Barons Power – Austin Frerick

Local agriculture has become an extraction economy and to change there will have to be change in who has power. Food system power is largely in the hands of ‘Barons’ according to Austin Frerick, the author of “Barons – Money, Power, and The Corruption Of America’s Food Industry.”   The case is made by examining powerful barons in grain, grocery, dairy, berry, coffee and meat industries. Domination is not a new story and it has been blunted in the past such as the reining in of the “Robber Barons” of the late 1800’s. Solutions can be found again by actions such as resisting the ‘southern model’, institutions prioritizing local, resisting mergers and acquisitions and leadership from the USDA. @austinfrerick   austinfrerick.com

 

What We’re Hungry For — Kim Shapira, MS, RD

Knowing what we’re really hungry for depends on becoming the authority in our own body, empowering us to eat what we love . Kim Shapira, M.S., R.D. is a renowned celebrity dietitian, nutritional therapist, and author holding a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Human Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition. In her new book, This Is What You’re Really Hungry For: Six Simple Rules to Transform Your Relationship with Food to Become Your Healthiest Self, Shapira has developed six rules to change our relationship with food – breaking down the science to get our brain and our body on board; replacing fad diets that do not last with a sustainable method that encourages us to eat what we love; and empower us to be our own champions.

Organizing the Hungry – Pastor Heber Brown III

Houses of faith are becoming powerful agents and actors of improving food security in their own community in ways that go beyond charity. It is organizing the hungry and not just feeding the needy.The largest institution in the Black community, the Black church, replete with offerings to fill multiple needs., from the physical grounds, to classrooms, kitchens, to church vans and buses, to the land, and the people. Pastor Heber Brown III,  launched the Black Church Food Security Network (BCFSN) in 2014 with a garden at his own church, Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore,  now they have 250 in the network. BCFN was founded  after he noticed a pattern of hospitalizations related to diet and other issues and was determined to change health outcomes for his congregation. What began with encouraging churches to start gardens on church premises, has since grown to include encouraging congregations to make institutional purchases from Black farmers, host farmers markets, preferably on Sundays after church, and arrange tours of Black farms.

www.BCFSN.org

 

 

 

Sacred, Noble, Righteous & Healing – Joel Salatin

Farmers have the support of customers who want to be a part of something sacred, noble, righteous and healing. Joel Salatin has experienced that first hand and has helped thousands of farmers all over the world discover it for themselves.  Although it is daunting to start farming and encourage a more viable local food system, it is happening because of those connections. Joel Salatin hears all about it and shares the excitement he’s discovered at his farm, on the road speaking and in his latest of 16 books, Homestead Tsunami. In 2006 Another author, Michael Pollan, featured Joel in a key chapter of Omnivore’s Dilemna titled All Flesh Is Grass.. When critics of the modern American food system are challenged to offer a better way the answer is often Joel Saltin’s family’s Polyface Farm. www.polyface.com

Mindful Farming – Rachel Meyer

What it takes to start farming the right way could be a trip to North Dakota to hear from GabelBrown.  That was a key for Rachelle and Jordan Meyer who made the trip to a life changing field day. Back home in Minnesota they started applying what they learned and today with their seven chldren are making it work and sharing what they’ve learned with other aspiring farmers. They raise goats, custom graze, run stocker cattle, sell raw milk, grass fed beef, pastured pork and poultry. Beyond their own regenerative farm it is their goal to help farmers build their own dream farm and finally become profitable all while not having to sacrifice everything. Rachelle is also a business and mindset coach and founder of The Mindful Farmers focusing  on teaching farmers how to build a profitable farm, stop overworking, and finally feel in control. info@wholesomefamilyfarms.com

www.themindfulfarmers.com

 

Meaningful Change – Bryce & Brita Lundberg

Regenerative is a change in the food system that must be shown to mean  more than just conventional farming systems with cover crops that are ultimately treated with chemicals.  Organic rice grower, Lundberg Family Farms believes that true regenerative systems are often context-specific and will need certification rather than a one-size-fits all system. Representing an 85+ year old family farm brand responsible for growing, manufacturing and marketing, Bryce Lundberg and his daughter Brita Lundberg join Farm To Talk to explain their commitment to regenerative organic, soil health, multiple benefit water use and wildlife habitat.

www.lundberg.com

More Common Ground – Josh Tickell

Just when our public discourse seems hopelessly divided, we can find hope in the discovery of common ground.  Josh and Rebecca Tickell are film-makers who bring us the story of regeneration that will repair the degeneration humans have caused the earth. That message is the documentary film, Common Ground, the highly anticipated sequel to Kiss the Ground which touched over 1 billion people globally and helped inspire the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to put $20 billion toward soil health. By fusing journalistic expose’ with deeply personal stories from people on the front lines of the food movement. The film Common Ground  shows the power that farmers and eaters have to save a  broken food system. Josh Tickell joins the Farm To Table Talk table  to talk about alternative “regenerative” models of agriculture that will balance the climate, save our health and stabilize America’s economy – before it’s too late.

Holistic Essentials – Allan Savory

The cause of climate change is not animals or fossil fuel. It is how we manage all resources and we can start with grasslands of the world. Allan Savory, the founder of the Savory Institute,  is a renowned ecologist and pioneer in holistic land management. His work focuses on regenerating degraded landscapes through innovative practices that integrate livestock grazing with sustainable land stewardship. His holistic approach aims to restore ecosystems, combat desertification, and address global challenges related to food production and climate change. Alan Savory joins Farm To Table Talk to explore groundbreaking contributions to sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and attention to global policies that will make a difference. Savory.global

 

 

 

 

 

Earth’s Friends – Dr. Kendra Klein

Earth needs friends who care about a more healthy and just world. Kendra Klein, the Deputy Director of Sciecne for Friends of the Earth understands that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, not merely treforms that are politically easy. Sometimes, this involves speaking uncomfortable truths to power and demanding more than people think is possible. The pressures facing the Earth and its people are too important for compromise. www.foe.org

