Soil & Nutrition Conference

Our 6th annual Soil & Nutrition Conference was such an inspiring success! Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors, attendees, and everyone who made the Conference the wonderful experience it was!

We have uploaded the audio recordings with accompanying powerpoints from the workshops to the Soil & Nutrition Conference Archives in our Library, so if you missed the conference this year, or just want to listen again (lots of deep information to take in!), dig in and enjoy! Great tractor time listening :)

Looking forward, we're already getting excited about next year's conference! If you have any thoughts or feedback, please don't hesitate to drop us a line at

Soil & Nutrition Conference
December 4-6, 2016
Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA

The 6th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference explores how the intersection of farm and human ecosystems holds the key to environmental sustainability, quality food and overall well-being.

Bringing together the collective knowledge of the food movement from the perspectives of successful farmers, cutting-edge researchers, enlightening health practitioners, and pioneers of food quality, this conference is a nexus of information and networking for all interested in delving deeper into the connections and importance of soil and nutrition.

Integrating these diverse viewpoints, this year’s program engages growers and gardeners with principles, practices and innovations for ecologically and financially sound farming, and presents the health-conscious consumer and medical professional valuable skills to effectively advocate and select for quality in their local region and food supply.

Conference Topics

  • Successful applications of biological (ecological) management, from garden to wholesale scale
  • Improving public health through agriculture, education and local capacity building
  • Effectively using nutrition to mitigate disease across the landscape
  • Regenerating ecological systems to provide environmental stability and weather climate change
  • Flavor as a focal point in the food quality conversation
  • Implementation and development of techniques for grower success including seed establishment, emergence and in season monitoring solutions
  • Growing and marketing your farm business with an eye to quality
  • Improving human health through conscientious food production and cultivation of soil health

Conference Speakers

The BFA is proud to announce that grass-farmer, author and lecturer Joel Salatin will be the keynote speaker at its 6th Annual Conference. His family's Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is a multi-generational, pasture-based and "beyond organic" enterprise. At Polyface, Salatin follows the guiding principles of transparency, grass-based agriculture, individuality, valuing community, following nature's template, and embracing earthworms. Featured in Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Salatin is widely-known throughout the alternative and sustainable farming world for promoting ecologically friendly and economically viable farming strategies and methods. He is the author of numerous works, including: "Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War stories from the local food front", "Folks, This Ain't Normal: A farmer’s advice for happier hens, healthier people, and a better world", and "The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer". Not to be missed!

With over 30 additional speakers currently scheduled to present at this year's conference, all widely considered experts in their respective fields, choosing between which sessions to attend will be a wonderful problem to have!
View our featured speakers.

Note: Due to limited room capacity, there is priority seating in the main hall for the first 300 registrants for Joel Salatin's keynote speech, Monday night, December 5, 7-9pm.  This keynote and all opening and closing plenary sessions will offer overflow seating with satellite video viewing in Shadowbrook room.

Conference Format

Distinctively themed, each of eight sessions will offer a combination of practical presentations and lectures given by different speakers expert in their field. Scheduled across the beautiful Kripalu venue, participants are encouraged to attend presentations of their interest within and across sessions.

Sessions: Day 1

Principles and Practices, Biological Farming and the Thriving Farm Ecosystem, Part I
Applicable to large and small growers alike, a practicum on the principles of biological management will be given by expert growers. Strategies that are scale independent will be reviewed, with considerations given to soil quality, product quality, cost benefits and market creation.

The Seed as Foundation, from the Inside Out
A spectacular and delicious harvest starts with the seed. Simplifying the many considerations for optimal emergence, establishment and harvest, this session includes presentations and how-to workshops from the perspective of the seed’s needs.

Food Flavor as a Nexus for Food Quality Improvement
Of the many reasons to pick your favorite food, one keeps you coming back for more... flavor. How flavor is associated with other desirable characteristics including nutritional composition, visual appear and yield is just beginning to be understood. In this session, learn about how growers, consumers and chefs value flavor, and how practitioners are working to maximize these qualities.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy You
Food as medicine is experiencing a revival. How do you select foods to improve your health and why? In this session, learn how taking charge of your personal health involves a community approach, from consuming a diversity of foods, knowing your food source, and working with your ecosystem.

Sessions: Day 2

Principles and Practices, Biological Farming and the Thriving Farm Ecosystem, Part II
Applicable to large and small growers alike, a practicum on the principles of biological management will be given by expert growers. Strategies that are scale independent will be reviewed, with considerations given to soil quality, product quality, cost benefits and market creation.

Monitoring Ecosystem Health for Food Quality, from Observation to Measurement
Soil and food quality are intuitively known to be important to growers and consumers alike, but until recently, rapid, comprehensive and user friendly assessments have not been possible. This session reviews technological advancements on how to understand human and soil ecosystem health through measurement.

Sound Body, Sound Mind: Perspectives of Food Production and Diet through Mindful Living
Synergy across ecosystems, and within individuals, occurs with the realization that all actions have reactions. Mindfulness of this community structure can positively affect health, productivity and growth. In this session, presentations focus on how we can be more effective in shaping our ecosystems and communities.

Innovative Approaches to Soil Quality Improvement
Farming sustainably requires innovation... from the simple to the complex. In this session, practical strategies on how to improve soil quality and related ecosystems will be reviewed. An understanding of the implications that these practices can have on the environment at large will also be presented.

Pre-conference Sunday social mixer!

Join us before the official start of the conference, Sunday evening, December 4, from 6-9pm, for conversation, discussion tables and a viewing of the short documentary film, "Unbroken Ground" – a critical look at sustainability in the food system and the stories of producers using ecological management to build community, grow high vitality food, and thriving businesses. This event is a great opportunity to meet our conference speakers, as well as share ideas and connect with other conference attendees. Hors d’oeuvres and holiday beverages will be provided. All are welcome!

Conference Registration & Details


Mon & Tues, Dec 5 & 6, 2016


Kripalu Center
57 Interlaken Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262


BFA Member* General Admission
Full Conference $200 $225
Day Rate $125 $150

*Become a member — support BFA and receive benefits, including discounts on conferences and workshops!
Not sure about your membership status?

Final Online Registration Deadline: Online: December 2, 2016
After December 2, you can register by calling Kripalu at 800.741.7353.
Cancellation Policy: 50% of registration fee refunded until November 30
No refunds starting December 1, 2016

Scholarship Opportunities

Kripalu Center has a scholarship fund that they offer those in need of assistance. More information and an application can be found on their website: Scholarships typically cover 20 to 50 percent of tuition and housing and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Scholarships are awarded toward dormitory-style housing. Note: We recommend sending your scholarship application as soon as possible, as Kripalu is not able to accept applications received less than two months from the program's start date due to lack of time for the scholarship review process to be completed. As such, the application deadline for the conference is October 4, 2016.


If you have any questions about the Soil & Nutrition Conference, please don't hesitate to contact Angela, the Conference Coordinator:

Please Note

Portions of this Conference may be recorded or photographed for future use by the Bionutrient Food Association and/or Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, for education, web content, and marketing materials. By registering for the Conference, you are granting the Bionutrient Food Association and/or Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health the right to use your attendee information and these recordings and photos.

Thank you to our conference sponsors!

Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?

BFA is seeking aligned sponsors and exhibitors to help underwrite our conference 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.