Ian Somerhalder Decided to Become a Farmer—Here's What He's Doing for Soil Health (Exclusive)

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“I'm gearing my entire life to be a rancher.”

<p>Jason Mendez/Getty Images</p>

Jason Mendez/Getty Images

When you think of farmers and ranchers, your mind may not go to a TV heartthrob from the 2010s. But that’s more of a reality than you might think.

“I'm gearing my entire life to be a rancher and to be a regenerative farmer,” Ian Somerhalder tells EatingWell at the start of this exclusive interview.

Somerhalder, a former actor best known for starring in television series The Vampire Diaries and Lost, is now focused on using his voice to make a difference. This is seen through his produced documentaries about agricultural practices Kiss the Ground and Common Ground, the latter of which is now in theaters. Somerhalder notes that it took “seven years to make Kiss the Ground and quite a long time to make Common Ground,” proving his dedication to showcase healthy soil practices in the mainstream.

Related: Cultivating Better Health

“I left acting a little over four years ago to raise my kids and to build my companies,” he explains. “And so this wasn't something like, you know, an actor in the strike looking for things to do. No, no, this is what I do.”

He’s not yet a rancher, but as for right now, Somerhalder and wife Nikki Reed take care of their two kids as well as the 18 pets on their farm.

“We have an organic farm that we practice regenerative agricultural practices on,” he says. “Everyone in our orbit is building that out.”

<p>Ian Somerhalder</p>

Ian Somerhalder

His most recent work includes narrating Tail of Two Farms, Nutro’s brand-new animated short film that demonstrates the importance of healthy soil.

“[Nutro] is a 100-year-old company that is focused on building healthy nutrition for our animals,” he said. “Through that is understanding healthy soil practices, meaning protecting our soil now and securing our food later. And you don't find a lot of companies, especially big ones like this, that have that built into the framework of who they are. That for me is so consistent with how I live my life.”

For every view on the animated short created by the pet food company, $1 (up to $300,000) will go to Nutro’s 2024 Greater Ground Soil Growth Grants to “help select growers implement healthy soil practices.”

“It's been really special,” Somerhalder said about this collaboration with Nutro.

Watch Tail of Two Farms here:

Related: Is Grass-Fed Beef Better for the Environment?

Read the original article on Eating Well.