Transforming Agriculture, Perennially
Land Institute Prairie Festival

The Land Institute’s Prairie Festival

Since the first Prairie Festival that took place in 1979 on Sam and Terry Evans’ farm near Salina, Kansas, with David Brower as the featured speaker, our signature annual public event has drawn thousands of attendees from around the world.

The Prairie Festival offers a unique opportunity to interact with some of the world’s most compelling authors, thinkers, artists, and advocates focused on agriculture, food, the environment, science, sustainability, and social and environmental justice.

Held over the last full weekend of September along the banks of the Smoky Hill River on The Land Institute’s home campus outside Salina, Kansas, the festival revolves around “low tech” presentations by notable guests in The Land Institute’s Big Barn.

Our science staff provides tours and an in-depth update on our plant breeding and ecology work and partnerships. There’s food and music, the Hedge Fire Circle, and always a few surprises. Join us for what The New York Times called an “intellectual hootenanny” and what has become a remarkable can’t-miss event on the prairie.

The 2017 Prairie Festival is underway.  You can watch the live stream here:

Click here for a PDF  version of the 2017 festival schedule and map.

Online registration is now closed, but on site registration will open at 7:30AM, Saturday, September 23rd.  Look for the green-and-white-striped tent.

This year’s festival features some changes, including food trucks for meals and a supervised children’s activity area.  Fresh off the Appalachian Trail, Kansan and “The Voice” alum  Kaleigh Glanton will be the festival’s featured musician, performing live in the Big Barn Saturday evening.

This year’s theme – Urban Agriculture and Rural Agrarianism: Toward a Perennial Future – will put thinkers, advocates and innovators from both sectors together in the barn for a lively and timely dialogue. Jill Isenbarger from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will moderate a Letters To a Young Farmer panel discussion featuring Amigo Bob Cantisano and Amy Halloran, author of The New Breadbasket.  Severine Von Tscharner Fleming of Greenhorns and Agrarian Trust will present the annual Strachan Donnelley Lecture on Conservation and Restoration.  Wylie Harris and Ӧzlem Altıok of North Texas and Turkey join us on Sunday.  And we welcome back Cathrine Sneed of The Garden Project.

Wes Jackson will present, as well as our president Fred Iutzi.  And in addition to our scientific teams presenting research updates we will convene a panel focused on Kernza® perennial grain as it blazes a trail in the consumer marketplace for other perennial grain, oilseed and legume crops.


Check out video presentations from recent Prairie Festivals at our Video & Audio Library.

Prairie Festival is also listed on our Events Calendar and you may also follow us on social media using the links at the top of this page for details closer to and during the festival.

For information on visiting The Land Institute, including driving directions, local accommodations, and more, or if you can’t make it to the Prairie Festival but would like to visit The Land Institute, we can arrange for a tour at other times of the year, check out the Visit Us page of our website.

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