Annual Healthy Farms Conference

2017 Healthy Farms Conference

The 2017 Healthy Farms Conference will be on January 27th and 28th at the Ramada Columbus Hotel And River's Edge Convention Center in Columbus. We are also pleased to announce John Ikerd & Greg Gunthrop as our keynote presentations. 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

Greg Gunthorp

Greg Gunthorp, Gunthorp Farms, Springfield Township, Indiana. In 1998, a small pig farmer by the name of Greg Gunthorp was selling his pigs into the commodity market for less than his grandfather had during the Great Depression. It doesn’t take an economist to realize something different needed to be done… fast. Being as stubborn as Greg is, he said he wasn’t going to be the last Gunthorp to raise pigs. He knew he could join the rest of the pig industry by building a barn, but his family had raised pigs on pasture for at least 3 generations before him. He finally found a solution when he made one phone call to the chef at Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago and was asked to bring them a whole hog the next week. I guess you could say the rest is history. Here at Gunthorp Farms, we specialize in quality meat. All of our animals are raised on pasture without the use of antibiotics. We have an on farm USDA inspected processing plant where we harvest, process, and package all of our animals before shipping them out to upscale restaurants and retail locations in Chicago, Indy, & Detroit. Gunthorp Farms is a family owned business and all members of the family chip in. Gunthorp Farms also employs approximately 15 full-time and 15 part-time employees.

About Greg

2017 Healthy Farms Conference Agenda

Breakout Sessions and descriptions!

Conference Brochure

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!

2017 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

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.

  • “Lettuce, and Peppers, and Peas, Oh My! How to Start an Organic Vegetable Garden"
  • Herbs for Kids
  • Permaculture Earth Repair for Kids
  • Lil' Chefs using Local Foods!
  • And more!
  • Youth Program 2017

    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!