Reservations for 10 Billion- Anna Lartey, FAO Rome

The UN FAO states unequivocally “Malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. Improving nutrition and reducing these costs requires a multi-sectoral approach that begins with food and agriculture and includes complementary interventions in public health and education. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.” Farm to Table visits with Annal Lartey, the Rome based Director of Nutrition and Food Systems. We are at UC Davis where she keynoted the UC Davis World Food Center conference, Aligning the Food System for Improved Nutrition in  Animal Source Foods. Dr. Lartey says Agricultural policies and research must continue to support productivity growth for staple foods while paying greater attention to nutrient-dense foods and more sustainable production systems. Traditional and modern supply chains can enhance the availability of a variety of nutritious foods and reduce nutrient waste and losses. Governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society can help consumers choose healthier diets, reduce waste and contribute to more sustainable use of resources by providing clear, accurate information and ensuring access to diverse and nutritious foods.


Trade’s POWs – Ronnie Russel

Wars have casualties and in international trade wars those casualties can stretch from farms to tables. Everyone seems to agree that China is a trading problem.  What everyone doesn’t agree on is what to do about it.  The US was close to joining 11 other countries in a Trans Pacific trade agreement that was hoped to bring China in line with acceptable trade policies, however the administration backed away.  The policy being pursued now has the US raising tariffs on Chinese imports and the Chinese retaliating by putting duties on American products or simply cutting way back on their imports from the US. There still may be a breakthrough and satisfactory agreements reached, but in the meantime the economic pain is all too real.  Some are estimating that the trade war with China could cost the average family $1,000 per year in increased cost of goods.  Soybean farmers in particular have been bearing the brunt of the trade war and have experienced price declines and poor prospects to the point that their future is in jeopardy. For a farm level perspective on the impacts of the trade war strategy, Farm To Table Talk visits with Ronnie Russel. Ronnie is a soybean farmer and officer in the Missouri and American Soybean Association.

Place & Picasso in a Bottle – Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon

As Steve Martin once said, “those French have a word for everything!” That word for a “sense of place” or flavor of the soil is terroir. Terroir is the nature of a place, uniquely expressed in food, beer, coffee or wine.  Healthy soils that are rich in friendly bacteria and fungi, uniquely brand a sense of place that we can taste. Randall Grahm, the pioneer wine producer who created Bonny Doon Vineyards says  we are starved for meaning and we want our experiences to be more meaningful with a deep connection between us and earth.  He is on a journey to produce wines of place that are intrinsically more meaningful than wines of effort.  “If you can make a wine that somehow captures the uniqueness of nature itself, you are tapping in to a much larger intelligence  and system than anything that just comes from human imagination.”  Randall joins Farm To Table Talk and reminds us of the significance of Place to Table.

Organic Side By Sides – Jeff Moyer


Organics are still a small share of all food but it is a fast growing share. Reasons  for the increasing demand include quality improvement, product variety, availability and growing consumer awareness that USDA Certified Organics actually stands for something unlike many other label claims. There was a time when Organics were generally viewed as inferior in appearance, consistency and yields but that was decades ago. Today organic products and organic farming itself can stand the test of side by side comparisons. Pioneering organic and conventional farming side by side demonstrations has been the Rodale Institute. Whether out in the fields or at their Pennsylvania headquarters, Rodale’s  expert staff are helping  grow the organic movement and assisting farmers through rigorous research, education, and outreach.The Executive Director of Rodale Institute, Jeff Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture with expertise in organic crop production systems including weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. Jeff brings a farmer’s perspective and approach to issues in organic agriculture. He joins Farm To Table Talk to share what today’s Organics means to farmers and consumers.


Orchard To Table – Holly King

In addition to growing a healthy food that people love, the California almond community is dedicated to producing an economically, environmentally and socially responsible crop for California (Sustainability). Recognizing their local role in California agriculture and global role as a powerhouse in almond production, they’re working to grow almonds in better, safer, and healthier ways, protecting their communities and environment. The Almond Orchard 2025 Goals are the latest way the California almond community is committed to continuous improvement. By 2025, the California almond community commits to:  achieve zero waste in orchards by putting everything  they grow to optimal use; reduce the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by an additional 20%; reduce dust during harvest by 50%, and; increase adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools by 25%.  Holly King is an almond farmer and the Chairman of the Almond Board of California. She joins our table to share the story of almonds rise in popularity and commitment to continuous improvement.