Farm to Hospitals – Chef Santana Diaz

Since good food is good medicine, it makes sense for Hospitals to source protein and produce from healthy soils as close by as possible. At UC Davis Health the food landscape has been transitioning into a true farm-to-fork healthy food program .  Visitors, patients, and employees are now able to enjoy locally sourced,  tasty menu options from  the inspired vision of Executive Chef Santana Diaz, Director of Culinary OperatIons and Innovation. Chef Santana oversees UC Davis Health’s production kitchen – one of the largest in the region – serving more than 6,500 meals a day at three locations on the Sacramento campus. Hospitals and other public institutions all over the country are watching and are more open to directly connect with the farms in their areas. https://health.ucdavis.edu/discovering-healthy/patient-stories/santana

Regeneration Nation – Dr. Cindy Daly

Regeneration is what to do when just Sustaining is not enough. Regenerative agriculture embodies the idea that we must regenerate our degraded systems, rebuilding the resiliency that we need. When farmers transition in to a regenerative system there are a lot less input costs because the biology and diversity is providing the medicine sick soil requires–fixing nitrogen, retaining water in the soil and improving the bottom line for farmers.  Regenerative agriculture can be the foundation for all the food label systems. Dr. Cindy Daly is the Executive Director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Resilient Systems at California State University, Chico.  Tim LaSalle is with Cindy at Eco Farm. www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/

Stepping Up, Giving Back – Jimmy Taylor

Successfully growing crops or livestock is a lonely enterprise without some help.  In many industries that help in the form of research, education and promotion is funded by a state or  federal checkoff. While everyone must financially support this work, too few people step up to volunteer their time and judgement to plan and oversee the work done for the benefit of all.  One of those who has  stepped up is  Jimmy Taylor a cattle rancher from Oklahoma and a member of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee where he has been the Chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.  Farmers and ranchers should take their turn at stepping up to give back to the industry that has done so much for them. It’s time to lead on Ranch to Table Talk.

www.beefboard.org

Putting Farmers First, Anywhere – Raffi Vartanian

Putting farmers and marginalized communities first prioritizes ethical sourcing, economic development, responsible innovation, fair compensation and sustainability. Raffi Vartanian, CEO of Ziba Foods is shaping a business model that combines success with societal betterment in Aftghanistan.  Working with small farms and Coops   to process and export dried fruits and nuts with mostly women in the plant in Kabul is a challenge worth tackling.  American farmers who sometimes complain about farming under USDA regulations might expect different chalenges if their government partner was the Taliban. www.zibafoods.com

Making Communities Better – Amira Resnick

Healthy farms, crops, livestock, families and communities are a priority beyond the farm gate to the tables. Tables are also where strategies are developed to make communities better. For over 100 years, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) advisors, specialists, faculty, and staff have been committed to the better health and well-being of communities. Amira Resnick is the California Director of Community Nutrition and Health,  a statewide network of researchers and educators promoting healthy and equitable communities.  The goal is to co-create public education and partner training, programming and collaboration with local organizations and community leaders  to advance community health . Succesful collaborations create changes in individual behavior,  leadership capacity building, organizations, public policy, and  systems. www. EFNP.UCANR.edu

 

Power for People – Charles R. Toca

Power comes from the food we consume and the choices we make from farm to table for consumers, farmers and those in between. When it comes to power for transportation and cultivation, captured methane from farms can reduce a powerful green house gas from further polluting Earth’s atmosphere.  The methane from manure can be captured and ultimately provide another income stream for farmers beyond just meat and milk, but like so many things harnessing that benefit is more accessible to very large enterprises than small to medium size farming operations. According to Charles R. Toca of CowPowr, that’s where a Cooperative can make difference, a BioGas cooperative. www.cowpowr.com

The Right Thing To Do – Wendell Berry

The only thing we should ask is: what is the right thing to do? That is what the Earth requires of us according to author/philosopher Wendell Berry. “We have the world to live in and the use of it to live from on the condition that we take care of it. And  to take good care of it we have to know it and we have to know how to take care of it.” We have to love it. Farm To Table Talk brings the wisdom of Wendell Berry back to us at the dawn of a New Year that seems to have more than enough challenges for us all.  This podcast is of a conversation  Wendell Berry had with Bill Moyers as expressed and recognized in the podcast. www.BerryCenter.org

The interview was a production of the Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Mannes ProductionsInc.© 2013

Local For Locals – Tom Willey

To survive today as an organic farmer of modest scale requires being very intimate with local customers–taking real good care of them and communicating why they should pay a fair price when large scale, legacy farm brand organic production is often available for less at discount retailers. Tom Willey has been a leader in the Organic farming community who has seen it all and is concerned that while farmers are tempted to get bigger for retail or put their focus on internet sales, many need to get back to basics of doing an outstanding job of building and serving local customers.  www.eco-farm.org

Call COP – Eric Mittenthal

COP 28  was widely expected to call for drastic reduction of meat consumption in Western Nations. That didn’t happen! Instead it was decided that the world needs to scale up productivity growth of livestock, implementing best practices around the world. “Livestock plays a crucial economic role ….high quality protein …essential for good health”. Eric Mittenthal, the Chief Strategy Officer of the American Meat Institute was in Doha with TheProteinPact.org as discussions considered country level policies that center food as a climate solution and a way to mitigate the climate crisis. Livestock farming and meat consumption have a positive role in that mission.  www.theproteinpact.org

Empowering Farmers – Nelson Hawkins

The next generation of farmers of color are being inspired and  empowered to grow high quality seasonal vegetables for local urban communities.  It’s a mission of We Grow Farms and the Ujamaa Farmer Collective to grow food regeneratively, ensure secure land tenure and promote equitable access to resources for historically underserved farmers of color. Nelson Hawkins is featured at Eco Farm and Farm To Table Talk to share the story of how Sacramento urban farmer natives are making a difference for themselves, their community and other aspiring farmers. #EcoFarm2024

www.wegrowfarms.org

 

Grain Changer – Jeff Van Pevenage

Many segments of Agriculture are experiencing changes to increased focus on regenerative, sustainable, more earth friendly farming practices. Although farmers usually prioritize doing what is best for their soil, today’s changes are being hastened by major food companies such as Mars and WalMart requiring confirmation of the practices that their consumers are increasingly expecting.  Jeff Van Pevenage is the President at CEO  of Portland based Columbia Grain International where the mission is to nourish the world safely by supporting producers and customers in an evolving Ag landscape. www.columbiagrain.com

