Biographical Sketch

John E. Ikerd

Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics

University of Missouri Columbia, MO USA

702 South 8th Street Circle

Fairfield, IA 52556

Phone: 641-209-9906



Biographical Information:

Dr. Ikerd was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri and received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He worked in private industry for a time and spent thirty years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and University of Missouri before retiring in early 2000. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture.

Since retiring from the University of Missouri, Ikerd has maintained an active speaking schedule, typically speaking at 20 to 25 different non-local events per year, including venues all across the United States and Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, South Korea, Costa Rica, Finland, China, Poland, and most recently Colombia, Brazil, and Italy. Most of these presentations relate to sustainable agriculture, organic farming, small farms, agricultural industrialization, and quality of life issues. However, many presentations relate to broader issues of food, economics, globalization, social change, and personal transformation. Since retiring, he has also written six books, ten chapters for books, and five forwards for books written by others.

In 2014, John Ikerd was commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to write the regional report, Family Farms of North America, in recognition of the International Year of the Family Farm. This report led to speaking engagements in Italy, Brazil, and China, where he presented the case for independent family farms as a viable alternative to industrial agriculture.

Other Professional Activities:

Prior to retirement, Dr. Ikerd state co-coordinator for Missouri of sustainable agriculture extension programs from 1995 to 2000. Ikerd was responsible for implementing state-wide professional development programs related to sustainable agriculture. Other major research and educational programs included participatory on-farm research and demonstration programs and evaluation of impacts of sustainable agriculture on the quality of life of farm families and others in rural communities. Dr. Ikerd was project leader for a three-state, five-year program from 1995 to 2000, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, linking sustainable agriculture and sustainable community development.

Academic Positions:

· Co-coordinator of Sustainable Agriculture Extension Programs, University of Missouri--1995 to 2000.

· Liaison to States in Southern and Northeast Regions, USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program--1993-1995.

· Professor and Head, Department of Extension Agricultural Economics, University of Georgia, 1984-1988.

· President, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 1986 (Also served as first and second vice president, president elect, and past president, SAEA 1983-87).

· Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, 1976-1984.

· Associate Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Economics, North Carolina State University, 1970-76.

Honors & Awards:

· Outstanding Extension Program, American Agricultural Economics Assn. – 1997

· Outstanding Extension Program, Western Agricultural Economics Assn. - 1997

· Outstanding Diversity Work Award, USDA Cooperative Extension Service - 1994

· Outstanding Extension Program, American Agricultural Economics Assn. - 1986

· Outstanding Extension Program, Western Agricultural Economics Assn. - 1985

Selected Professional Publications:

(Publications listed relate only to work on sustainability, beginning in 1988)


John Ikerd, The Essentials of Economic Sustainability (Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press Inc., 2012).

John Ikerd, A Revolution of the Middle… and the Pursuit of Happiness, (Columbia, MO: ©John Ikerd; Kindle Books; Legacy Publishing, 2010).

John Ikerd, Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture, (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2008).

John Ikerd, A Return to Common Sense (Philadelphia, PA: R. T. Edwards Inc., 2007).

John Ikerd, Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People Through Agriculture (Austin, TX: Acres USA, 2007).

John Ikerd, Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense (Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press Inc., 2005).

John Ikerd, The Case for Common Sense: The New Ecological, Social, and Economic Revolution, (Columbia, MO: ©John Ikerd, pending on-line publication, 2004).

Chapters in Books:

John Ikerd, Patty Cantrell, and Hanna Wernerson, 2021, Sustainable Farming Trends; Small and Polycultural Farms, in Economics of Sustainable Food, edited by Nicoletta Batini, Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 68-84.

John Ikerd, 2019. “An Alternative Future for Food and Faming, in In Defense of Farming, ed. Jane Gibson and Sara Alexander, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, pp. 362-403.

John Ikerd, 2019. “Spirituality and Agriculture,” in The Routledge International Handbook on Spirituality in Society and Professions, Editors, Laszlo Zsolnia and Bernadette Flanagan, Routledge, Abington, England, pp 67-75.

John Ikerd, 2018. “The Role of Urban Horticulture in the Sustainable Agri-Food Movement,” in Urban Horticulture, Sustainability for the Future, Editor, Dilip Nandwani, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 233-246.

John Ikerd. 2016. “The Spiritual Roots of Economic Sustainability,” in Spirituality and Sustainability, Editors, Satinder Dhiman and Joan Marques, Springer Publishing Company, New York, pp.105-120.

