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2016 Conference Session Presentation Files

Here you will find session descriptions and presentation slides from the 2016 Conference Sessions. Click on speakers' names to download presentation slides in PDF format. Please note that not all sessions had slides that were used or that could be shared.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 4

Restoration Agriculture

Getting Started in Restoration Agriculture

Keefe Keeley, Savannah Institute

This session will focus on using diverse agroforestry crops in farming systems that mimic savanna ecosystems. We will discuss how Savanna Institute case study farms are addressing financial, management, and social challenges of implementing innovative farming systems at commercial scales. Learn how farmers are sharing knowledge and accessing information, training, land, financing, and markets needed to implement restoration agriculture systems throughout the Midwest.

Silvopasture Design and Implementation
Kee​fe Keeley, Savannah Institute​
Liz and Nate Brownlee, Nightfall Farm​
Silvopasture serves as a key component of agroforestry or restoration agriculture farming systems, integrating diverse livestock species, woody perennial crops, and pasture. The four “ints” of silvopasture will be discussed: intentional combinations, intensive management, interactive relationships, and integrated function. Learn how one Indiana farm is integrating silvopasture practices into their livestock production system.


Vegetable Production

Fall and Winter Vegetable Production in Protected Growing Structures

Ben Hartman, Clay Bottom Farm

Nathan Fingerle, RiverRidge Farm​

Interest in season extension of fresh vegetables continues to grow, as witnessed by the increasing number of high tunnels being erected around the state. To make the most of this expensive growing space, maximizing crop production and identifying or cultivating year-round markets is crucial. Learn from two expert market growers from Northern Indiana who have taken the Elliot Coleman four season practices to the next level.


Cover Crops, Soil Health, and Compost for Vegetable Production

Dan Perkins, Perkins' Good Earth Farm​

Farmer Panel

Given the overflow attendance in 2015, we have invited Dan Perkins back for an encore (and expanded) presentation on the key concepts and practices of soil health for small-acreage vegetable farmers. A panel of Indiana farmers will provide insight into how these practices are implemented for different production scales and practices, soil types, and the tools and systems to make it happen.



Flower Farming and More

Getting Started in Cut Flower Production

Gretel and Steve Adams, Sunny Meadows Flower Farm

Learn from two of the best in the growing farmer-florist movement as you explore or expand your cut flower enterprise. Gretel and Steve will talk about the history of Sunny Meadows Flower Farm, operating a successful flower farm and all of the intricacies involved in having both production and design, retail and wholesale, and intense season extension in the Midwest. Learn how to find your niche and different sales outlets.


Crop Planning and Enterprise Budgets for Scaling-Up Your Farm

Gretel and Steve Adams, Sunny Meadows Flower Farm​
Are you exploring ways to enhance the profitability of and/or scale up production on your farm? Economies of scale, farm efficiencies, crop planning and more will be discussed in this session. These concepts are transferable to the vegetable growing world, so don’t shy away from attending this session with these highly successful farmer-florists from Columbus, Ohio! 



Farm Financing

Grant Writing

Joan Fulton, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics
Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension, Hancock County
Curtis Johnson, USDA Rural Development

This session will provide participants with important tips on how to develop and write a successful grant proposal.


Farm Financing Options

Nathan Adams, USDA FSA
Della Eastep, Hoosier Heartland State Bank

Learn about working with different lenders to finance your farming operations. Farm Service Agency, a traditional banking lender and a banking lender who specializes in financing farming operations will share what you need to know to have a successful loan application. A farmer panel will provide insight into their experiences in seeking financial options for their operations.


Trade Show Demonstrations

Hand Tools Demonstration

Joel Dufour, Earth Tools, Inc.

Learn about specialty crop hand tools to help growers get work finished faster.

