Indiana Small Farm Conference

The 2019 conference at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, Danville, Indiana begins with a series of daylong workshops on Thursday, February 28. Topics include writing a food safety plan, vegetable crop planning, mushroom cultivation, biological orcharding and two tours: on the subjects of agri-tourism and livestock processing

Breakout sessions on March 1-2 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. Check back for a complete list of speakers.

The Small Farm Trade Show takes place on March 1-2 where more than 50 vendors will showcase their products and services. The Small Farm Poster Session on March 2 will feature research and programs on local foods, diversified agriculture, and small farm production and education. Check back for details on the poster session.

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.

We have booked a limited block of rooms for attendees at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, Avon and the Baymont Inn & Suites, Plainfield. Both blocks expire on February 14.

Download the 2019 conference program to preview the full schedule of sessions and activities.

The 2019 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

Ecocert ICO and Indiana Farm Bureau, Gold Sponsors

Indiana Farmers Union, Silver Sponsor

Co-Alliance, LLP, Oliver Winery, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc., and Store It Cold, Seedling Sponsors


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

Thursday, Feb. 28 – Workshops

8:00-9:00: Conference Registration

9:00-5:00 with Networking Luncheon at Noon

Workshop 1: Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers, Daniel Brisebois, Ferme Tourne-Sol

You know how it’s mid July and it’s time to fill your CSA baskets but all you have is kohlrabi when what you want is carrots? Or worse yet, you don’t even have the kohlrabi!

Workshop 2: Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae: A Fungal Immersion Course, Joel Myers, Mushroom Mountain

Learn how to braid mushrooms and other fungi into almost every aspect of your coexistence with this exclusive workshop  designed for cultivating and extracting medicinal mushrooms, creating your own mycorrhizae for seed starting mixes, recycling home and farm waste, biological pest control, and easy steps for cleaning contaminated soil and water.

Workshop 3: Successful Biological Orcharding, Michael Phillips, Lost Nation Orchard

Fascinating biological connections make for a healthy orchard ecosystem. All insect pests and fruit tree disease – whether fungal or bacterial – have launching points and particular timing.

Thursday, Feb. 28 – Farm Tours

Tour 1: Butcher Shop and Livestock Processing Tour

Join our tour in the metro-Indianapolis area, and learn more about meat processing facilities. Join farmers over lunch who not only raise livestock, but share their experience of starting and sustaining their processing facilities. This tour begins in Indianapolis, not at the conference venue.

Tour 2: Agri-Tourism Farm Tour

This tour will highlight just a touch of the variety of agritourism opportunities in Indiana. The intent is to allow participants to hear directly from the farmers about how and why they decided to open up their operations to the public. The tour will begin at the conference venue.

Friday, March 1

Keynote SpeakerMichael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard

Phillips helps farmers think deeper about soil biology’s role in healthy crops – which means minimal soil disturbance, rational grazing, and respectful forest management. He will also offer a full-day Thursday workshop on holistic soil nutrition and biodiversity in biological orcharding.

During his Keynote Session, Soil Redemption Song, Michael will address how rousing every grower to think deeper begins with appreciation for how soil biology abets healthy plant metabolism. Coming to see crop communities through the lens of a “common root being” will prove fundamental for regenerative farmers everywhere. This means growing healthy crops with minimal soil disturbance, grazing pastures rationally, and managing forests with respect for the generations to come.



8:00-8:45 | Conference Registration

8:45-9:45 | Breakout Sessions

10:00-11:00 | Breakout Sessions

11:00-12:00 | Trade Show Break

12:00-1:30 | Networking Luncheon

1:30-2:30 Breakout Sessions

2:45-3:45 | Breakout Sessions

3:45-4:45 | Trade Show Break

4:45-6:00 | Keynote Session – Soil Redemption Song

6:00-7:30 | Evening Reception – join the interaction with Julie Reich of Stone Soup Creative, as she creates a visual artifact of the Conference.

Trade Show is open from 11:00am-7:30pm

Saturday, March 2

Keynote SpeakerKaren Washington of Rise and Root Farm

A New York native and urban agriculture advocate, Washington has pioneered access to fresh, locally grown food for metro populations. In 2012, Ebony named her among America’s 100 most influential African Americans for her promotion of the power and dignity of growing your own food.

During her Keynote Session, Growing Food as a Statement of Power and Justice, Karen will discuss how in cities across the country, people are growing their own food as a way of controlling their food system. Having the power to control what they grow, who is growing and why they grow, sheds light on a broken food system that claims to be just and equitable. We will explore this myth of a broken food system which some claims needs to be fixed.



8:00-8:45 | Conference Registration

8:45-9:45 | Breakout Sessions

10:00-11:00 | Breakout Sessions

11:00-12:00 | Trade Show Break and Small Farm Poster Session

12:00-1:15 | Networking Luncheon

1:15-2:45 Breakout Sessions

3:00-4:00Breakout Sessions

4:15-5:30 | Keynote Session – Growing Food as a Statement of Power and Justice

Trade Show is open from 8:30am-1:00pm