Field Work

Field Work

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.

  • 1 hour 8 minutes
    What Mitchell Learned in Ohio

    Instead of talking it up at Dave Brandt’s Field Day, host Mitchell Hora listened. That resulted in big thoughts, which Mitchell shares with his co-hosts. Zach and Tara aren’t shy about chiming in with their own opinions in this lively episode. Plus: Tara says the big three words.

    3 August 2022, 5:05 am
  • 52 minutes 33 seconds
    Adaptive Grazing on the Bruski Ranch

    After attending college in Bismarck, North Dakota, Ryan Bruski returned to his family’s ranch in Ekalaka, Montana, with big ideas. He wanted to graze cows a new way. Instead of letting cattle roam for weeks at a time, Ryan decided to move them more frequently in a regenerative agriculture practice known as “adaptive grazing.” Plus: our first live listener question!

    27 July 2022, 5:05 am
  • 1 hour
    The Accidental Rancher

    Brad Buchanan didn't plan on owning a cattle ranch. He was a city guy who bought land a short drive from Denver, then bought some cows as "lawnmowers." Fifteen years later, he's the proud owner of the Flying B Bar ranch, a grass-fed cattle operation. In August 2021, Mitchell Hora chatted with Brad at his ranch.

    20 July 2022, 5:10 am
  • 39 minutes 27 seconds
    He's All About 'Net Profit Per Acre'

    As a college professor, Allen Williams had a fancy degree and tenure. In 2000, he quit that job-for-life to become a farmer. But he knew he couldn’t do it the conventional way. So Allen minimized inputs and focused on “net profit per acre,” which he says is more important than yield or “net profit per head.”

    13 July 2022, 5:05 am
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
    The Bristle Brothers Sure Do Experiment

    Mitchell and Brad Bristle have made a lot of big decisions at a young age. Their father died when they were young, then the hired man running their Michigan farm quit. So at ages 21 and 19, the Bristle Brothers took over. Now they’re in charge of 1,500 acres of wheat, corn, soybeans and alfalfa and they’re pretty much all in on regenerative agriculture.

    Watch on YouTube
    6 July 2022, 5:05 am
  • 38 minutes 25 seconds
    With Ray Archuleta, It's All About the Soil

    After a successful career at the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ray Archuleta began preaching about soil health. Mitchell caught up with “Ray the Soil Guy” inside an Ohio seed shed. The pair talked about Ray’s life and the challenges of converting more farmers to regenerative agriculture.

    29 June 2022, 5:05 am
  • 43 minutes 4 seconds
    The Godfather of Soil Health

    On this episode, Mitchell makes a pilgrimage to Fairfield County, Ohio, to chat with farmer Dave Brandt. Known as "The Godfather of Soil Health," Brandt began experimenting with no-till and cover crops in 1971. "My goal is to show people throughout the United States how they can make more money and not spend so much to get a crop produced," Brandt says.

    22 June 2022, 5:05 am
  • 51 minutes 52 seconds
    Get Help When You Need It: Mental Health on the Farm

    Farmers are independent people. But there are some things you don’t want to do alone. Like struggle with mental health. In this episode, we talk with soybean farmer Bob Worth about his experience with depression during the 1980s farm crisis. Hosts Mitchell and Tara also discuss new efforts in agriculture to address mental health issues with Kate Downes of New York FarmNet. 

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

    15 June 2022, 5:05 am
  • 43 minutes 49 seconds
    America's First Regenerative Dairy

    Stephanie and Blake Alexandre milk 9,000 cows on 9,000 acres in northern California. Their business — Alexandre Family Farms — is the nation's first certified regenerative dairy. On this episode, Stephanie and Blake talk about A2 milk, dairy family road trips, working with Savory Institute and the Regenerative Alliance on certification, chickens, and selling their products at Whole Food stores.

    8 June 2022, 5:05 am
  • 59 minutes 1 second
    Manuel Piñuela Has a Big Goal: Regenerating Land Equal to the Size of Texas, Twice

    As CEO of Cultivo, Manuel Piñuela wants to regenerate carbon on 1% of the planet. That’s no easy task. In fact, achieving that goal would require signing up enough farm and forest acreage to cover Texas twice. On this episode, Zach and Mitchell continue trying to unpack the complex world of carbon markets and Mitchell has strong opinions.

    1 June 2022, 5:05 am
  • 54 minutes 26 seconds
    The Tractor Robots Have Arrived

    Is it Zach’s birthday? You might think so. Because on this episode of Field Work, Joe Liefer of John Deere joins Zach and Mitchell to talk about green tractors, a thing Zach loves. Liefer is an engineer at John Deere who has been working on the company’s autonomous 8R tractor, which doesn’t require a human behind the steering wheel. Instead, it has six pairs of stereo cameras so it doesn’t bump into stuff like, you know, fence posts.

    25 May 2022, 5:05 am
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