About the Farm

Adam and Brandy Grady represent the 10th generation to live on the land that comprises Dark Branch Farms near Kenansville, NC. Since his transition to regenerative farming, Adam has been
combining no-till practices with diverse multi-species cover crops and then using livestock to graze those cover crops—all of which have been a winning formula

In addition to the Six Principles of Soil Health, Adam has applied the “Three Rules of Adaptive Stewardship” (Compounding, Diversity, Disruption) and has witnessed the power of compounding and cascading effects. As he increased his soil health practices, he further realized significant positive compounding benefits.

Despite the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018, Adam saved $200K in input costs using the Six Principles of Soil Health and the Three Rules of Adaptive Stewardship. By paying attention to his real fertility needs, and not simply following the recommendations of his fertilizer dealers, he was able to significantly reduce his input costs.

In early 2018, Adam transitioned his cattle program to focus on the protocols for the Joyce Farms Grass Fed Beef program and learned the importance of integrating livestock onto his row crop land by grazing cover crops. He also focused much more on his herd genetics. Working with Understanding Ag’s Allen Williams, Ph.D., he culled some of his cow herd and purchased replacement females that were of higher quality. In addition, Allen helped Adam secure Aberdeen Angus bull genetics that allowed him to fully qualify for the Joyce Farms genetics protocols and their price premiums.


Importantly, Adam has learned that some of his acres are better suited to livestock production and grazing than to row crop production. In the past, he would have pushed for maximum acres in row crop production but now understands that livestock can be more profitable and are valuable in improving soil health.

Who Should Attend?

This school will provide practical instruction to enhance net farm profitability in cropping systems through the use of cover crops, intercropping, grazing, rolling cover crops, nutrient management, rotational diversity, and other approaches for improving soil function. Attendees will come away with a higher level of understanding, observation skills, and increased management skills.

March 29-31, 2022

Tuition of $1,750 includes:
• Regen Ag 101 course ($499.00 value), which we would like you to complete prior to the first day of class;
• In-person attendance at the SHA school, as well as digital course materials and lunch each day;
• Two follow-up Zoom meetings with a consultant within the first year after the date of the SHA school you attended; and
• Access to future scheduled conference calls with the instructors.

Scholarship Money Available
We are committed to helping you finance this educational experience.  We encourage anyone with interest to apply.  If you want to attend one of our 3-day events, you are eligible for a scholarship.  In addition we will be giving special consideration to the following:

  • Students
  • Families or farms with more than one person attending
  • Past SHA students
  • Veterans
  • Agricultural educators and influencers
  • Minority, tribal, women and historically underserved individuals

What You Will Learn

  • Practical implementation of the six principles
  • Keys to enhance net farm profitability
  • Farm financial records & accountability
  • Strategies for debt management & reduction
  • Successful cropping without reliance on high levels of inputs
  • Weed and pest control
  • Nutrient management
  • Reducing input costs
  • Designing cover crop mixes to address resource concerns
  • Cover crop termination options
  • Managing cover crops for optimizing soil health and economic return
  • Understanding the difference between economics and finance
  • Identifying the 3 secrets to increase profit
  • Applying business principles to your farm


Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown

Dr. Allen Williams

Dr. Allen Williams

Dallas Mount Headshot

Dallas Mount

School Location

Serecta Fire Station
1142 Sarecta Rd,
Kenansville, NC 28349

Farm Location

Dark Branch Farms
131 Sarecta Rd,
Kenansville, NC 28349

Hotel Information

Holiday Inn Express
131 River Village Pl,
Wallace, NC 28466
(910) 285-1487

Block of 20 rooms reserved at $115/night

Closest Airport

Albert J Ellis Airport (OAJ)
264 Albert Ellis Airport Road
Richlands, North Carolina 28574
(910) 324-1100

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