Forrest Pritchard is a seventh-generation farmer and bestselling author. He grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and spent summers with his grandparents in the Appalachian highlands and Ohio River Valley. Upon returning from the College of William and Mary in the mid-90s, Pritchard took over the family farm ⎯ primarily growing GMO corn and soybeans ⎯ in the hopes of making the land profitable for the first time in decades. On harvest day, when five tractor-trailer loads of grain reaped a meager paycheck of $18.16, he realized the farm must radically change course. The following season, Pritchard devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens on pasture.
More than 20 years later, Smith Meadows is one of the oldest “grass finished” farms in the country, and sells at leading farmers’ markets in Washington, D.C.
Chronicling his farming adventures, Pritchard’s 2013 book, Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm, was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table, and made the New York Times Best Sellers list. He followed this in 2015 with Growing Tomorrow, a behind-the-scenes visit with sustainable farmers from across the country. The book was a finalist for independent cookbook of the year.