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Eco-Ag 2018: Get the Most Out of Your Conference Experience

The 2018 Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show is coming up soon. The Acres U.S.A. team is excited to meet everybody, and to connect our audience with expert speakers and hundreds of eco-farming peers. There’s a lot to do and see, not only at the conference, but in the great town of Louisville, Kentucky, as well! Here is our Eco-Ag Conference guide, to help you get the most out of your trip.

Louisville, Kentucky
Eco-Ag U.: Tuesday, Dec. 4 to Wednesday, Dec. 5
Main Conference: Wednesday, Dec. 5 to Friday, Dec. 7

Louisville, Kentucky, skyline

Be an Acres Conference All-Star

 Catch a flick: We work hard to bring exciting, informative films to each conference for your viewing pleasure. The films are shown around lunchtime, so check the conference program schedule and don’t miss out. This year’s selections include: Farmers for America and The Story of…Meat, Dairy, Wool, Leather.

• Meet the Author! We hold numerous book signings throughout the conference. Check the schedule, buy the books in our on-site bookstore, meet the author and get your copy signed from eco-ag greats like Fred Provenza, Eliot Coleman, Charles Massy and Gabe Brown.

• Get your questions answered in Consulting Halls: Meet with top eco-ag consultants in a small-group setting … a rare opportunity to obtain valuable advice specific to your farm’s needs.

• Trade Show: Don’t forget to visit the more than 100 vendors of high-quality eco-inputs and innovations in our Trade Show. Whether you are looking for a specific product or want to pick someone’s brain, the trade show delivers.

 Nutritious eats: No need to leave the hotel in search of quality food (although there are lots of great options in Louisville — we’ll highlight a few later). Homestead Heritage will have a selection of prepared organic, sustainably sources foods available all conference long in the Trade Show at booth 900. Stop by for breakfast or lunch or and grab a bite to eat before your head off to the next activity.

• Continued learning: Each conference keynote speech and all lecture sessions are recorded live. The recordings are available during the conference as they are produced and full sets of CDs and MP3s are available after the conference.

• On-Site Bookstore: Take advantage of excellent prices on all our titles… without worrying about shipping!

• Top-Tier Keynoters: Treat yourself to a mind-expanding session each evening at 7:30 p.m. including farmer and author Eliot Coleman, Savory Institute co-founder and CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell and farmer and author Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm.

• Get Social!: Don’t forget to follow Acres U.S.A. on Facebook and Twitter for news and tips about what’s going on in Columbus … and share your photos and comments with your fellow attendees using #acresconf18.

What to Bring

  • Pens/Notepad/Notebook (You’ll want to take lots of notes. It also helps to write your name on your notebook and on your conference tote bag, in case they get left behind in a session.)
  • Business/Contact Cards (You will be meeting people with the same farm interests/business needs and ideas — take advantage!)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (The warm air can be pretty dry indoors in the wintertime.)
  • Backpack (Many folks find this useful to help bring their supplies, especially if they are leaving and coming back to the hotel throughout the day.)
  • Badge (When you check in, you’ll receive a name badge. Please don’t misplace your badge, and remember to wear it each day as you’ll need to display it for admission to all conference events and the trade show.)
  • Conference Program (When you check in, we’ll give you a nifty tote bag designed for this year’s meeting. Inside the bag will be helpful resources including a full conference program including the list of events, times and locations as well as information about the speakers, a map of the Trade Show with information about each vendor and more. Keep it handy!)
  • Comfortable Shoes (Trust us on this one.)

Venue & Lodging

Hotel info: Louisville Marriot Downtown, 280 West Jefferson Louisville, KY 40202

Stay in the same place that the conference is held, by booking at the Louisville Marriot Downtown. Through November 16, you’ll get a special rate of $129/night when you register through Acres U.S.A.
Reservations include free wi-fi in your room, reduced parking rates ($14/day) and a great location near restaurants and shopping in downtown Louisville.Reservations may also be made by calling 1-800-266-9432 and refer to the Acres U.S.A. group. Read the details here.

Getting to the Hotel

Traveling by Air: The Louisville International Airport (SDF) is served by many major airlines, making travel convenient from anywhere in the world. The airport is just 8 miles from the Louisville Marriot Downtown. The Cincinatti/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) is 96 miles from Louisville and would be the next closest option. The Indianapolis International Airport is 115 miles away.
Taxi Service: One-way fare between the Louisville airport and the Marriot is estimated at $18.
Bus: The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) runs buses around the region. Fares start at $2.50. The Greyhound Bus Terminal is at 720 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY 40203.
Parking: Acres U.S.A. has negotiated a reduced parking rate of $14 per day at the conference venue.

Dining in Louisville

Louisville has a vibrant southern farm-to-table dining scene. Here are a few recommendations:
Harvest Restaurant 
Proof on Main
The Table 
Mayan Cafe 
Holy Grale
Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe
La Chasse

Want more information? Check out our Conference FAQs.