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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. 

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, EcoFarm founder and advisor


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


EcoFarm Regional Workshop


Rob Feldman (on right) recording the EcoFarm Conference workshops back in the early 80's when the conference was held in La Honda, California.


EcoFarm representatives with Brian Leahy, pioneer and leader of California organic agriculture, and Agriculture Secretary Ann M.Veneman, who in 2002 launched the implementation of USDA's national organic standards for agriculturual products.


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 Conference speakers and representatives of the Asilomar Declaration.


The Committee for Sustainable Agriculture (which was later renamed the Ecological Farming Association) organized harvest baskets that were brought to the California state capitol as a girft, statement, and invitation to legislators to the natural beauty, bounty, and importance of local farm-fresh produce.


EcoFarm founder and advisor Amigo Bob Cantisano awarding Robert Rodale of the Rodale Institute with the Sustie Award at the annual EcoFarm conference in 1990.


Masanobu Fukuoaka, Japan's Great Grandfather of Natural Farming with his crew and EcoFarm founder and advisor Zea Sonnabend.


Coffee producers from Chiapas, Mexico with Cafe Mam attending the annual EcoFarm Conference with founder Dahinda Meda and EcoFarm's Spanish/English interpreter, Adele Negro.


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


Young boy on play tractor at the annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival.


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

Vendana Shiva, Indian scholar, environmental activist, and anti-globalization author receiving a Sustie Award at the EcoFarm Conference.


Ecological agriculture and healthy food pioneers Michael Ableman and Alice Waters receiving Sustie Awards at the annual EcoFarm Conference.



EcoFarm Tour of Van Dyke Ranch, renowned fifth generation California family farm specializing in organic dried fruit.


Ken Dickerson, former EcoFarm Executive Director and longtime active EcoFarm activist, volunteer, contributor, and wearer of many hats.

2010: 30th Anniversary of the EcoFarm Conference, a regularly sold-out gathering of 1600+ farmers, retailers, processors, consumers, and advocates.

2014: The EcoFarm Conference grows to nearly 1900 attendees - making it the largest (and oldest) ecological farming conference in the West.