Growing Tomato Wellness – Brett Ferguson, Farmer

Over half of all the vegetables consumed in the US are either tomatoes or potatoes. Of the tomatoes we eat, 58% are from cans or jars where they have been preserved to provide year-round summer freshness and contribute to our good health. In fact a large body of science indicates that the tomato products we consume from salsa to pizzas, not only provide servings of vegetables but also support heart and prostate health. Over 95% of all of the processing tomatoes grown in America, come from California, where the perfect mix of climate, soil and progressive farmers are producing around 65 tons of tomatoes per acre while using nearly 30% less water than a few years ago.   For a perspective on growing the tomatoes that nearly all of us are eating in some form every day, we attended the annual meeting of the California Tomato Growers Association and spoke with Brett Ferguson, former Chairman of the growers association and a Fresno County tomato farmer who takes justifiable pride in the sustainability and continuous improvements made by the farmers growing processing tomatoes.

World Central Kitchen – Nate Mook


World renowned chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen (WCK) after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti with the belief that food can be an agent of change. WCK has since expanded globally and has developed into a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty. Today, World Central Kitchen uses the expertise of its Chef Network to empower people to be part of the solution, with a focus on health, education, jobs, and social enterpriseWCK’s work has helped communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, and Indonesia. In the United States WCK has been there to help feed the victims of disaster from California wild fires, Nebraska Floods, to Puerto Rica Hurricane and even man made disasters like the Federal Government shutdown. The Executive Director of World Central Kitchen, Nate Mook shares the story and future of this incredible program in this episode of Table Talk. Join this World Central Kitchen Talk and help them use the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies.

Wyoming Farm Table – Zach Buchel


Farm to table is happening all over the country even in a state like Wyoming with one of the most challenging growing seasons. Zach Buchel has found dozens of farms in the Cody Wyoming area who are up to the challenge and are growing to meet the needs of discerning consumers.  He owns and operates FarmTableWest, an online farmer’s market in Cody, Wyoming. They distribute food from area farms depending on the time of year and try to make local food accessible to people even in the toughest growing climates in the U.S. Zach says that what really gets him out of bed in the morning, is how food brings people together. That itch eventually led him to creating FarmTableWest, where they put a farmer’s face on the local food they distribute to retailers, farmers market and restaurants. Zach says what it is all about its “Connecting Good People. It’s why we do what we do. ….Getting Good Food, from Good People, to Good People is no walk in the park or get rich quick scheme. But, it’s a hell of an adventure that we hope has no finish line.”

Love Those Critters-Samantha Gasson, Bull City Farm

The Food Animal Concern Trust (FACT) has a “Fund A Farmer” program that provides financial awards to livestock farmers who have project needs that improve their humane farm animal production practices. FACT believes farm animals deserve adequate space, access to the outdoors, clean water and air, the opportunity to express their natural behaviors, and healthful feed.  One of the farms recently recognized by FACT is Bull City Farm, near Durham, North Carolina. Bull City Farm was started in response to Samantha and Scott Gasson’s desire to feed their family humanely raised meat that they knew had been treated with respect and thoughtfulness. As their kids grew so did the farm but it wasn’t until the purchase of  property in Northern Durham County in 2014 that they could really take off. Samantha has a degree in biology from VA tech and 20+ years of experience teaching. She especially enjoys teaching about animals and farming; so she is the director of their camps and runs the day-to-day on the farm including moving, loading and care of the animals. Scott has a full-time off farm job but works every weekend on the farm….no rest for the weary. All three of their kids work on the farm doing everything from being camp counselors, milking, feeding to filling waters. The whole family works hard to make the farm a success and fulfill its mission:  “to provide healthy, humanely raised meats and to educate the members of our community about sustainable small scale farming.”

Got Your Goat — Karen and Dale Kopf


Today’s journeys that are taking people from farm to city and back to farm are many and varied.  One way or the other there are thousands who have invested in education, careers and commutes who have found there was still something missing–open space, outdoors, family time and the satisfaction of growing crops or livestock. Karen and Dale Kopf are on that journey. They grew up on a farm and ranch, respectively, then pursued education and subsequent careers. They have found the best of both worlds when they moved to their Kopf Canyon Ranch in Idaho where they are proud to call themselves “herdsmen”.  They believe that care of animals and land is a stewardship, a trust. Today they enjoy “goating” together, raising Kiko goats in northern Idaho and helping others become herdsmen. To equip and educate new herdsmen they founded the Palouse Goat Guild and host an annual Goat Academy in Moscow, Idaho. The Food Animal Concerns Trust’s Humane Farming Project awarded them a grant to cross fence a canyon for goats, laying hens and guardian animals. These herdsmen of goats and trainers of aspiring herdsmen, Karen and Dale Kopf, join Farm to Table to share their journey and to remind others who should consider goat, to consume or raise.