Skip to main content

In conversation with a soil health pioneer

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Conversations we're having, Future Farming Podcast

In this month's Future Farming podcast, Janet Hughes talks to Gabe Brown.

Gabe has been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. He farms at Brown’s Ranch, a diversified 5,000 acre farm and ranch in North Dakota, with his wife Shelly and son Paul.

He is one of the pioneers of the soil health movement and author of the book, “Dirt to Soil, One Family’s Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture.”

Gabe is also a partner in the regenerative farming consultancy Understanding Ag and an instructor for the Soil Health Academy, which teaches the power and importance of healthy functioning ecosystems. 

Janet and Gabe talk about education in farming, shortening the supply chain and the six principles of soil health.

Download the episode

Pictures from Brown's Ranch

You can follow Brown's Ranch on Facebook.

Read the full transcript of the podcast

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Clifford Jones. Archaeologist posted on

    He speaks sense. How do we persuade our farmers to go down this path?. Or do we do as he says “New Zealand did the right thing” over night took away the subsidies. Things will hurt but farmers will find practical ways through the pain of change.

    Also sustainability only truly works if restoration has been fully met first. I agree with that.

    Observation. Completely agree with this. Farmers don’t look at the landscape they see profit or loss.

    A thought provoking piece.

    • Replies to Clifford Jones. Archaeologist>

      Comment by Peter Sutton posted on

      Subsidies- A key problem in England is 70% of the land is farmed, and consequently farm subsidies have become necessary to preserve our wildlife and landscapes, rather than food production.
      Various politicians have promised that the subsidies will go towards biodiversity and environmental protection (aka public money for public goods).
      Let’s hope the Sustainable Farming Initiative delivers at scale

  2. Comment by Emma Bailey-Beech posted on

    What an inspiring man, especially how he said he enjoyed 'working with life'. What a lovely way to view farming.

  3. Comment by Ross Wingfield posted on

    This has to be one of the best introduction to regen ag, I have heard. If you want to know why then just listen. Gabe us a great bloke and his principles apply all over the world.

  4. Comment by Tam Mayor posted on

    It's fantastic to hear Gabe Brown speaking on a Defra podcast! Let's hope the many positive aspects of regen ag are adopted more widely in farming throughout the UK and are also supported in the ELMs.

  5. Comment by Andrew Spencer posted on

    fantastic - just the sort of talk to get the SFI off the ground


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.