Farm To Freezer Fresh – Ruben Cortez & Wesley O’Brien

The peak of freshness is often best achieved by freezing.  The advances in freezing technologies is allowing consumers to enjoy breeds, varieties, climate friendly production practices and geographical differences in food products both at their favorite store and direct to their door from farmers around the world. Ruben Cortez and  Wesley O’Brien, co-founders of Frozen Logistics are empowering farmers, particularly small-scale and local producers, by offering them a direct channel to reach consumers. This includes increased revenue for farmers, cost savings for consumers, and the convenience of purchasing directly with cold chain management, stringent quality control,  eco-friendly packaging and efficient transportation. www.frozenlogistics.com

 

 

Raising Pigs Today- Cheryl Walsh

Raising pigs for pork today is different than yesteryears.  Pig farms are much larger and more specialized with “sow farms” artificially inseminating females, farrowing pigs and supplying ‘wean to finish’ pork producers with weaned 15 pound pigs to grow to market weights of about 280 pounds. On Cheryl Walsh’s family’s sow farm fresh boar semen is delivered twice a week to breed over 2,000 sows who produce close to 30 pigs each per year. A pig is is born about every minute of every day and Cheryl still finds time to explain how and why pigs are raised the way they are today. www.ilpork.com

Dream Delicious – Alec Jaffe

Yes a well raised vegetable can taste great, but it’s not ice cream. What if every time you dig into ice cream, you could be supporting the next movement of farming, positively changing our planet for a better future: removing harmful carbon from our air; creating water-retaining soil; building biodiverse and nutrient-rich topsoil. Alec Jaffe taught himself to make ice cream in elementary school for a school project and grew up exploring his relatives’ sustainable farmland. He didn’t realize how defining those childhood moments would be until he was an uninspired and unsatisfied adult perusing pints in the freezer aisle. He knew we could do better so he perfected his signature recipe and set out to source the best earth friendly ingredients. The result is Alec’s Ice Cream a first-ever regenerative organic ice cream—improving the world through the way it’s created and through the smiles that it creates in turn. www.alecsicecream.com

Ag Past to Ag Future – Dino Giacomazzi

Keeping family farms viable will require higher technology and diversification that goes beyond past experience.  Tomorrow’s farmers may need to learn robotics or global trend analysis and how to create non-traditional income streams, outside of agriculture.  Dino Giacomazzi considers these options as he reflects on his experience that started on a Central Valley  California Dairy to global music touring and Bay Area high tech before returning to the farm where it was necessary to shift from dairy to almonds. Now he sees even more changes ahead if his own children decide to continue the family farm.

Farm In NYC – Jordan Settlage

If we can’t bring the city to the farm, bring the farm to the city. That’s what Organic  farmers did during Climate Week. Right in Rockefeller Center a pop up farm was created complete with tractor, barn, cows (sort of) and real farmers, including Ohio dairy farmer Jordan Settlage.  Since the US is losing 100,00 family farms each decade it’s time to not just tell consumers where their food comes from but how we all need to protect where their food is coming from. www.organicvalley.com

QR Farm to Menu –

QR codes can add important farm and ranch stories to menus wherever increasingly curious customers are purchasing food.  Coming out of the pandemic, consumers began seeing QR codes with menu selections that allowed them to order at the new outdoor sidewalk venues without handling traditional menus.  Although restrictions have eased, QR codes have not gone away and in fact are becoming more prevalent — sometimes allowing consumers to see precisely where their food purchase came from and how it was produced. Eric Seymour, VP of Channel Programs with www.meandu.com sees restaurant owners banking on technology and consumers welcoming smart tech personalization that could include taking diners on a virtual trip to the origin of their orders.

Environmental Progress – Sara Place

Nine per cent of all green house gas emissions in the US are from Agriculture and cattle are responsible for 2%.  To identify the magnitude of the challenges, EPA does an annual inventory of the GHG contributions from each industry. In the effort to achieve carbon neutrality, Methane from cattle production has become a major target; however per capita consumption has already been declining for years while the population keeps growing, with corresponding demand for more meat in global diets.  Fortunately solutions are being found in programs like AgNext at Colorado State University where Dr. Sara Place is a Professor of Feedlot Systems. www.agnext.colostate.edu

For Farmers – Dana DiPrima

Getting to know a farmer is how caring consumers should start and if you’re a farmer “get known” by being available to answer questions that explain how and why you do what you do. For this mission Dana DiPrima founded For Farmers, a movement designed to recognize and support small farmers by sharing their stories, dispelling myths, and providing them with grants and other resources. Dana shares farmer stories on the Talk Farm to Me podcast and social media (mainly Instagram @xoxofarmgirl), where she also unpacks various myths about farming. Farmer grant nominations will begin on National Farmer’s Day and a review board will select farmers who will receive the grants.

www.farmersmovement.com

We’re The Ones – Chef Mollie Englehart

“We are the ones we have been waiting for” to improve the food system says Chef and farmer Mollie Englehart. Rather than wait for a government agency to fix what’s wrong, consumers make the vote that counts when they purchase food grown right from farms or restaurants they can trust. Raised on a small farm in New York state there was college, music, poetry and restaurant transitions before Mollie became a farmer closing the loop –recycling wasted food from the restaurant kitchens to their own LA area farms for compost producing rich soil and more food grown to return to the restaurant kitchens. Building community, growing sustainable food, practicing regenerative agriculture and cultivating new ways of thinking is now extending from California to Texas where regenerative ranch life is being shared in the heart of Hill country.

www.sowaheart.com

www.sageveganbistro.com

www.sovereignityranch.com

 

Virgin Oil Regenerates – Matthieu Kohlmeyer

Oil is just one letter short of being a four letter word as processed foods in general are widely condemned. Yet there are good-for -you virgin oils such as walnut, olive, grapeseed, avocado, sesame and others that are not fully refined, stripped of nutritional benefits.   Matthieu Kohlmeyer knows good oils start with good farming. He set out from France for Northern California to build a company from scratch taking high-quality walnuts, drying them, and then toasting them in custom-made, French cast-iron kettles before pressing them to extract pure, “virgin” oil. At the time  walnut oils available in the United States were overly heavy or diluted with cheaper oil. Consumers took to La Tourangelle’s trich tasting, artisan oil full of “good-for-you” omega-3 fatty acids. From the farm to our tables, byproducts of well grown produce such as non vegetable virgin oils offer flavor, nutrition and climate smart production for consumers who care more than ever. www.latourangelle.com