John Ikerd. 2016. “Spiritual and Ethic Values: The Missing Link in Sustainable Capitalism,” in Philosophy of Management and Applied Ethics, Volume II of The Compendium on Integrating Spirituality & Organizational Leadership, Editor, Sunita Singh Sengupta, Isol Publications, Near Scope Minar, Delhi, India, pp. 65 – 71.

John Ikerd. 2010. “Family Farms, Agricultural Policy, Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Sustainability,” in Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable, and Local Food, Leslie Duram, ed. Greenwood Press, Santa Barbara, CA.

John Ikerd. 2009. “Rethinking the First Principles of Agroecology.” in Sustainable Agroecosystem Management, Integrating Ecology, Economics and Society. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, NY.

John Ikerd. 2008. “Healing and Creativity: A Whole Vision for Rural America” and “Sustainable Farming and Rural Community Development,” in Encyclopedia of Rural America; The Land and People; Volume 2, Gary Goreham, ed., Grey House Publishing, Millerton, NY.

Charles Francis, Roger Elmore, John Ikerd, and Mike Duffy. 2007. Greening of Agriculture: Is It All a Greenwash of the Globalized Economy? in Agricultural and Environmental Sustainability: Considerations for the Future, Manjit S. Kang, ed, CRC Press, New York, NY.

John Ikerd. 2006. “Economic Analysis and Multiple Impact Valuation Strategies,” in A New Social Contract. The Haworth Press, Binghamton, NY.

John Ikerd. 2006. “Contradictions of Principles in Organic Farming,” in Organic Agriculture: A Global Perspective. CSIOR Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.

John Ikerd. 2005. “Ecology and the Sacred,” in Science, Religion, and Society. M.E. Sharpe Inc., Armonk, NY.

Ikerd, John E. 1998. "Sustainable Agriculture: An Alternative Model for Future Pork Producers," in The Industrialization of Agriculture: Vertical Coordination in the U.S. Food System. Edited by Jeffrey S. Royer, and Richard T. Rogers. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited. (pp. 275-302).

Ikerd, John E. 1998. "Sustainable Agriculture, Community Development, and Large-Scale Swine Production." in Pigs, Profits, and Rural Communities, edited by Kendall M. Thu and E. Paul Durrenberger, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. (pp. 157-169).

D'Souza, Gerard, John Ikerd, and Lynndee Kemmet. 1997. "Sustainability and Size: Are Small Farms More Sustainable?" in Sustainability and Agriculture and Rural Development, edited by Gerard D'Souza and Tesfa Gebramedahen.

Ikerd, John E. 1993. "The need for a systems approach to sustainable agriculture," Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (pp. 147-160).

Ikerd, John E. 1992. "Comparability of Predominant Methods: Discussion," in Costs and Returns for Agricultural Commodities, Edited by Mary C. Ahearn and Utpal Vasavada, Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

Ikerd, John E. 1991. "Environmental Policy Options for Missouri Agriculture," Missouri Policy Choices, Edited by Kempf, Springer, Stephens and Webber, University of Missouri Publication UED 86 2/91/3M. February. (pp. 94-109).

Ikerd, John E. 1991. "The LISA Farm Decision Support System," Sustainable Agriculture: Research and Education in the Field, National Research Council, Board of Agriculture, National Academy Press, Washington, DC. (pp. 393-400).

Ikerd, John E. 1990. "A Search for Sustainability and Profitability," in Agricultural Lenders Guide to Environmental Liability, Published by American Bankers Association, Washington, DC. (pp. 131-143).

Ikerd, John E. 1989. "Determining Your Competitive Advantage," 1989 Yearbook of Agriculture: Farm Management, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Forewords to Books:

Lewis, W. Joe. A New Farm Language How a sharecropper's son discovered a world of talking plants, smart insects, and natural solutions, Preface by John Ikerd, Acres USA Publishers, Austin, TX.

Kozlovskyi, S., Khadzhynov, I., Varshavska, N., Petrunenko, Ia., Draskovic, M., Korniichuk, O., & Lavrov, R. 2021. Competitiveness of the agrarian sector of Ukraine in the conditions of integration to the European market. Prologue and review by John Ikerd, Montenegro: ELIT, Podgorica.

Kleppel, Gary, 2014, The Emergent Agriculture: Farming, Sustainability and the Return of the Local Economy. Foreword by John Ikerd, New Society Publishers, Gabriela Island, BC Canada.

Ulluwishewa, Rohana, 2014. Spirituality and Sustainable Development, Foreword by John Ikerd, McMillan Publishing, London, England.

Albrecht, William A, 2013. Soil Fertility & Human and Animal Health (The Albrecht Papers), Foreword by John Ikerd, Acres USA Publishers, Austin, TX.

