Hosted by two commercial row-crop farmers and a dairy farmer, Field Work is a podcast that provides space for frank, realistic discussions about the benefits and challenges of sustainable agriculture. Hosts Zach Johnson, Mitchell Hora, and Tara Vander Dussen (who joined the team in season four) explore the successes and challenges farmers experience as they adopt new practices, while still getting into the weeds on the difficulties.
New Mexico Milkmaid Shines in Field Work Debut
Tara Vander Dussen makes her Field Work debut at Zach Johnson’s Minnesota farm. In this episode, Tara tells Zach and Mitchell about the wonders of New Mexico: sand dunes, square roads, fainting goats, and how she encourages dairy farmers to be more sustainable. She also seems genuinely surprised at the concept of rain.
The Hunger for Regenerative Ag Data
Lots of scientists give farmers advice. But not many of them have actually farmed. Jonathan Lundgren quit the USDA and started Blue Dasher Farms in South Dakota. In just a few years, he’s learned some things, including how difficult farming is. Lundgren is also the driving force behind Ecdysis Foundation, a research organization that aims to study regenerative farming practices on 1,000 farms.
Why Kamal Bell Became a First-Generation Farmer
Food deserts are places with limited access to fruits and vegetables. When the topic popped up in one of his college classes, Kamal Bell decided to do more than just talk about it. Bell started Sankofa Farms, a 12-acre farm in North Carolina. He grows kale, raises farm-fresh eggs and keeps bees there. In this episode, Bell talks about overcoming the challenges he faces as a first-generation Black farmer and why he's committed to helping young people gain valuable agriculture experience.
The Genius of Prairie Strips
Farmers in 14 states have planted more than 14,000 acres of prairie strips to ease soil erosion. On this episode, Lisa Schulte Moore of Iowa State University explains the science behind planting native grasses and plants. “Prairie strips are oriented perpendicular to that flow of water,” she says. “It's really about slowing that water down, allowing it to infiltrate.”
An Interview with USDA's Robert Bonnie
Robert Bonnie grew up on a Kentucky farm. Today, he’s one of the most powerful people in agriculture, serving as a top USDA official in the Biden administration. One of the initiatives he’s working on is the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, a $1 billion program aimed at reducing the ag sector’s carbon footprint.
Disclaimer: Hosts Mitchell Hora and Tara Vander Dussen have applied for funding from the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.
From Dirt to Soil: The Guys Get To Know Gabe Brown
Gabe Brown didn’t grow up on a farm. But today he’s way into regenerative agriculture. On his farm and ranch just outside of Bismarck, North Dakota, Gabe does no-till, cover crops, and a mini-version of mob grazing. He’s also one of the founding partners of Understanding Ag and the author of “Dirt To Soil: One Farmer’s Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture.”
Found the show last year and binged up to current when the season started this year. Mitchell I was also thinking AGR when the guest mentioned talking to a Fraternity! Austin Peay 1984 #009. I worked on a dairy in TN through HS and College then 30 years with SCS/NRCS and 10 years in as an Ag Lender with a Community Bank. Really enjoyed the early days of conservation tillage you featured. I like the regenerative ag features too. Just finished Gabe Brown’s book thanks to you and liked the regenerative dairy episode too.
Today’s topic is very relevant with where the cost of inputs have gone and interest rates are heading. I have lost farm friends from both suicide and stress related heart attack/strokes. Keep up the good work and keep showing us new pages in the ever changing world of AG!!
Love the conversations and subject matter that make farmers better!!
FYI true regenerations of soil and biodiversity of farms receiving $15.- $25 per acre for carbon credit??? That’s an insult….don’t let huge corporations spout “carbon neutral” by buying these?? AUFKM??? It costs way more in cover crops, livestock, management practices, land taxes, and to get into then local county fair or state fair!!!
I just listened to Season 4 Episode 1, and I can already tell that Tara will improve the show. Just kidding. This is A very informative and entertaining podcast, and will be in my queue.