

Learn more about this workshop: Produce Safety Training

Note: A $25 fee will be added when the fresh produce training is selected during the registration process.


  • Miranda Edge & Scott Monroe – Leads
  • Michael O’Donnell & Steve Engleking – Teach modules
  • All Purdue Extension educators

Regenerative Farming with Livestock and Agroforestry Systems | March 1

Regenerative Agriculture has recently emerged as a way to define farming systems that “regenerate” soils, water, ecosystem services, and farming
communities. This workshop will explore how livestock, managed with adaptive grazing systems on pasture, and agroforestry practices are key components of regenerative farming systems. You will learn from specialists and farmers from Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin who are working daily to put these practices
on the ground!

Learn more about this workshop: Regenerative Farming with Livestock and Agroforestry Systems


Farm Viability and Financial Management | March 1

This workshop is based on the book Fearless Farm Finances, published by MOSES, and co-authored by Paul Dietmann. The workshop’s target audience are farmers who have been active for 1-5+ years, looking for financial tools to better understand and manage their farm and personal finances, and at an inflection point of making major operational or financial decisions.

Learn more about this workshop: Fearless Farmer Finances



“Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry” screening | March 2-3

This documentary shows the difficult choices Kentucky farmers face that impact their relationship with the land and their community. Sustainable farming and land stewardship have been replaced with capital-focused and industrial agriculture. This film blends interviews with farmers and community members with scenes of farm live throughout the four seasons. This will screen repeatedly on Friday and Saturday.

Visit the website for more information.

Friday Evening Social! | March 2

Don’t miss the Friday evening social at the Indiana Small Farm Conference. This networking time cap off the second day of our three day conference, and gives attendees relaxed time to network and catch up with new and old acquaintances! The social takes place in the trade show, giving you more time to mingle with trade show vendors. Light fare and beverage from local suppliers will be catered by the Juniper Spoon, and music will be provided by an Indianapolis-based swing band. The social is open to all attendees that register for Friday admission.

Is your organization interested in sponsoring the Friday evening social? This is a great opportunity to support and connect with Indiana’s small and diversified farm community. Learn more about this and other sponsor opportunities. 

2018 NCR-SARE Farmers Forum | March 3


New to this year’s conference is the NCR-SARE Farmers Forum. The Farmers Forum is a traveling annual event giving farmers, ranchers, researchers and others the chance to share information about sustainable agriculture practices with a national audience.

These presentations focus on research, demonstration, and education projects that promote profitable practices that are good for the environment and community. The projects highlighted in these presentations and the Farmers Forum are funded by grants from North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), a USDA funded program that supports and promotes sustainable farming and ranching by offering competitive grants and educational opportunities.

Visit the website for more information.