Humane Washing – Andrew DeCoriolis

The public is concerned about the accuracy of food marketing, particularly  antibiotic usage in animal products according to research by Food Forward. Promoting the illusion of exceptional animal treatment and practices while masking industrial conditions under which animals are raised and slaughtered, is called humane washing. Andrew DeCoriolis, Executive Direcror of Food Forum explores Americans’ knowledge of and expectations for meat labeling, support for transparency and regulation of meat industry marketing around issues like antibiotic usage, and the extent to which marketing misleads the public. www.foodforward.com

Multi Farm CSA — Rachelle Gould

For local food, what if the Farmers Market could come to you? That’s the idea that Rachelle Gould had when she started a multi farm CSA  in Red Bluff CA with the concept of collaboration over competition. There was an immediate response from neighboring towns and counties to receive local produce and protein from area farms. The multi farm CSA model is open for anyone including individuals with a love for local food but do not farm, farmers that are looking to increase revenue and customers, or co-ops of farms. Field to Fork Tehama, LLC is a multi-farm CSA that provides members with a weekly box filled with vegetables, fruit and protein that are currently in season. www.fieldtoforkca.com

We Can Reduce Warming – Frank Mitloehner

Reducing methane reduces warming. Methane is nothing more than energy that instead of off-gasing in to the atmosphere can be captured to use for transportation and other benefits–converting a liability into a utility.  Livestock, not only cattle, contribute to methane off-gasing now but less in the future when as a result terperatures will be go down. Technologies and new research are providing the new solutions ranging from methane digesters on farm manure holding lagoons and non-gmo genetics to breed low methane animals. At the center of these develoopments is Clear Center at UC Davis, under the direction of Dr. Frank Mithourner who joins Farm To Table Talk to shares the learned facts and  promise of better climate future.  www.clear.uc.davis.edu

Non GHG Ostrich -Alexander McCoy

As radical weather continues, Earth friendly protein may increasingly be found on shopping lists and menu plans.  If the taste and nutrition of bovine products without concerns over the potent Green House Gas methane is a priority, Ostrich will earn a try. Alexander McCoy discovered  Ostrich when he was working in Africa and preparing for an iron man competition.  He loved it and ran his best time.  Back home in Idaho he couldn’t find ostrich for Christmas dinner for his family, so after also becoming sold on the taste and nutrition of ostrich, he decided to change careers and produce ostrich–American Ostrich Farms.  www.americanostrichfarms.com

Becoming Neutral – Marcus Lovell Smith

A carbon neutral food system can become the shared goal of farmers, consumers, processors and retailers.  Marcus Lovell Smith, the CEO of Neutral Foods believes we can drive more change with food than anywhere else and that decarbonizing food is essential to our future.  Consumers are ready to improve their own personal carbon footprints and their food choices can add up to major positive impact, even more than driving an electric car.  Some day supermarkets could even have have carbon neutral food aisles in response to consumer demand. Neutral Foods debuted nationally in 2021 with organic whole and 2% milk products that are now available in more than 2,000 grocery stores from coast to coast.  They partner with family farms that join the climate change fight with innovative on-farm projects. eatneutral.com

True Costs True Values – Matt Maier

The true cost and true value of food should consider more than just price and yields. Saving our food systems from collapse will need smaller farms, regenerative practices, multiple species and strong enough markets says Matt Maier the chief farmer/owner of Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed 100% Grassfed Beef. Nourishing soil, plants, cattle and people begins with  producers ranging from Oklahoma to Minnesota who have shared views of leaving the land better.  Matt Maier saw that the welcome chaos of nature has disappeared from too much of today’s farms and ranches. Their regenerative venture with product available in all 50 states is allowing consumers to vote with their dollars for authentic regenerative practices.  https://thousandhillslifetimegrazed.com/our-story/

Local Shrimp Farms – Steve Sutton

If you want a small sustainable farm but don’t have the land why not grow shrimp?  Shrimp is a popular food but travels a long way to the table, changes hands frequently, is frozen and thawed repeatedly and likely has been raised in less than ideal circumstance. Steve Sutton had a vision of a better way as he learned shrimp farming in Asia before establishing Transparent Sea to grow shrimp for local, particular customers. The first facility is in a warehouse in Los Angles that receives hundreds of thousands of baby shrimp that are grown out to sell as prawns to local restaurants and stores. Shrimp are consumed everywhere so why not grow them everywhere? When you dream of having a small farm, maybe you should think small, with shrimp, anywhere. www.transparentsea.com

Sounds of Silent Spring – Elizabeth Hilborn, DVM

Over 60 years ago Rachel Carson warned of “Silent Spring (s)” to come  from the harms of indiscriminate use of pesticides. Since then the threatening big picture has broadened to position the Earth in the current period of the Sixth Extinction.  Extinctions are gradual but silence can be sudden as it seemed to honey bee veterinarian Elizabeth Hilborn who had to solve a mystery of what killed animals on her North Carolina farm. When she identified the cause, solutions and hopeful signs, it led to writing a book with a message:Restoring Eden.

Dream, Success & Transition – John & Sukey Jamison

People dream of farming and then when that dream is realized, they dream of their own processing and distribution under their own brand. John & Sukey Jamison have lived that dream and are in  transition to a new stage of their journey, without sheep in the meadow and without their own USDA inspected processing plant.  Their Jamison Farm journey west of Pittsburgh, has spanned over 40 years, before ‘sustainability’ or ‘regenerative’ terms were common.Farm To Table Talk has featured so many who are at the beginning of their own journeys, it was time to re-visit John and Sukey who after Covid disruptions, then illness led them to sell their sheep and their processing plant.  They are doing well now, still serving dinners on the farm and believing some day the sheep will be back in their pastures. Dreamers and beginning farmers might ask what kind of farm journey they want to look back on in 40 Years. JamisonFarm.com

Ancient Grains, Now – Nate Blum

Modern times demand ancient grains for modern tastes, nutrition and climate change.  Sorghum is an ancient grain that is hearty, resilient and drought tolerant, needing about one third the water of other grain crops. Nate Blum is the head of Sorghum United, a voluntary organization devoted to research and promotion of this under utilized crop. Sorghum’s role in climate change mitigation: given its inherent drought and heat tolerance, sorghum can significantly contribute to easing the impact of climate change on global food security. For consumers this very ancient grain addresses many modern concerns from non-GMO to Gluten Free. And farmers  may find that with their climate traditions shifting to new territory, it’s time for a change.

