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About Us

About EcoFarm

The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to nurture safe, healthy, just, and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems, and communities by bringing people together for education, alliance building, advocacy, and celebration. 

Shaping the future of farming together

Founded in 1981 when the first conference was held, EcoFarm has facilitated the inception and continued development of an ecological and just food and farming systemEcoFarm has grown into a broad network of grassroots leadership and has facilitated an exchange of knowledge for over 60,000 people. The public is engaged in an ever growing conversation about where our food comes from, who grows it, and who has access to it, and EcoFarm is uniquely positioned to translate the commitment for solutions into action.

EcoFarm Conference Art 

Click here to view the art and themes from past EcoFarm Conferences.

Historical snapshot

1970s: Most organic farms were small and the technology and market immature. There was no forum for organic farmers to get together and share information.

1981: The first Ecological Farming Conference was held at the Firehouse in Winters, California and 45 people attended.

First EcoFarm Conference Poster, 1981


Amigo Bob Cantisano, an EcoFarm founder and advisor.


Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm, EcoFarm founder, advisor, and board member.


Regional farmer-led EcoFarm workshops were organized throughout California.


Volunteer Rob Feldman (on right) recording the EcoFarm Conference workshops back in the early 80's when the conference was still held in La Honda, California. Rob continues to provide AV support at EcoFarm each year.


EcoFarm reps with Brian Leahy who helped pioneer California organic agriculture, Agriculture Secretary Ann M.Veneman, who in 2002 launched the implementation of USDA's national organic standards for agriculturual products, and Mark Mulcahy, organic produce devotee.


EcoFarmers unite each year at Full Belly Farm for the Hoes Down Harvest Festival.


Steve Pavich, founder of Pavich Family Farms, now the largest producer of certified organic table grapes in the world, making a mockery of chemical pesticides at the annual EcoFarm Conference.


1990s: The EcoFarm Conference continued to grow and moved to Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California.


Panel of EcoFarm speakers and representatives of the Asilomar Declaration for Sustainable Agriculture.


The Committee for Sustainable Agriculture (later renamed the Ecological Farming Association) brought harvest baskets to California state capitol legislators as a statement and gift representing the importance of local farm-fresh produce.


Robert Rodale of the Rodale Institute receiving the Sustie Award at the 1990 EcoFarm Conference.


Masanobu Fukuoaka, Japan's Great Grandfather of Natural Farming visiting farms in California with Zea Sonnabend of EcoFarm.


Cafe Mam coffee producers from Chiapas, Mexico attending EcoFarm with founder Dahinda Meda and Spanish/English interpreter, Adele Negro.


California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival.


An aspiring farmer at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival.


Wheelbarrow race at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival emceed by Wavy Gravy, American entertainer and activist for peace.


Vandana Shiva, Indian scholar, environmental activist, and anti-globalization author receives a Sustie Award at EcoFarm.


Michael Ableman and Alice Waters receiving Sustie Awards at EcoFarm.



EcoFarm Tour of Van Dyke Ranch, renowned fifth generation California family farm who pioneered organic stone fruit.


Kristin Rosenow, former and longtime EcoFarm Executive Director.


Ken Dickerson - former EcoFarm Executive Director, activist and volunteer in EcoFarm Dirt First attire.


2010: 30th anniversary of the EcoFarm Conference


2014 - EcoFarm Conference grows to nearly 1900 attendees


Bob Scowcroft with former Congressman Sam Farr at EcoFarm


Seed Exchange opening circle - an EcoFarm Conference tradition.


EcoFarm continues to work on ways to increase the diversity of the conference with guidance from our Diversity Advisory Group (DAG).


EcoFarm is more than a conference. It’s a gathering for inspiration, renewal, and celebration.


2018 - Winona LaDuke receives a Justie Award


Agriculture and the organic industry as we know it continues to grow and change. Join EcoFarm to help shape its future.

Learn about EcoFarm events here.