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Indiana Small Farm Conference

2016 Indiana Small Farm Conference  

Danville, Indiana

Thursday, March 3 - Saturday, March 5 

Please join us for the 4th Annual Indiana Small Farm Conference with pre-conference workshops offered on Thursday, March 3rd. With numerous networking activities, this conference provides attendees with many opportunities to learn and interact with other farmers, local food entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, students, businesses, and more.


Online registration available soon!

Cost Structure
Registration options include two day (March 4-5) and one day (March 4 or 5) conference registration, and pre-conference workshops (March 3).  Registration fees listed below will be available through February 14, after which fees will increase by 20%. Register early!  Check back soon for a link to registration.

​Who One day
Two day Workshop​
General registration $75 $100 ​$50
Student registration $50 $75 ​$50
Children 12 and under $15 $25 ​$15

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1. How much are the Thursday Woskhop(s) and what time do they take place? 
     $50 for anyone and they take place from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday. Learn more about the workshops here. ​

2. Are any meals included? 
     Yes, Lunch will be provided each day, including the Thursday workshops, and will be catered by Juniper Spoon with ingredients sourced from Indiana farms. Coffee, tea, and water will be available throughout the day. One exception includes the Thursday workshop ''Getting the Most Out of Your Woods" where lunch will be on your own.

3. What is the cost to be an exhibitor in the trade show? 
      $50 for non-profit organizations and $300 for commercial exhibitors. For more information on being an exhibitor click here. ​

Saturday Keynote

Mary Dee Berry
Executive Director

Mary.Berry (1).jpg

The Berry Center Executive Director Mary Berry and her brother, Den Berry, were raised by their parents, Wendell and Tanya Berry, at Lanes Landing Farm in Henry County, Kentucky. She attended the University of Kentucky and has spent her adult life farming for a living in Henry County starting out in dairy farming, growing Burley tobacco, and later diversifying to organic vegetables, pastured poultry and grass-fed beef. 

Mary is married to Kentucky farmer, Steve Smith, who started the first Community Supported Agriculture(CSA) farming endeavor in the state of Kentucky. They raise Large Black breed hogs and grass-fed beef on a farm on the Little Kentucky River in Trimble County. 

If her daughters Katie Johnson, Virginia Aguilar and Tanya Smith choose to stay in Henry County, they will be the ninth generation of their family to live and farm there. 

Mary currently serves on the Board of Directors of United Citizens Bank, in New Castle, Kentucky. She is on the Board of Directors of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She speaks all over the country as a proponent of agriculture of the middle, in defense of small farmers, and in the hope of restoring a culture that has been lost in rural America.  Toward these ends, in 2011 Mary established The Berry Center, in New Castle, Kentucky. 

Friday General Session Speaker

Ben Hartman
Clay Bottom Farm
Author of The Lean Farm


Join us for the Friday afternoon general session to hear from Indiana farmer Ben Hartman.  Ben will share information from his new book, The Lean Farm, an innovative approach to applying lean principles to sustainable farm enterprises.  You'll have an opportunity to purchase The Lean Farm, visit with Ben, and have your copy of the book signed.
The Purdue Small Farm & Sustainable Agriculture Team formed several years ago to support the growing number of small and alternative farming operations. The team is a collaborative effort, engaging researchers, educators, and farmers to help foster this diverse community.
Learning about Grafting at the 2014  Indiana Small Farms Conference  

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See below for descriptions of Pre-conference Workshops scheduled for Thursday, March 3!

Conference schedule for Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 available soon!

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Five pre-conference workshops are being offered on Thursday, March 3.  
All workshops are scheduled from 9am-4pm.  Lunch will be provided, except "Getting the Most Out of Your Woods," where lunch will be on your own:  

Starting and Sustaining a Small Acre Farm in Indiana

Explore ways to jump-start your farming enterprise or make your current one more sustainable. We will walk you through a farm planning session where you will think about the economic, social and biophysical assets your farm has to be sustainable. Farmer panels with experienced and beginning farmers will help you think about ways to leverage your knowledge to producing more efficiently or to better market your products.  We will have experts on hand to talk about the beginning farmer loan program from the federal government as well as grant programs for beginning farmers. This event will be a great way for you to start to think about how to improve the efficiencies on your farm or to ensure that you are aware of the opportunities and limitations that might impact the success of being a farmer in Indiana.