Frankhouse-Nickel, Raylene. 2003. A Prayer for the Prairie, Foreword by John Ikerd, Five Penny Press, Kief, ND.

Horn, James E. and Maura McDermott. 2001. The Next Green Revolution: Essential Steps to a Healthy, Sustainable Agriculture, Foreword by John Ikerd, The Haworth Press, Binghamton, NY.

Professional Journal Articles – Related to Sustainability:

Quendler, Erika, John Ikerd, and Noureddin Driouech. 2020. Family farming between its past and potential future with the focus on multifunctionality and sustainability CAB Reviews, CABI. 2020 15, No. 011. .

Ikerd J., 2019. Place-Based Food and Farming Systems: Reconnecting People with Purpose and Place. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(A), 1-10. .

Ikerd J, 2016. Multifunctional small farms: essential for agricultural sustainability and global food sovereignty. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 28, Article #192. Retrieved June 27, 2018, from

Ikerd, John, 2015, “Where is Industrial Agriculture Taking Rural Iowa?” Rootstalk, A Prairie Journal of Culture, Science, and Art, Issue 1, Spring 2015, on line at: .

Ikerd, John, 2014, “Deep Sustainability; Rediscovering our Connectedness,” About Place Journal, Vol 2, Issue 2, on line at .

Wang Zhihe, Fan Meijun, and John Ikerd, 2013, “Beyond The Dilemma Facing China’s Agriculture – Toward a Chinese Constructive Postmodern Agriculture,” Problems Of Sustainable Development, vol.8, no 1, 43-56.

Ikerd, John E., 2011, “Local Food: Revolution and Reality,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Information, Vol. 12, Number 1, (pp 49-57).

Ikerd, John, 2010 and ongoing, “The Economic Pamphleteer,” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, beginning Vol. 1, Issue 1, and continuing, on line at .

Stuteville, Rebekkah and John Ikerd, 2009, “Global Sustainability and Service-learning: Paradigms for the Future,” International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 17 Issue: 1, (pp.10 – 22). Abstract on line at .

Dilip, Mirchandani and John Ikerd, 2008, “Building and Maintaining Sustainable Organizations,” Organizational Management Journal, Vol. 5, (pp. 40-51), on line at

Ikerd, John E. 2008, “Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Ethics and Morality,” Problemy Ekorozwouju, Problems of Sustainable Development, Vol. 3, Number 1, (pp 13-22), on line at

Ikerd, John E. 1996. "Government Policy Options: Implications for Weed Management," Journal of Production Agriculture, Volume 9, Number 4.

Ikerd, John, Gary Devino and Suthijit Traiyongwanich. 1996. “Evaluating the Sustainability of Alternative Farming Systems, A Case Study, Journal of Alternative Agriculture, Volume 11, Number 1. (pp. 25-29).

D'Sousa, Gerard and John Ikerd. 1996. “Small Farms and Sustainable Development: Is Small More Sustainable?” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Volume 28, Number 1. (pp. 77-83).

Ikerd, John E. 1996. "Integrated Decision Support System: Potential for Horticulture," HortTechnology, American Society of Horticultural Science, Alexandria, VA. Oct./Nov. (pp. 367-369)

Ikerd, John E. 1993. "Knowledge to Fuel Farms of the Future," Forum, University of Tennessee Energy, Environment, and Resources Center and Oak Ridge Laboratory, Knoxville, TN, Fall Vol. 8, No. 3. (pp.83-86).

Ikerd, John E. 1993. "The Question of Good Science," American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Greenbelt, MD, Vol. 8, No. 2.

Bird, George and John Ikerd. 1993. "Reinventing U.S. Agriculture for the Twenty-First-Century," THE ANNALS, The American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia, PA, (pp. 92-102).

Ikerd, John E. 1991. "Applying LISA Concepts on Southern Farms," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Volume 23, Number 1. (pp. 43-52).

Ikerd, John E. 1991. "A Decision Support System for Sustainable Farming." Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol 20, No. 1.

Ikerd, John E. 1990. "Agriculture's Search for Sustainability and Profitability," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Volume 54, Number 1, January-February. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA,

Ikerd, John E. 1990. "Environmental Issues in the 1990 Farm Bill Debate," Journal of Agribusiness, Volume 8, Number 1, Spring. Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia.

Ikerd, John E. 1990. "A Farm Decision Support System for Sustainable Farming Systems," Journal of Farming Systems Research and Extension, Volume 1, Number 1, Association of Farming Systems Research and Extension.

