About our guest Jessica Gnad:
Jessica is a dedicated soil health advocate with over a decade of experience in the food and farming industries. Jess is the executive director of a new non-profit called Great Plains Regeneration which seeks to regenerate the vast Great Plains via collaboration with farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders and to mimic nature by using regenerative agriculture principles.
Jess used to serve as an executive board member for Kansas State University Research and Extension. She also directs high impact events like Soil Health U, advises consulting company Soil Regen and is a speaker and soil advocate for Kiss the Ground.
Jess describes herself as a row crop farmer and an avid gardener. She's passionate about growing her own fruits and vegetables following regenerative practices.
How did you kickstart a soil health community?
After completing the Kiss the Ground Soil Advocacy Training, Jess realised that her communication and leadership skills could help start a movement focusing on supporting farmers and landowners to understand soil health.
Jess recently organised a food, water, soil, live music and Kiss the Ground film party for her community in Kansas.
"Probably the biggest thing that I've learned through this whole process is that supporting people, encouraging people and being able to be that connector of information is the absolute best way to drive change."
How do you support farmers in adopting regenerative practices?
Jess believes that field trials are one of the most impactful ways to help producers understand regenerative farming and soil health. Great Plains Regeneration aims to get farmers and landowners at their events - to watch and learn about the soil first hand, by digging soil pits and doing soil health water demos.
"If you can get the biology right in the soil, you can start to sustain many different levels of crops, profitability structures, and you're going to be sequestering carbon, increasing your soil organic matter and your water infiltration rates."