Annual Healthy Farms Conference

2017 Healthy Farms Conference

The 2017 Healthy Farms Conference will be on January 27th and 28th at the Rivers Edge Conference Center in Columbus. We are also pleased to announce John Ikerd as our keynote presentation. Find details below!

John Ikerd

From 1989 to 2000, in addition to working on several National Sustainable Agriculture Projects with USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education organization, John authored book chapters, journal articles, magazine and trade publications, and conference proceedings all on various aspects of the sustainable agriculture movement—farm size, systems thinking, profitability, policy, socio-economic considerations and more—even giving congressional testimony in 1989 and 1992. John retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Missouri in 2000. Since then John has written six books on sustainable agriculture and sustainable economics. Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense (2005), A Return to Common Sense (2007), Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People Through Agriculture and Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture, Revolution of the Middle…and the Pursuit of Happiness, and The Essentials of Economic Sustainability. In 2011, John moved to Fairfield, Iowa. There he has been working closely with the Sustainable Living department at the Maharishi University of Management, co-teaching Sustainable Economics courses, putting on conferences, and working with faculty there to develop the concept of Deep Sustainability—an obvious extension of John’s later work, whereby sustainability’s economic concerns are bounded by social relationships, with both being ultimately bounded by ethical and moral beliefs.

About John Ikerd

2017 Healthy Farms Conference Agenda

Coming soon!

Families Welcome!

We encourage the entire family to attend the conference. Special pricing and rates have been set to make the conference both affordable and accessable. Details can be found below!

2016 Family Registration Form

Exhibitor and Sponsorships!

There are numerous ways to participate in the conference including exhibitor and sponsor opportunities. If you are interested, please email William at

Exhibitor Form

Sponsorship Opportunities


This years agenda offers a number of breakout sessions with topics ranging from Cover Cropping to holistic orchards to FFA Student Projects (SAE). We will also once again have a full youth program with many of the presenters being youth and presenting on projects from their farms.

  • Managing Crops, profitably, for Wetlands and Wildlife
  • The Native Spirit, Pollinators & Diversity
  • Cover crops for the commodity grower
  • Cover crops for vegetable production and beyond
  • Leveraging Labels to Market Your Product
  • Farmers & Climate Change Panel Discussion
  • Elders of Sustainable Agriculture Panel Discussion
  • Nutrition in Feed
  • Fence Building & Water Systems
  • Pattern Literacy: What Bees, Mycelium and other Network Patterns Found in Nature Teach Us
  • Plant Breeding, Seeds, conventional & non gmo
  • Marketing Opportunities to consider when starting
  • Food Hub/Coop Marketing Panel
  • Marketing from the Other Side, A Consumer Perspective
  • Considerations when choosing a location for your orchard
  • Introduction to High Density Planting of Fruit Trees
  • Urban Tree Canopy
  • Improving Wetlands Using Holistic Grazing of Dairy Cattle & Low Impact Crossings
  • Rotational Grazing for the Seasoned Veteran
  • State Policy Down on the Farm & In Your Communities

  • Youth Sessions:

    We will once again have a full youth program with many of the presenters being youth and presenting on projects from their farms.

  • Arbor Day Tree Adventure
  • Art in the Garden
  • Wacky Container Garden!
  • Lil' Chefs using Local Foods!
  • And more!
  • Youth Program!

    Lodging Details

    There are several options for lodging including 2 level suites. To make a reservation call, 402-564-1492. Rivers Edge lodging includes a complimentary breakfast, fitness center, family rooms, and a pool that includes a family friendly water park. To ensure the conference room rate and availability, reservations should be made by January 6th.

    Roundtable Discussions

    We will once again be hosting the roundtable discussions on Saturday morning of the conference. The format will be similar to last year, and we will set aside additional time for these discussions. 2016 Roundtable Form `

    Held in February each year, NSAS hosts a wide range of speakers covering interests ranging across the spectrum -- from production to marketing to conservation in farming & beyond. Our keynote speakers are always inspirational & educational!