Journal Abstracts:

Ikerd, J.E. "Role of Marketing in Sustainable Agricultural Systems," Agronomy Abstracts, 1995, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.

Ikerd, John E. "Assessing Health of Agroecosystems from a Socioeconomic Perspective," 1st International Symposium on Ecosystem Health and Medicine, International Society of Ecosystem Health and Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, CAN, June 19-23, 1994. (pp.48-49).

Ikerd, J.E. Socioeconomic Considerations in Developing Sustainable Farming Systems, Agronomy Abstracts, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI, 1994. (p. 542).

Ikerd, J.E. Government Policy Options and Implications for Weed Management Alternatives, Agronomy Abstracts, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI, 1994. (p.79).

Ikerd, John E. "Systems Research in Sustainable Agriculture: Economics, Ecology, and Quality of Life," Selected Paper, American Agricultural Economics Association, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol 76, No. 5, December, 1994.(p.)

Ikerd, John E. "An Integrated Decision Support Systems: Potential For Horticulture," HortScience, 28:(5), 1994,(p. 444).

Ikerd, John E., Symposium Organizer, " Sustainable Agriculture: Implications for Extension Farm Management in the South, Southern Journal of Agriculture Economics, Volume 23, Number 1, July 1991, p. 273.

Ikerd, John E., Symposium Organizer, "Sustainable Agriculture: A New Challenge for the Agricultural Economics Profession, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 73:5, December 1991, p.1525.

Ikerd, John E., Patrick Madden, Dixon Hubbard, and Fred Hitzhusen, Economics of Low Input Sustainable Agriculture, Abstract, Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Proceedings of 1989 Annual Meeting, July 1989, (A)

Book Reviews:

Ikerd, John. 1997. "For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future," Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb Jr.,in Future Horizons: Recent Literature in Sustainable Agriculture, CSAS, Univerity of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. (pp. 79-80).

Ikerd, John. 1995. "Sustainable Agriculture in the Midwest, Edited by Greg McIsaac." Journal of Alternative Agriculture. Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Greenbelt, MD. Volume 10, Number 3, (p. 143).

Ikerd, John E., Review of: Alternative Agriculture, National Research Council, in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Volume 72, Number 3, August, 1990, pp. 838-839.

Congressional Testimony:

Ikerd, John E., "Marketing Activities in Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Another Piece of the Profitability Puzzle," Symposium on Agricultural Industrialization and the Family Farm, Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, October 21, 1992,

Ikerd, John E., Information and Educational Needs for Sustainable Agriculture, Testimony Presented to U.S. House of Representatives Agricultural Subcommittee hearing on Sustainable Agriculture, Washington DC, July, 1989.

Special Reports:

Ikerd, John. 2016. “Family Farms of North America” A Special Report commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in recognition of the International Year of the Family Farm,” Working Paper number 152 December, 2016.

Ikerd, John. 2015. “Multifunctionality and Sustainability: A new Future for Small-Scale Farms‟. COHD Seminar Series: Critical Issues in Agrarian and Development Studies, Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Ikerd, John. 1997. "Southeast Region-Regional Diversity Assessment," Special Report to University Extension by UE Diversity Task Force, March 1997.

Ikerd, John. 1997. "Affirmative Action Conference-Group Discussion Notes," Special Report to University Extension by UE Diversity Task Force, March 1997.

Lummus, James R. and John Ikerd. "On-farm Trials and Demonstration Results 1993," Special Project Report, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, February, 1994.

Ikerd, John E., Gary Devino and Suthihit Traiyongwanich, "Potential Local Economic Impacts of Alternative Systems of Farming: A Case Study," Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, December, 1994.

Van Dyne, Donald L., John E. Ikerd and Sandra J. Monson, "Estimated Oil Production Resulting from Producing Oilseed Crops on CRP Land for Use as Industrial Feedstocks in the U.S.," Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri Columbia, MO, October, 1994.

Monson, Sandra and John E. Ikerd, "Assessment of Changes in Missouri Farming Systems Needed to Reach T by Two-Thousand," Special Research Project Report to Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Districts Commission, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, October, 1993.

Ikerd, John E., Sandra J. Monson and Donald L. Van Dyne, "Financial Incentives Needed to Encourage Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture," Special Report of Environmental Protection Agency and U.S.D.A. Sponsored Project, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, April 1992.

Van Dyne, Donald L., Sandra J. Monson and John E. Ikerd, " Low Input Sustainable Agriculture: Implications for Conservation of Non-Renewable Energy," Special Report of Department of Energy and U.S.D.A. Sponsored Project, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, April 1992.