Eco Ag U

Take Your Ecological Agriculture Education to the Next Level!

2023 Eco-Ag U Workshops

Dec. 4-5, 2023 • 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dig in deeper to ecological agriculture and take your goals to the next level with an all-day Eco-Ag U intensive workshop. We pick some of the finest speakers and educators in the world and offer our attendees a chance to learn from them in small classroom environments. If you are just getting started, or a veteran farmer looking for new strategies for success, selecting Eco-Ag U workshops will get you the right fundamentals to take home with you.

Each Eco-Ag U workshop is chock full of opportunities to learn from expert instructors, ask questions, and connect with others through dedicated networking times. All workshops take place on December 4 or 5 from 8:30 am – 4 pm and will include refreshment breaks and an opening reception on Monday evening, December 4. Lunchtime will be your opportunity to get outside the venue on your own and visit a local Kentucky establishment. Eco-Ag U workshops and presenters can be found below. 

We’re excited to help you be more successful by expanding your agriculture tool kit. Join us for one (or two!) Eco-Ag U workshops this year!

Day 1 | Monday, December 4, 2023

Workshop 1: Plant Disease & Mineral Nutrition with Don Huber

Workshop 2: Unlocking the Potential of Regenerative Agriculture with John Kempf and Greg Pennyroyal

Day 2 | Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Workshop 1: Lessons from the Journey into Regen Farming at Scale with Rick Clark

Workshop 2: Building Permaculture Operations with Mark Shepard

Workshop 3: Practical Strategies for No-Till Market Growers with Jesse Frost 

Stay Tuned for Eco-Ag U updates!

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Unlocking the Potential of Regenerative Agriculture

John Kempf & Greg Pennyroyal
Dr. Kris Nichols

While these principles apply to all crops, our focus in this course will be on fruit and vegetable production. John and Greg will cover:

  • Tapping into the untapped genetic potential of varieties to increase yields by understanding plant nutritional needs at different growth stages.
  • Enhancing photosynthesis by managing factors like carbon dioxide, water, chlorophyll levels, and leaf characteristics.
  • Nutritional strategies to fortify plants against insects and diseases.
  • Reducing water requirements through smart plant nutrition and soil management.
  • Understanding how insects communicate with plants and how nutritional profiles influence this interaction.
  • Creating soil with microbes that suppress diseases and provide essential minerals.
  • Managing fertilizer applications for soil and plant health.
  • Monitoring nutrient release for optimal crop growth and preventing unwanted pests.

This course assumes a foundational understanding of soil fertility and crop health, and it’s designed to help you reach new heights in soil and plant performance, building upon the wealth of webinars and resources available online.

Plant Disease and Mineral Nutrition

Dr. Don Huber
Dr. Nasha Winters

This workshop will review the role of the 17 essential minerals for plant growth and production, and their interactions in the environment. Specific agricultural practices such as tillage, irrigation, weed control, planting density, crop sequence and genetic selection influence disease control through nutrition. Six keys to effective nutrient management for control of plant diseases will be presented with examples of environmental modification for increased production efficiency and pest control.  

Participants should have a greater appreciation for the various interacting ways nutrition can be efficiently used to manage disease and maximize crop production efficiency by: 

  • Modifying the environment to influence nutrient forms and availability 
  • Understanding the direct and indirect effect of nutrients on pathogen virulence and infectivity 
  • Increasing plant resistance to disease 

Integrating Annual Crops into Perennial Systems

Mark Shepard
Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard challenges convention by inviting you to completely change your opinion on two types of annual crops that are long blamed for our depleted soil health: grains and legumes. In this all-day session, he will teach you why they are absolutely essential to create true food systems that are resilient to pest and pestilence. Learn why he still grows these crops despite counting on his perennial crops 100% for his business. Also, learn how Mark helps farmers mitigate other risks in today’s challenging world with his approach to perennial, well-rounded systems.

Lessons from the Journey Into Regen Farming at Scale

Rick Clark
Rick Clark

Take a deep dive into Indiana farmer, Rick Clark’s, journey to regenerative farming at scale. In this all-day intensive learn:

  • Why Rick and his family become regenerative farmers. 
  • What steps he took to make the transition
  • The economics of transition and farming for regenerative organic with no-till
  • What struggles he’s faced and how he is addressing them
  • Why regenerative agriculture is critical to the future of agriculture


This will be a rare opportunity to see Rick go total transparent. Nothing is off the table. Come spend the day with Rick and try to better understand how he thinks about regenerative on the farm.

Practical Strategies for No-Till Market Growers

Jesse Frost
Jesse Frost

Discovering how to meet the soil’s needs is the key task for every market gardener. Farmer Jesse Frost will share all he has learned through experience and experimentation with no-till practices on his home farm in Kentucky.

This session will be centered around the three basic principles of no-till market gardening: 1) disturb the soil as little as possible, 2) keep it covered as much as possible, and 3) keep it planted as much as possible. Farmer Jesse will guide attendees in applying those principles to their own garden environment, with their own materials, to meet their own goals.

Jesse will provide in-depth information on turning over beds, using compost and mulch, path management, incorporating biology, maintaining fertility, cover cropping, diversifying plantings through intercropping, and production methods for seven major crops. He will emphasize practical information on all the best tools and practices for growers who want to build their livelihood around maximizing the health of their soil.

Building Permaculture Operations

Mark Shepard
Mark Shepard

How to build and manage a diverse perennial polyculture Agroforestry farm in one simple lesson!

This intermediate to advanced workshop is for those who would like to establish a diverse, Restoration Agriculture /Permaculture/Agroforestry farm, beginning with rainwater and runoff management and selecting the appropriate “plant community” or “guild” for your conditions. Learn how to manage site fertility using cover crops differently, using ramial wood chips, mulching, chop-and-drop, legumes and livestock. Learn the economic power of the “Land Equivalent Ratio (LER)”, how to mimic nature’s inputs, all while reducing tillage, input costs and back-breaking labor. Learn to harvest from all phases of ecological succession from annual crops, short-term perennial crops to long-lived woody crops right up to the decay cycle. Come re-join the natural, ecological system! 

In this workshop we will: 

  • Learn how to capture, redirect, store and discharge rainwater and manage runoff for drought-proofing and increased productivity.
  • Describe at least five virtually care-free “Plant community types” suited for your different conditions. 
  • Become familiar with the economics of diversified agroforestry systems.
  • Provide step-by-step instructions through a calendar year, and discuss change across the years as the site matures.

If you have any questions, please email