www.sorghumunited.com

Creating Regenerative Supply Chains – Michael Dimock

Regenerative small and mid-size livestock producers are beginning to see potential solutions to their marketing problems.  Direct sales are happening on line, at Farmers Markets and to Restaurants but the links to larger institutions where there is need for grinding, braising and stew meats in large quantities is lacking.  These are exactly the cuts that small to mid size ranches have trouble marketing so instead they accumulate in their freezers. Michael Dimock, the President of Roots of Change, sees this changing as work begins with the USDA, CA Department of Food and Ag and the University of California System (that feeds up to 600,000 people a day).  Ultimately the sufficient quantities of product will be pooled to supply large institutions with regenerative locally produced meat as an alternative to product that may currently be sourced and blended from an  assortment of countries on other continents. www.rootsofchange.org

Homestead Instead – Angela Ferraro-Fanning

Siri Says that homesteading is a life style of self sufficiency. Siri has her opinion but others see much more.  The motivation to pursue homesteading is often hatched by restless folks who are tired of being cooped up inside, staring at a computer screen when they want to get outside and grow something for their personal and family well-being.  Angela Ferraro-Fanning is a self-taught first-generation farmer who built Axe & Root Homestead, a six-acre farm in central New Jersey. After the birth of her first child, she realized she wanted to be outdoors, aligning her life with the seasons and with nature. She now grows and preserves her own homegrown produce for her young family and runs a farm bustling with Clydesdales, geese and ducks for eggs, an apiary with ten beehives, sheep, and a small orchard. She shares this love for eco-conscious, self-sufficient living with others through social media as @axeandroothomestead, her books (most recently The Sustainable Homestead) and online homesteading classes, interviews and public speaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bio Miracles Underfoot-Pam Marrone

Human, plant and animal health is sustained by soil health’s capacity to form a bio-living ecosystem. The little ‘things’ that make a huge difference in carbon sequestration, reduced nitrogen needs and even human health are trillions of microbes under our every step. With artificial intelligence and big data the day is arriving when the soil health micro-biome short comings can be addressed with a critical microbe from any where in the world. This dynamic parallels the frontier in humans as we learn how to feed our guts with what we need. This is a world that has long fascinated Pam Marrone has she pursued research and launched successful business. Now with her latest venture, the Invasive Species Corporation, Pam gives a Farm To Table Talk a peak of the magic underfoot.

www.invasivespeciescorporation.com

www.soilhealthinstitute.org

www.ATTRA.org

Smoke, Fire and Futures – Jaron Brandon

Smoke, fires and climate are a growing issue world wide, seriously impacting food systems and health spans. For our crops or for our health, there is more recognition that something must be done.  One of the youngest County Supervisors in the US, Jaron Brandon sees this as an opportunity to step up, especially if it is not your normal routine.  At a conference of the University of California Ag and Natural Resources (UCANR) Brandon identifies the growing problem and the chance for individuals and their local, state and federal governments to make a difference.  Research and education will find ways to utilize make creative use of forest sourced biomass for new products and even hydrogen fuels. Beyond damaging our lungs the extremely intense fires are even killing the microbiome and limiting the options for nature to return to what it wants to be again.

https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1699/District-5-Meet-Jaron

Create A World We Like – Caleb Wilkins

The world demand for milk, meat and eggs is projected to increase by over 50% to sustain a global population of 9 billion, despite vocal critics calling for  reductions. As in the  past, new ideas and technologies will play a roll in achieving that progress. Caleb Wilkins, is the CEO and Co-founder of Regenerative Agriculture where new concepts such as PastureBox are advancing to supplement traditional systems that could lead to a future where consumers will have adequate supplies of food within a hundred miles of where they live. www.renaissanceag.com

AI Plus NI, Off The Grid – Eddy Garcia

Artificial Intelligence is the current buzz, but real breakthroughs will come when it meets up with Natural Intelligence (NI) as can be found in Maui where Eddy Garcia surfs and farms, off the grid. Eddy is the founder of Living Earth Systems going beyond organic to grow food that replenishes nutrients in the soil and heals the land. Self reliant since the age of 10 he would  run away from home so he could surf all day, ultimately living off-grid on Molokai, where he taught himself how to hunt, produce energy, build shelters, and live off the land. Now he sees that AI could help create innovative system based on decades of living close to Nature, NI.

https://www.livingearthsystems.com

instagram.com/livingearthsystems)

Engaging Communities – Leslie Lytle, DINA

Communities are discovering that they can make their  part of the world work better for themselves and better for the planet. The Danone Institute of North America (DINA) is fostering that progress with grants for, community-based work that promotes sustainable food systems in local communities. Dr. Leslie Lytle, President of the Board and Adjunct Professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina joins Farm To Table Talk to explain how and why this happens. https://www.danoneinstitutena.org

 

 

Farm Mental Health – Caitlin Arnold Stefano

Rural residents can have high rates of depression, substance abuse and completed suicide, and farmers face additional challenges to maintaining their mental health according to Farm Aid. Mental health professionals point to the nature of farming as one likely cause — it is a business largely influenced by factors that are beyond farmers’ control, including weather, disease, pests, prices and interest rates, and which can come and go without warning. They can be isolated, geographically and socially, since they often work alone. They are self-reliant, independent and can be unlikely to ask for help. For over 30 years Farm Aid has offered a place to call for help and suggestions through the Farm Aid Hotline. Now as we learn in a Farm To Table Talk conversation with Farm Aid’s Hotline Program Manager Caitlin Arnold Stephano they are also able to offer hotlne services in Spanish. When starting or surviving on the farm becomes an existential threat, all farmers can call the hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243).