Soil Slake, Water Infiltration, and Cover Crops Demonstration

Dan Perkins  

Come see how to improve your soil's ability to hold in valuable nutrients and water.​

Saturday, March 5


On-Farm Energy and Equipment

Scale-Appropriate Mechanized Equipment for Specialty Crop Growers

John Wilhoit, Thistles End Farm

Joel Dufour, Earth Tools Inc.

Having the right equipment for particular job helps to save man hours. Learn about mechanized equipment designed for the specialty crop grower that helps to make farming a bit easier.


Cooling Equipment and Packing Processes for Quality Produce

John Wilhoit, Thistles End Farm​

Liz Maynard, Purdue University

Having the freshest quality produce post-harvest is not only a goal but a must have. Learn what economical cooling equipment is available and the packing processes that will ensure best storage quality.


Photovoltaics for Small Farms

Joel Dufour, Earth Tools Inc.​

Chad Martin, Purdue Extension
Learn about the economics, maintenance, installation, etc for using solar energy on your farm. Options for doing it yourself or hiring a contractor as well as government incentive programs which may be available. Speakers will discuss the reliability of solar energy as well.


Livestock Production

Managing Grazing for Multiple Species

Robert Zupancic, USDA NRCS

Nate & Liz Brownlee, Nightfall Farm

Making efficient use of pasture is critical on small farms. Learn how to get more from your pasture and what and what additional management practices are necessary when you graze multiple species.


Alternate Poultry Breeds

Matt John, Ivy Tech

Jean Doerflein, BOAH

Finding that breed of poultry that is best for your farm can entail some research and study. Learn about some of the alternative breeds available and what they may add to your poultry program.


Poultry Biosecurity for Pasture Based Systems

Matt John, Ivy Tech

Dr. Kyle Shipman, BOAH 

Every farm needs a biosecurity plan for their operation. This session will provide ideas and possibilities to think about for your pasture based poultry system.


Vegetable Production

GAPs and FSMA for Market Growers: What you need to know about food safety

Scott Monroe, Purdue Extension

Michael O'Donnell, Purdue Extension

Current science-based information on how to reduce risk of contamination during production of fruits and vegetables, as well as practical knowledge on planning and documenting food safety practices from planting through marketing (Good Agricultural Practices, GAPs) will be presented. We will provide an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Rule, including who is covered by the new rule. This session targets those producing fresh fruits and vegetables for local markets, primarily direct marketers.


Irrigation for Diverse Produce Operations

Lyndon Kelley, Extension Irrigation Specialist

Irrigation systems are a key component to any fruit and vegetable operation, regardless of scale. Water is often (unknowingly) a limiting factor to yield potential. This session will cover basic irrigation science, options (drip, overhead), sizing, design, and implementation.


Packing Shed Design

Nate Parks, Silverthorn Farm

Rachel Beyer, Purdue University

William Harriman, Harriman Farms​

Get 3 different farmers’ perspectives on designing a packing shed. Speakers will cover packing shed layout so that you have an efficient flow. They will show pictures and take questions.


Farm Management

Getting Farm Work Done Legally with Interns, Apprentices, and Volunteers

Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons​

Using interns, apprentices, and volunteers doesn’t have to be legally complicated. Get out ahead of the curve and build a legally compliant intern or volunteer program for your farm.


Hosting Safe, Legally Secure Farm Events

Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons​
On-farm events are a great way to build support in the community. Make sure your farm isn’t left with the short end of the stick after a good-intentioned event goes bad. From zoning compliance to guest injuries and serving prepared food, we’ll work through a checklist of things a farm should address before hosting an event.


Efficiently Manage Your Farm's Risks with Insurance

Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons​​​

Insurance is vital to build a resilient farm, but it brings lots of questions. Come learn about farm liability policies, workers’ compensation, crop insurance, and commercial policies for value-added products..


Trade Show Demonstrations 

Pasture, Cover Crops, and Livestock Q&A

Robert Zupancic, NRCS 



The Small Farm Revival

Mary Dee Berry, Executive Director, The ​Berry Center​

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.