Small Farm Conference 2020


Indiana Small Farm Conference

The 2020 conference at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, Danville, Indiana begins with a series of daylong workshops on Thursday, March 5. 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 6-7 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 6-7 where more than 50 vendors will showcase their products and services. The Small Farm Poster Session on March 7 will feature research and programs on local foods, diversified agriculture, and small farm production and education. Poster session registration is now available.  Submit a proposal by January 27th online at

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.

Conference program coming soon. 

The 2020 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

Co-Alliance, Bronze Sponsor

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

Thursday, March 5 - Workshops

8:00-9:00: Conference Registration

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

Workshop 1: Livestock 101: A Beginner's Guide

Are you interested in raising livestock or poultry of any size, from small scale and 4-H to large production? Livestock 101: A Beginner's Guide will cover aspects of livestock and poultry production in order to raise healthy livestock and poultry for personal use or as a commercial business. During this workshop, you will learn about animal nutrition, reproduction, and well-being; the purpose of different species; marketing; budgeting; processing; laws and regulations; resources for further knowledge on raising livestock.

Additional Conference Workshop Information Coming Soon 

Friday, March 6

Keynote Speaker - Jean-Martin Fortier

We are excited to announce that our keynote speaker on Friday, March 6 will be Jean-Martin Fortier, The Market Gardener. Jean-Martin Fortier (JM) is a farmer, educator and best-selling author specializing in organic and biologically intensive vegetable production.

His award-winning book, The Market Gardener, has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide to re-imagine ecological human-scale food systems. His message is one of empowerment in order to educate, encourage and inspire people into pursuing a farming career and lifestyle. Along with his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches, Jean-Martin is the founder of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized 10-acre micro-farm in Quebec, Canada.



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

6:00-7:30 | Evening Reception

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

Saturday, March 7

Keynote Speaker - Darby Simpson

Our keynote speaker will be Darby Simpson of Simpson Family Farm, located in Martinsville, Indiana.

Darby's keynote will focus on his journey into part-time farming, that transitioned into full-time farming, and why the Simpsons have recently made the decision to make farming "part-time" again. His talk will cover the areas of defining an operation for what works in their life and no one else's, and is it possible to do this for profit on the journey, the context/definition, and the reality of farming.

Learn more about Darby and the Simpson Family Farm at:



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

3:00-4:00 | Breakout Sessions

4:15-5:30 | Keynote Session

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

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