 

Supreme Court’s Food Decision – Dan Sumner, Gene Baur & Michael Olson

Justice Neil Gorsuch in an explanation of the Supreme Court decision to affirm the California law banning the in-state sale of “certain pork products derived from breeding pigs confined in stalls so small they cannot lie down, stand up, or turn around” stated that “while the Constitution addresses many weighty issues, the type of pork chops California merchants may sell is not on that list.” The decision has implications far beyond the cost of pork in California. Dan Sumner, Ag Econ Professor at UC Davis; Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary; and Michael Olson of the Food Chain Radio and Metro Farm join Farm To Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to explore what this decision could mean to consumers, the future of the North American food system and the United States.

www.farmsanctuary.org

www.metrofarm.com

www.are.ucdavis.edu

Cooks Make Good Farmers – Brett Ellis

If farmers can be good cooks, cooks can be good farmers.  Culinary Farmer, Brett Ellis is living proof of that fact with a career that has had him in the kitchen and the farm from the French Laundry in California to Husky Meadows Farm in Connecticut. Husky Meadows Farm capitalizes on Brett’s farm for the kitchen talents in Seed & Spoon, a weekend culinary experience in Norfolk, Connecticut. Farming chef Brett values the connection between farmers and cooks and embraces the fact that everyone can grow, prepare and eat delicious food. www.huskymeadowsfarm.com

Beyond Kids, Cows, Sows & Plows – Brent Hales, UC ANR

Collaboration and communication are community building tools of Cooperative Extension where modern engagement goes way beyond kids, cows, sows and plows. Communities sense and seek a better future but struggle to succeed without collaboration that can tap in to new scientific and human resources. Extension is stepping up. Dr. Brent Hales, brings  proven experience to the University of California Ag and Natural Resources to the position of associate vice president of for research and cooperative extension to strengthen partnership, build trust, address challenges and define a 2040 strategic vision. www.ucanr.edu

Earth & Our Inflammation – Rupa Marya, MD

From farms to citizens of the world,  inflammation causes disease and makes health impossible. Part of the social milieu that is impacting the body also includes the soil and includes how we treat the Earth and how we treat ourselves in the way we work with the Earth. Global transformation will need recognition that farming is medicine for the health of all life and of earth itself. That is a message shared at an Eco Farm  conference, a Farm To Table Talk podcast and in the book Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice by Dr. Rupa Marya: physician, writer, musician, mother, farmer\’s wife and Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco.  In addition to her extensive engagement in support of indigenous communities, she is the lead singer and composer of a globe circling band, Rupa and the April Fishes. www.deepmedicine.org

 

SuppleMental Solution – Clare Hasler-Lewis

The generally acknowledged number one diet today is the Mediterranean Diet but it’s not easy for most people to stay with it day in and day out.  A supplemental solution is on hand when three of the healthiest core ingredients of a Mediterranean Diet: olives, grapes and tomatoes are extracted to create a Mediterranean Supplement. Dr. Clare Hasler-Lewis is an expert on functional foods and nutraceuticals with over 35 years of diet and health research and education experience. She has chosen the healthiest ingredients from Olives, Grapes, and Tomatoes, three core Mediterranean Diet foods, to create Olivino, the first Mediterranean Diet Supplement.

https://olivinolife.com

Hub’n Spokes – Ken Rapoport and Nick Miniter

Over 125 new farm ‘spokes’ are being established in New England around the Azuluna Farms hub.  It’s a model that could be replicated where new farmers are needed when current farmers are aging out and scale required today puts farming out of reach for most who would love to jump in. Ken Rapoport is co-founder and farmer at Azuluna Farms. He was a  successful technology entrepreneur for most of his career and is now dedicated to building a more humane, sustainable, and healthy future for people, animals, and the land through sustainable farming.  A departure from the traditional food systems, Azuluna bolsters regional economies with a holistic model that benefits the land, animal welfare, consumer health, and community wellness. Azuluna’s regenerative farming network also makes higher quality, locally sourced/raised foods available to those who are trying to eat more sustainably. Ken and Nick Miniter, Azuluna’s Director of Ag Operations takes us from Spokes to Hub to Tables.

www.azulunafoods.com     www.azulunafarms.com

 

Nature Can Fix It – Tim LaSalle

Nature can solve problems for people although people created most of nature’s problems in the first place, beginning 10,000 years ago. Tim LaSalle of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at Chico State is spearheading a project on implementing regenerative practices to improve soil and water utilization on farm land near the Colorado River in Blythe California. With support from the LA based Metropolitan Water District priority is being given to truly nature based solutions that will have climate and economic implications world wide. It begins with a respect for how nature cured itself in times before chemicals and tillage.

Farm Fueled Plates- Chef Aaron Allan

Delicious food, locally sourced, is featured today in restaurants all over, from large cities to rural small towns, coast to coast and border to border. This is a welcome trend for farmers and consumers that should last. In Versailles Ohio, Silas Creative Kitchen Executive Chef Aaron Allen is part of this movement to farm-fueled restaurants. His 14-year career has brought him all over the country to cook in famed restaurants, but is now collaborating with Hotel Versailles’ very own farmer, Katie Bensman, to bring a high-caliber farm-to-table restaurant to small-town rural Ohio.

https://www.hotelversaillesohio.com/silas-creative-kitchen

 

 

 

Farmers Need Helpers – Blake Hurst

Even new local farmers eventually reach a stage that they can’t do it all themselves and need helpers.  First they put crazy hours in working harder and harder, then after family or friends are maxed they turn to finding other workers. More farmers are having to look to foreign sources such as through the H2A program. Former President of the Missouri Farm Bureau, Blake Hurst is a grain and greenhouse farmer  in north west Missouri who had found local labor sufficient since the 1980s.  Times have changed, maybe permanently and our Farm To Table Talk story begins with Blake meeting Carlos and Juan at the Kansas City airport arriving from Guadalajara. https://blake8dd.substack.com/

Food Connects Us – Chef Stephanie Michalak White

Food tells what makes us tick. From farm to table it is the deep and meaningful connector to everyone. Chef Stephanie White has come to that philosophy with a journey from a New England organic farm to professional kitchens in a variety of roles in different types of establishments, including small businesses, pop-ups, high-end catering, high-volume cookery, and farm to table restaurants. A Chef Instructor with the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Chef Stephanie has designed curriculum, taught, and catered for a teaching kitchen located on Turner Farms in Cincinnati, Ohio, educating the local community to use local, seasonal ingredients. Chef/students are helped to find their passion for seasonal and plant-based eating, sustainable practices, ending food insecurity, the role of self-care in the culinary industry, food as medicine, local food sourcing and being a food connector. www.escoffier.edu

