Dr. John Ikerd

Dr. John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, retired from the University of Missouri in 2000. John is recognized as a leading figure in the sustainable agriculture movement. He was raised on a small dairy farm, worked in private industry, and held several other academic positions, prior to returning to the University of Missouri. In the 80’s, John had a “conversion” of sorts after seeing the failures of the policies he had been advocating to farmers. He then reoriented his work toward agricultural and economic sustainability. Since retiring, John has maintained an active speaking schedule and has authored numerous books and papers on sustainable agriculture and the farming and food system.


See John Ikerd's webpage for links to his many publications and papers.

We Need A Vision for a Sustainable Agriculture Through Which We Take Care of Each Other And The Planet--Then We Need Economic Policies to Make It Possible.

"We need policies in place that will help absorb the risk of a transition from an industrial agriculture to more regenerative agriculture that has a better possibility of serving the greater good of society as a whole."--John Ikerd


In this interview, I talk with Dr. John Ikerd about our stake in creating a regenerative farming and food system.

John contends that to recreate a healthier food system, we must rethink what the purpose of agriculture is.

“Farmers contribute to the greater good of humanity by taking care of people,” says John.

John believes that we are at a crisis point where the farming and food systems are forcing us to make crucial decisions about our future.

  • He shares his vision for meeting the short and long term needs of the farming and food system and how we will need to adapt to quickly changing circumstances in local food systems.

  • He provides guidance for how we can each make a difference to support local farmers and food systems, while also long term shifts to systems that regenerate farm and community health and well-being, including policies that will help absorb farmers’ risk related to transition from industrial agriculture that serves the greater food of society as a whole.

  • And he shares why he’s hopeful about the future of farming and food.


Please enjoy my conversation with John to learn how we can catalyze and support a regenerative farming and food system that works for everyone.

Don't forget, I’ve created a special Our Food Is Our Future Facebook Group where you can join the conversation and share your reflections, questions and ideas about creating a healthier farming and food system.  

Food Farm Health Lab

Food Farm Health Lab builds on the Social Laboratory Movement, bringing together diverse stakeholders to explore, develop, and adapt regenerative farming and food system solutions that can be prototyped, modeled, and scaled in local communities for greater health, wealth, resilience and well-being.

©Basil's Harvest, 2020

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Email: carol.hays@ourfoodisourfuturesummit.org​​​