TOPEKA (KSNT) – Selfless, humble and hardworking are just some of the qualities that Jessica Gnad embodies.
The work she’s doing for farmers around the state of Kansas and the passion she exhibits for taking care of the planet exemplifies what it means to be a remarkable woman.
“Hey everybody listen stay tuned to the great plains regeneration Instagram story and Facebook story, because today we’re going to be coming live from fuller field school,” Gnad said.
With a passion for promoting soil health education, Gnad co-founded the nonprofit Great Plains Regeneration in 2020. Using her social science collegiate education, she amplifies the message and importance of agricultural awareness far and wide.
“I see my role in all of this as a conduit or a catalyst of information,” Gnad said. “We see that some of the barriers to the adoption to new farming practices or revitalizing traditional farming practices, is the lack of education and lack of awareness.”
Gnad learned from a young age to be agriculturally conscious. Marrying an agronomist fully immersed her into the farming way of life and showed her the path she was truly meant to travel.
“At first I thought that I need to be a PHD or I needed to be an agronomist or I needed to have more than 150 acres that I farm, that I needed to be a more legitimate farmer,” Gnad said. “Then I realized I matter, I’m a mother, I’m a steward of this land, I’m a wife, I am somebody in my community who’s trying to push forward positive messaging.”
A Topeka native, her focus on agricultural consciousness has taken her all over Kansas. Hosting workshops and trade shows for farmers, looking for ways to spread awareness and education over the importance of soil health.
“I’ve had family members that have had certain illnesses – and situations in our life where the health and nutrition of our food supply is key to the health and nutrition of our whole population,” Gnad said.
In addition to soil advocacy, Gnad works closely with expanding accessibility in the farming realm.
“One thing that I’m really passionate about is making sure that women and historically underserved populations have the ability to attend some of the events that we go to,” Gnad said. “Making sure wives have the ability to join their husbands or vice versa for these educational events is very passionate for me.”
Becoming agriculturally conscious can take many forms. Gnad encourages taking the first step, no matter how small it may seem.
“My suggestion to people are just do something,” Gnad said. “Do one thing that you might be passionate about. Maybe it’s your yard, maybe it’s thinking about ways you can conserve water in your yard and not have to use your sprinkler system as much.”
From ampifying the voice of farmers, to her nonprofit organization’s message of soil regeneration, to creating a welcoming space for underrepresented groups, Gnad is planting the seeds for future generations in more ways than one.