Author Profile

Forrest Pritchard

Forrest Pritchard

Forrest Pritchard is a seventh generation farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William & Mary. Upon returning from college in the mid 90s, he took over his grandparents' farm ⎯primarily growing GMO corn and soybeans⎯ hoping to make 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 his family's farm must radically change course. The following season, he devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

Twenty years later, his farm Smith Meadows is one of the oldest grass finished farms in the country, an sells at leading farmers markets in Washington DC. Chronicling his farming adventures, Forrest's book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmer's 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 Bestseller list.

Forrest's new book, Growing Tomorrow, goes behind the scenes with 18 extraordinary sustainable farmers from across the country, an inspiring farm-to-table journey in story, photos and recipes.






"Forrest spoke about his book and experiences to a room full of 250 high school students at the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment in a way that was engaging, funny, and informative. The students took some valuable lessons away from his book and his time with the group and we look forward to having Forrest back at our summit next summer."
-- Richard Friesner, Director, Washington Scholars Program, George Mason University

"Forrest was an incredibly dynamic, humorous, and engaging speaker who wove his personal narrative into a discussion of the state of the food system in a way that captivated and educated the entire audience. Forrest's openness about his own story, sharing his successes, failures, and other steps along the journey to sustainable agriculture provided new insight to the sustainable food systems dialogue and motivated audiences to consider their role in the food system."
-- Lexie Raczka, Dickinson College - Annual Local Food Event

"Thanks for suggesting Forrest's book. It was a big success. We heard from so many teachers who are reading it and want to share it with students. And we heard from many people in our community who were touched by the book as well. I believe it was an excellent choice for One Book, One Community, as it did what it was supposed to do…involve the whole community."
-- Julia Shaheen, Stark Library

"The most memorable moment????????????? How can we pick one? · Forrest meeting with our local farmers who are selling at farmers' markets growing grass-fed angus. · Forrest making a point of talking to the high school students in the culinary arts program who prepared recipes from Growing Tomorrow. · Hearing firsthand about what he grows on the farm, why, and how. While this was in the book, hearing it from him brought it to a whole new level of understanding. · Seeing so many people from different backgrounds come together to learn. "
-- Trinity Lescallett, Tiffin-Seneca Common Read

For more about Forrest and his works, go to

Reviews of Growing Tomorrow

An honest book about simple food, grown well and prepared without pretense. Mr. Pritchard is a warm-hearted guide through the varied landscapes.
-- The Wall Street Journal,

Pritchard inspire his audience to support local farmers and to consume and/or grow provisions using sustainable practices. This book will appeal to foodies, environmentalists, and gardeners in general.
-- Library Journal, Starred Review

Gorgeous, delectable, and fascinating, Growing Tomorrow provides food for the body, mind, and soul. Engaging to read, easy to cook from, delicious to eat, this is more than a cookbook; it is a meditation on the things that give us life.
-- Garth Stein, NYT bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Reviews of Gaining Ground

This engaging first-person account is filled with gentle humor and colorful anecdotes about the false starts and pitfalls Pritchard faced before finally settling on raising grass-fed cattle and sheep... Anyone who has been bit by the farming bug will find lessons aplenty here, while urban readers will enjoy a vicarious slice of farm life.
-- Carl Hays, Booklist

Pritchard's engaging memoir opens with him, new English degree in hand, deciding to take over the family farm after fall harvest profits fail to materialize. What follows is a remarkable odyssey of food from farm to table; a classic against-all-odds narrative that will have readers changing their shopping habits. Pritchard is a born storyteller with a shrewd ability to make a lively everything from his father's battle with a rogue pig to simple shores like selling firewood or bailing hay. His learned-the-hard-way experiences are thoroughly entertaining and non-farmers will absorb enough about raising livestock and tending land to broaden their expertise at the farmer's market and grocery store. He also addresses the politics involved in supporting local organic meat including issues of price, health, and the environment. By the end of his wonderful book, Pritchard lies in a field pondering his own slim margin of success from slowing things down in our fast paced word; a well-deserved moment of happiness for this important new spokesperson of the future of agriculture and poet of the earth.
-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Videos featuring Forrest Pritchard

Forrest Pritchard's Gaining Ground

Sustainable Farmer Forrest Pritchard Keynote

Forrest Pritchard: Growing Tomorrow