Growing A Dream – Farmer Lee Jones

Farming is just a dream for some and a dream come true for Farmer Lee Jones, a regenerative farmer who is leading the way regenerating the soil , promoting biodiversity, and creating a closed-loop system where waste is minimized and resources are conserved. The family-owned regenerative enterprise grows more than 600 varieties of the most flavorful and nutritious vegetables, herbs, and microgreens to culinary professionals and home cooks across the country.The result is not only healthier and more productive land, but a more resilient food system that can withstand the impacts of climate change, and a more sustainable future for generations to come.

https://www.chefs-garden.com

https://www.farmerjonesfarm.com

https://www.instagram.com/farmerleejones

Giving A Damn – Will Harris

Food, farms and earth will be better if more people give a damn.  Will Harris does. He has worked as a cowboy and a rancher for decades, but now calls himself a land steward and herdsman. At White Oak Pastures in SouthWest Georgia, over 150 employees work together to raise, process, and ship meat from 10 species of livestock to loyal customers. And while they are proud of the grassfed and pasture-raised meats that they sell, their business centers around one central goal: regenerate the land. As White Oak Pastures moved toward regenerative agriculture, they acquired nearby farmland and grew from 1,000 acres to around 5,000 acres . Much of the new acreage was cracked and dried monoculture crop land that they have turned  into perennial pasture using age old methods: animal impact, rotational grazing, and holistic land management. Beyond the farm and processing, they have a store, restaurant,  lodging and and they are a Savory Institute hub. www.whiteoakpastures.com

 

 

 

Peace Corps Wants You – Kerry Carmichael & Rashad Thacker

When you’re not sure if you’re where you should be and doing what you could be doing, maybe Peace Corps is for you.  Since President Kennedy launched the Peace Corps in the 60’s, thousands of volunteers have found a corner of the world where they could make a difference. Today there is a shortage of volunteers with agricultural interest and experience. Volunteers who range in age from their early 20’s to their early 80’s are dispersed around the world for two years or shorter term engagements. Kerry Carmichael and Rashad Thacker have been volunteers themselves and now recruit others to experience the rewards of using their energy and talents to help communities help themselves. Kerry Carmichael is a Peace Corps recruiter whose territory includes the North and East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area and California’s Central Valley. He primarily recruits leads for the traditional 27-month immersive Peace Corps program. Rashad Thacker is a recruitment and placement specialist in the office of Peace Corps Response, a program that offers short-term, high-impact positions for experienced professionals.  www.peacecorps.gov

Goats are G.O.A.T.- Aaron Steele

Humans take turns as the temporary stewards of Earth but the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) earth helpers may just be the humble goat. With a passion for practical conservation, sustainable agriculture, and rural living, an idea was born with goats to grow beyond the hobby stage, to produce  food profitably, while avoiding many of the pitfalls of conventional agriculture. Aaron Steele, Co-founder and owner of Goats On the Go has led the good fight against noxious weeds, brush and invasive plant species from suburbs, to public lands and a burgeoning frontier of solar farms.  With herds of goats and sheep available to help nature, Aaron Steele shares how they have grown a network of independent, local targeted grazing affiliates and expanded with complimentary brands; now including Barnyard Discoveries Affiliates delivering farm-positive education at the local level.

Doctor’s Orders – Edye Kuyper

Food will be just what the Doctor ordered.  Prescriptions for medicine from a pharmacy is normal but prescriptions of food from markets, stores, farms or our own garden may become the new normal.  Recognizing the role of good nutrition and even the therapeutic contribution of growing our own foods has led to Doctors and county level health centers finding ways to help low income families.  Edye Kuyper is the Food and Wellness Manager of the Communicare Food Program in Yolo County California. She shares how getting healthy foods early  in life directly contribute to lower rates of chronic diseases when people are getting foods in a medical context.  This new dynamic of medical prescribed food connects local farms, community gardens, SNAP shopping, farmers markets and aspiring gardeners–healthy families and healthy communities from farm to table.

https://communicarehc.org/food-is-medicine/https://allin.acgov.org/recipe4health-main-page/

Bridge Ag to the Future – Jack Hanson

Building a bridge from where Agriculture is now to where the public and policy makers want it to go is advisable.  Even for the best of reasons ranchers are not able to just flip a switch to new prevailing expectations without suffering from unintended and under considered consequences. States like California that are out front with new initiatives make it especially difficult to be competitive with producers in states that aren’t making such big moves.  Jack Hanson, Willow Creek Ranch, is a cow-calf rancher in Lassen County  has experienced the opportunities and recognizes the challenges that a bridge to the future might address.

Eco Farm Eco Fish

If we reimagine how water flows across our landscape, we can help both fish and our farms.  At Eco Farm in Pacific Grove, California that was the message to farmers from all over the world from a popular keynote presentation by Jacob Katz, the Lead Scientist with California Trout. Mas Masomoto, legendary Organic pioneer sets the stage for the stimulating ideas that always surface at ECO Farms when surprise and promise float to the surface, even from our rivers. www.caltrout. org www.eco-farm.org

Meetings of the MInds – Tara VanderDussen, Natalie Kovarik

It’s Meeting Season for farmers and others in the food chain when they gather to agree to disagree and ultimately find middle ground (or high ground). What’s decided when they put their heads together can impact public policy and public opinion.  To cover  this critical process Natalie Kovarik and Tara VanderDussen followed the American Farm Bureau to Puerto Rico where 5,000 farmers assembled to claim the high ground. Tara, an environmental scientist/dairy farmer and Natalie, a pharmacist/rancher, share lives and agriculture stories online as a way to build a community around Ag and contribute their voices to an in industry and lifestyle they are extremely passionate about. Their Discover Ag is a docuseries + podcast that pioneers conversation around relevant and trending topics is Agriculture.

Loving Land – Andy Breiter

Owning land isn’t a prerequisite to loving land, regenerating land and producing healthy food. Andy Breiter does not own a single acre of land since beginning in 2020 but has grown a land base to approximately 400 acres across 7 non contiguous parcels. It has been done through building partnerships with private and public land owners. The focus of the business is utilizing livestock to regenerate land and  working to create healthy land to produce healthy food. This approach provides unique sources of revenue to create ecosystem service contracts with landowners and grant projects with NGOs. Some contracts deal with grazing animals for noxious weeds, others for increased fertility, and fire mitigation contracts. Owning land is not required.

www.gramagrasslivestock.com

Climate, Justice and Deep Roots (Continued) – Liz Carlisle

Powerful movements are happening in our food system and Liz Carlisle, the author of Healing Grounds shares a glimpse of these movements at Eco Farm and on an earlier 2022 episode of Farm To Table.  Liz is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on food and farming. Born and raised in Montana, she got hooked on agriculture while working as an aide to organic farmer and U.S. Senator Jon Tester, which led to a decade of research and writing collaborations with farmers in her home state. She has written three books about regenerative farming and Agroecology: Lentil Underground (2015), Grain by Grain (2019, with co-author Bob Quinn), and most recently, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (2022). She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology, from Harvard University. Prior to her career as a writer and academic, she spent several years touring rural America as a country singer.

