Soil & Nutrition Conference

The 2016 Soil & Nutrition Conference was a fantastic success!

Now concluded, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made it so! A sold-out affair, it was wonderful to share time and explore these vital questions of soil health, human health and planetary health with others so invested in these issues. We are already eagerly planning for 2017, and excited to build on this year's conference experience. Any thoughts and feedback are certainly welcome!

Missed the conference? Or just want to revisit a specific workshop?
Audio and video recordings are now available in our Library!

Soil & Nutrition Conference
February 8-9, 2016
Stockbridge, MA


February 8-9, 2016 at Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA

"Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants for Healthy People"

Many of us readily accept this oft-repeated statement, but if we unravel it, how much is actually known about the interrelationships and dependencies between soil health, crop health and human health?

The 5th Annual 2016 Soil & Nutrition Conference will gather farmers, researchers, nutritionists and food system advocates for a multidisciplinary conversation exploring the potential to improve food quality through regenerative agriculture that builds soil, crop and ecosystem health. We will explore how soil health and crop quality are interrelated, and how a renewed focus on the food qualities that industrial agriculture forgot – flavor and nutrition – can help drive transformation with important societal benefits.

For Farmers, Gardeners, and Homesteaders

...the Soil & Nutrition Conference will deepen your understanding of pragmatic approaches to improve soil health and crop quality through biological management and other regenerative organic farming practices.

For Researchers and Nutritionists

...the Soil & Nutrition Conference will provide you an opportunity to meet peers and potential collaborators in related disciplines, and learn about producer challenges and successes attaining soil health and crop quality improvements through biological management, a regenerative organic approach to farming.

For Food System Advocates and Funders

...the Conference will present a compelling case for championing food quality and draw fascinating parallels between drivers of crop health and human health. You’ll also gain exposure to hot topics in regenerative agriculture, with leading edge practitioners of biological management, permaculture, organic and biodynamic farming.

The conference will feature great food from local producers and time for attendees to socialize and enjoy Kripalu’s beautiful facilities, including daily yoga class offerings!

Conference format

Our two-day agenda will include plenary sessions, keynote addresses and two tracks of workshops that will engage producers, researchers, nutritionists, gardeners and food system advocates interested in food quality.

A sampling of topics include:

Plenary Sessions

Opening Panel: Why Food Quality Demands Our Attention

How can we increase quality in the food supply? Perspectives from a farmer, a chef, a food systems specialist, an ag extension specialist and a produce supply chain expert will frame our conference dialog.

The Pre-Harvest Quality Equation

This 3-part session illuminates how crop genetics, agronomic practices and environmental factors all influence food quality, and will highlight approaches that hold promise to restore nutrition and flavor.
Food Quality by Genetics
Phil Simon, PhD, USDA-ARS, University of Wisconsin
Food Quality by Management
Jill Clapperton, PhD, Principal Scientist & Co-founder, Rhizoterra
Food Quality by Environment
Laura Lengnick, PhD, Author of "Resilient Agriculture"

An Exploration of Phytochemicals and the Gut Microbiome

A Phytochemical Primer: The Role of Agriculture
Joe Scheerens, PhD, Ohio State University
Thriving vs. Surviving: Phytonutrients as Currency for Human Health
Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Optimizing Nutrient Intake Through Cultivation of the Gut Microbiome
Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN


Flavor as Nutritional Guide - What Your Body Knows That You Don't!
Mark Schatzker, Author of "The Dorito Effect"
Farmer as Healer: Food Quality as Healthcare a Game Changer
Marydale DeBor, CEO, Fresh Advantage, Founder, Plow to Plate
Biological Management for Food Quality
Dan Kittredge, Farmer, Founder & Exec Director, Bionutrient Food Association


Building a Climate Resilience Plan for Your Farm
Laura Lengnick, PhD, Author of “Resilient Agriculture”

Assessing Quality Throughout the Season: Brix & Beyond!
Matt Kleinhenz, PhD, Ohio State University

How to Maximize Seed Quality and Vigor for Better Yields
John Kempf, Founder & CEO, Advancing Eco Agriculture

Maximizing Small-Area Production With “Crowding”: Intensive Beds, Companions, and 3-D Spacing
Will Bonsall, Farmer & Author

Epigenetics and the Science of Nutrition and Lifestyle Change
Mark C. Pettus, MD, FACP, Director of Medical Education, Wellness and Population Health, Berkshire Health Systems

Prompting Plant Quality Changes Through Soil Inoculation
Kevin Panke-Buisse, PhD, Cornell University

Advanced Seed Saving: Biennialism and Pollination Control
Will Bonsall, Farmer & Author

Fostering Soil Microbial Communities for Soil Fertility & Plant Growth
Jill Clapperton, PhD, Principal Scientist & Co-founder, Rhizoterra

Soil Health Metrics for the Biological Farmer
Carmen Ugarte, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mid-Season “Corrections”: A Guide to Foliar Spraying
Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm, Dartmouth, MA

Be Your Own Soil Balancing Consultant: Soil Tests & Mineral Math
David Forster, Agronomy Consultant, Bionutrient Food Association

Permaculture and Biological Farming Integration
Jonathan Bates, Food Forest Farm, "Paradise Lot" co-author, and David Forster

Proven Practices for No-Till and Low-Till Vegetable Production
Dan Kittredge, Farmer, Founder & Exec Director, Bionutrient Food Association

Regenerative Biological Farming on a Shoestring Budget
Will Bonsall, Farmer & Author

and more!

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors!

The Reflection Fund


Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting at SN2017?

BFA is seeking aligned sponsors and exhibitors to help underwrite our 2017 program and enable us to offer scholarships to attendees based on financial need. Please join us in making the Soil & Nutrition Conference a catalytic event to advance food quality! Click here for additional details, or contact Gary Neves for further sponsorship information at