A Team That Helps You Succeed
Since 2013, the Indiana Small Farm Conference has been the premier annual event for Indiana’s small- and diversified-farm community — helping them experience continuing education and enjoy farmer-to-farmer networking.
Learn more about our keynote speakers and explore the eight sessions that are offered during the 2021 Indiana Small Farm Conference below.
Registration has ended for the live, in-person conference. The great news is that all of our sessions will be recorded and made available for access after the conference. If you are interested in gaining access, please fill out the Comment Section below, and we will get back with you.
Note: You must be registered to gain access to conference content and session tracks. For content access after the conference, fill out the contact form below.
Friday, March 5 Keynote Speaker: Richard Perkins
Indiana University-Sustainable Food Systems Science is proud to sponsor the keynote address given by, Richard Perkins on Friday, March 5 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM EST. He is the co-owner, director and lead designer of Ridgedale Farm AB in Värmland, Sweden, author of the internationally renowned book, Regenerative Agriculture. You can find more about Richard's online work here. Blending dynamic instruction and down-to-earth pragmatism, he promotes a philosophy of permaculture in farming - design strategies that capitalize on patterns and resilient features found in natural ecosystems. Perkins will discuss how focusing on regenerative agriculture can empower small farm enterprises to be resilient, entrepreneurial and profitable.
Keynote Address: Making Small Farms Work. Contrary to widespread misconception, small farms can be highly productive, effective and profitable. After paying off all the farm purchase and development costs as planned within the first 5 years of setting up their diverse farm at 59 degrees north in Sweden, Richard will take you on a journey of how he designed and established his 25-acre farm with his wife Yohanna. With a career in farm design and enterprise planning, Richard integrates Holistic Management with Keyline Design and other ecological design frameworks to plan farms that build soil and ecological health whilst making a good living for the farmers.
Saturday, March 6 Keynote Speakers: Dan and Julie Perkins
Indiana Farm Bureau is proud to sponsor the keynote address given by Dan and Julie Perkins on Saturday, March 6 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM EST. Dan and Julie operate Perkins' Good Earth Farm, an organic vegetable farm on 20-acres in DeMotte, Indiana. After balancing a career in soil and water conservation with farming on the side, the Perkins family made a transition to full-time farming in 2019. Dan and Julie Perkins will discuss their experiences "in the beautiful, sometimes chaotic, get-your-hands-dirty, oh-so-satisfying working of the land." Stay after the keynote address, for a Q&A session till 3:00 PM.
Keynote Address: You Have What It Takes: Grit, Growth, and Gumption on the Small Farm. Why farm? Why choose this life of blood, sweat, and tears? Dan and Julie will share their farm journey story, including their trajectory, challenges and joys faced along the way, systems that work for community farming in a small town, and where they hope to go from here.
Maple Hill Farm
Join Elliot Dale of Maple Hill Farm as he guides us through his hoop house, compost piles, mushroom logs, permaculture zone, and vegetable rows.
Learn more about the eight tracks that are being offered during the conference:
The advanced livestock session is scheduled for Saturday, March 6 from 10:00 AM-Noon EST. The session will focus on pastures: production practices and renovation. We will explore the creation of soil types to modern day holistic and sustainable pasture management strategies utilizing farmers describing experiences on their own farms.
Proudly sponsored by Vermont Compost Company, the advanced vegetable session will be held on Friday, March 5 from 2:00-4:00 PM EST. The first hour of this session is facilitated discussion around leafy green productions involving three prominent Indiana growers. The second hour will focus on soil health and cover crops.
The beginning farmer session, sponsored by Safe Produce Indiana, is scheduled for Friday, March 5 from 2:00-4:00 PM EST. In the first hour, Purdue Specialists Maria Marshall and Renee Wiatt will teach us how to set our farm up for success. The second hour will feature Julie Perkins from Perkins’ Good Earth Farm, and Amy Matthews from South Circle Farm.
The business marketing session will be held on Friday, March 5th from 10:00 AM-Noon EST. Join Purdue Extension and Wisconsin Extension specialists and farm market vendors on presentations centered around the importance of tax benefits, creating successful farmers market displays, and eCommerce platforms.
Balancing farm, work, family and life can be challenging. Join the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team for a discussion of tools that can be used to recognize, combat and address stressful situations- including COVID-19 implications in agriculture. This content will be available on-demand at any time. Take a minute to care for yourself and those around you.
The urban agriculture track will feature two sessions, and are scheduled for Saturday, March 6 from 10:00 AM-Noon and 2:00-4:00 PM EST. The first session, sponsored by Purdue Online Urban Agriculture, begins with a discussion of urban soil health practices and youth farmers, followed by the use of exclusion netting to manage insects on urban farms. The second session, sponsored by High Mowing Seeds, will explore urban beekeeping, small-scale specialty crop production, and strategies for marketing in food deserts.
The youth sessions will occur on Friday and Saturday, March 5-6. The first youth session on Friday of the conference will be a “Exploring Agriculture and Small Farm Careers” program. The second youth session on Saturday will be “Show and Tell”, centered around the experiences of youth.