Manage episode 272725093 series 2312028
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It can be easy to forget where our food really comes from. The overflowing shelves in the supermarket may trick you into thinking food just appears. The reality is that strong healthy soils are the foundation for food production, and without them, we can’t survive.
That’s why we need to shift our agricultural focus from growing commodity mono-crops like soy, corn, and wheat into a diversified system that encourages soil health, biodiversity, and sustainability for future generations. This is what regenerative agriculture is all about.
On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was so happy to sit down and talk with Gabe Brown, one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on the regeneration of our resources. Gabe and his family own and operate Brown's Ranch, a diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The ranch consists of several thousand acres of native perennial rangeland along with perennial pastureland and cropland. Their ranch focuses on farming and ranching in nature's image.
The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops, and grass-finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers, and swine. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. Gabe and Brown's Ranch have received many forms of recognition for their work, including a Growing Green Award from the Natural Resource Defense Council, an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and a Zero-Till Producer of the Year Award, to name a few. Gabe has also been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. Gabe recently authored the book Dirt to Soil, One Family’s Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture, and stars in the newly released Netflix movie, Kiss The Ground, which is about a revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians who band together in a global movement of regenerative agriculture that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.
This episode is brought to you by ButcherBox and the Pegan Shake.
For a limited time, new subscribers to ButcherBox will receive 2 lbs of 100% grass-fed, grass finished beef free in every box for the life of your subscription. To this limited time offer, go to ButcherBox.com/farmacy.
The Pegan Shake features a combination of collagen, pumpkin, and pea protein with healthy fats from my two favorites: MCT oil which is great for fat burning and brain power as well as avocado oil. I’ve also included acacia fiber to help with gut motility and digestion. Check it out at getfarmacy.com/peganshake.
Here are more of the details from our interview:
- Gabe’s entree to farming using the industrial model and how he came to see this model as problematic (8:08)
- The benefits of regenerative agriculture (20:33)
- Gabe’s definition and principles of regenerative agriculture (22:49)
- The difference between dirt and soil (28:54)
- How carbon sequestration works and how animals can play an instrumental role in capturing carbon in the soil (36:08)
- The decline of nutrient density in our food (44:01)
- How industrial farmers get stuck in the industrial model (53:53)
- Crop insurance’s influence on food pricing (1:00:03)
- Gabe’s work with General Mills (1:02:03)
- Can we feed the world through regenerative agriculture? (1:07:42)
Learn more about the Soil Health Academy at https://soilhealthacademy.org/. Follow the Soil Health Academy on Facebook @soilhealthacademy and on Twitter @academysoil.
Learn more about Understanding Ag at https://understandingag.com/. Follow Understanding Ag on Facebook @understandingag.
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