Gaining new knowledge to be successful on your Hop Farm

This full day event is planned to increase the knowledge of best management practices among educators and hop growers in Indiana. In the morning sessions we will start out with information on basic hop production systems.  You will learn about hop varieties and trellis systems that are most productive in Indiana. Information will also be presented on the costs and benefits, as well as the challenges and opportunities of a local hop industry. We will also focus on building awareness of the local hop industry among brewers and consumers. Existing hop growers will share their experiences of what has worked and not worked on their farms. The afternoon sessions will focus on more advanced hop production systems to support current hop farmers and help them think about ways to be more efficient and productive on their farms. A breakout session will also be conducted to further develop collaborative marketing opportunities and strengthen the hop industry in Indiana. This workshop is geared for Extension educators and inexperienced as well as experienced hop growers to increase the knowledge of hop production in the state and to build a network of educators and growers to support new growers. University specialists, Extension Educators, experienced hop growers, and at least two national speakers with expertise in hops will be invited to present.

Making Markets Work for Your Farming Enterprise

This workshop is designed for small and mid-scale farmers who are involved in direct marketing of their products at farmers markets, food hubs, online sales, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), farm stands, restaurants, schools, and other institutions. If you fit within this group of farmers, this workshop is probably for you. We will concentrate on helping you find ways to increase your current and future markets by refining your market plan to augment sales, diversify your products, and better allocate your resources (human, financial, time).  You will learn about effective and efficient marketing strategy from Purdue professor and small business development specialist Maria Marshall and about business planning and strategy from Purdue Extension Regional Educator Heather Strohm. Results based teaching will be the focus as you gain knowledge on farm management, billing, budgeting, and other paperwork. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Woods

How small farmers and woodland owners choose to manage natural resources on their properties can make a difference – not only in terms of enjoyment, but also income and biodiversity. But where do you start? The challenge for many is there is no one “best” approach since every property and situation varies. Despite this, there are some basic techniques and approaches that will benefit most lands. Most of which can be adjusted based on the equipment and resources at your disposal. This workshop will focus on the identification and control of invasive species, land management practices that benefit wildlife, techniques to control and/or reduce wildlife damage, and income opportunities found on rural lands.

Producing Meat for Local Communities on Small Farms 

The 2016 livestock tour will feature This Old Farm, located in Colfax, Indiana and local farms affiliated with their operation. This Old Farm was first started in 2000 to bring food to area families from Erick and Jessica Smith’s 88-acre farm. In an effort to make good food more accessible, they have processed locally raised meats from 20 different farms through a farm alliance. They offer locally raised meats and further support sustainable farming through the addition of natural meat processing services from poultry processing, to nitrate free pork cures, and longer dry age times for grass fed beef.  The tour will start at 9:30 AM EST at This Old Farm, followed by a tour of their meat processing facility and continue on to two local farms that have diversified into beef, pork and poultry operations. Tour is limited to 35 people. Participants will be driving to each location.​



The conference will be at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds on 1900 E. Main Street in Danville.


For more information, visit the Hendricks County Fairgrounds website.​


The Fairfield Inn and Suites Avon is providng a conference rate for conference attendees. Make your reservation by February 14 to receive the Indiana Small Farm Conference rate for a double queen room. Hotel phone number is (317) 8271-9200.

The Baymont Inn and Suites Plainfield/Indy Airport is providng a conference rate for conference attendees. Make your reservation by February 14 to receive the Indiana Small Farm Conference rate for a king or double queen room. Hotel phone number is (317) 837-9000.

Additional lodging options and area attractions can be found at Visit Hendricks County​.


The conference will host a poster session on Saturday, March 5 for those who would like to showcase their small farm or local foods programs in Indiana and beyond, in the areas of Research, Extension, Outreach, and Education.  The poster session will run concurrently with the trade show on Saturday morning ensuring your work will have high visibility.  

Learn more about the poster session, submission deadline, and requirements here. Note that the deadline for submitting abstracts (250 words or less) is February 1, 2016. New to making conference posters?  No problem, we have instructions available here.  Poster descriptions (abstracts) from the 2015 Indiana Small Farm Conference are available here​.

Please direct inquiries to Karen Mitchell at or or (765) 275-9305.

There are serveral opportunities to get your business or organization noticed at the Indiana Small Farm Conference including being an exhibitor at the trade show, supporting this annual educational program as a sponsor, or advertising in the conference book. 

Trade Show
The 2016 Indiana Small Farm Conference will provide exhibitors with opportunities to connect with the growing community of small and diversified farmers and the professionals who serve them. All exhibitor spaces are 10 feet x 10 feet.  If you are interested in participating in the trade show then you may register online, or print out and mail in this agreement/application form. The mailing directions are included in the form. Details about the 2016 conference trade show are available here.  Please direct inquiries to Roy Ballard at or (317) 462-1113.

Interested in sponsoring the conference?  We offer a range of sponsorship levels to fit your business or organizations needs.  Information and the application form are available here. Please direct inquiries to Emily Toner at or (317) 275-9305.

Conference Book Advertising
Place an ad in the conference book to get noticed. Information and application available here​. Please direct inquiries to Emily Toner at or (317) 275-9305.