 

 

Plant Based Steaks – Eric Miller

For holiday dinners, when your guests like both the idea of “plant based” and the taste of animal protein, there is a way to work-around. Vegan options may still need to be offered because this work-around is serving beef from cattle that were raised on a plant based diet. For the most part the plants the cattle consumed are largely cellulose such as grass that people can’t digest but when converted by ruminant animals it can be both nutritious and delicious. Since overeating through the holidays is often followed by going back to the gym, some animal protein can come in handy. Grass fed rib-eyes and filets are on the menu at our house, so for this episode of Farm To Table Talk we return to a podcast from last winter with East Sacramento Butcher, Eric Velman, V Miller Meats, who provided the conversion and connection between our holiday table and the plant based pastures where Christmas Eve Dinner began.

Buffalo Stone Woman – Latrice Tatsey

After near extinction, the in-nii (American Bison) are slowly returning to Native American tribes who have the resources to run reintroduction programs. Latrice Tatsey, Buffalo Stone Woman, is an ecologist and cattle producer who advocates for tribally-directed bison restoration and regenerative cattle grazing. Currently, she is a graduate student in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences studying how the reintroduction of in-nii (American Bison) contributes to changes in soil characteristics. Researching how the return of the in-nii (American Bison) will influence soil, plant, water, energy, and mineral cycles shows the relationship the in-nii (American Bison) have to the land. Latrice wants to continue to conduct research involving land and creating ways to be better land stewards so that we can protect Mother Earth for future generations. Buffalo Stone Woman shares the vision with Farm To Table Talk and Eco-Farm.

Hi Tech Hi Touch – Julie Guthman

‘High Tech High Touch’ is an early Silicon Valley term that implies a dynamic paradox.  It is still a paradox in today’s agriculture where “faster/bigger” and “slower/smaller” each have a wave.  In the wake of this wave, Social Scientists like Dr. Julie Guthman of the University of California in Santa Cruz are asking “how do you bring digital products to a biological production system?” The tried and true Silicon Valley ways don’t always work for the split personalities of today and tomorrow’s farms. Dr. Guthman is a geographer and professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she conducts research on the conditions of possibility for food system transformation in the US. jguthman@ucsc.edu

Slow Water Wins – Erica Gies

Slow water always wins however we can still thrive in this emerging age of climate change caused drought and deluges. Erica Gies has written a book,  about “Slow Water” innovations that are helping us adapt to the increasing water dilemmas. Respect for water’s winning ways is where it all begins as this Journalist/Author shares the ways we must work for smart and slow water systems at the Eco Farm. Erica is an award-winning independent journalist and National Geographic Explorer, writing about water, climate change, plants, and animals for Scientific American, the New York Times, Nature, National Geographic, the Guardian, and other outlets. She co-founded two environmental news startups, Climate Confidential and This Week in Earth.    www.eco-farm.org/conference

Resource-fullness Required – Michael Kilpatrick

Farmers face challenges ranging from rising costs for them to low prices to them and seemingly endless regulations that need more time and attention than they have the ability to give. They need to be more resourceful than ever, whether they have been farming for generations or just coming in to it from a non-farming background, Michael Kilpatrick has been helping farmers make resourceful, sometimes ‘rogue’ adjustments in their plans, execution and results that yield desired incomes.  In podcasts and events including the  annual Rogue Food Conference, the attainable goal is Thriving Farmers.

www.growingfarmers.com   www.farmsummits.com  www.thrivingfarmerpodcast.com

Alexa, Got Pesticide? – Karen Morrison

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has reached a multimillion-dollar legal agreement with online retail giant Amazon.com Services, LLC. (Amazon) for the illegal sale of pesticides in California.Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will pay DPR a total of $4.97 million – $3.69 million in unpaid pesticide sales assessment fees and related late penalties, and $1.28 million in civil penalties associated with retail sales of unregistered pesticides into California. Amazon also agreed to register as a pesticide broker, and report and pay the mill assessment associated with all future retail sales of registered pesticides into California. Karen Morrison, Chief Deputy Director and Science Advisor to the DPR explains how the regulation of crop protection materials is extending into cyber space boundaries to protect the public .  www.cdpr.ca.gov

Angus Wright, Ramon Gonzales – Steve Gliessman

Thirty years ago “The Death of Ramon Gonzalez was published and subsequently began making an impression on thousands of people around the world with, as Wes Jackson of The Land Institute said,” a new way of looking at the tragic human and environmental consequences of chemical-dependent agriculture”. The author of this ground breaking book, Angus Wright recently passed away after a productive life.  For the author of a book that begins with a death from chemical agriculture in Mexico, it seems fitting that the death of the author Angus Wright should begin with a review of lessons learned, progress made and what more is needed for “modern agriculture.” To help with this journey I’m pleased to welcome, Steve Gliessman farmer, retired University of California Santa Cruz professor, one of the first guests on Farm to Table Talk and an author himself– he literally wrote the book on Agroecology.

Wendell’s Wisdom – Wendell Berry

 

Wendell Berry has shared his unique wisdom for over 50 years in over 50 books. The new book,”The Need To Be Whole” was introduced by Wendell himself at the Kentucky Book Festival at the Joseph-Beth Book Sellers in Lexington, Kentucky. Farm To Table Talk host, Rodger Wasson was there to hear Wendell wisdom first hand. All of Wendell’s books are worth a read but “The Unsettling of America” is especially appropriate in these unsettled times. It is wonderful to hear Wendell in person and is almost as good to once again listen to the conversation he had in 2014 with Bill Moyers. To commemorate a special weekend in Kentucky with Wendell we’re bringing back this conversation of Wendell Berry and Bill Moyers.  It is a production of the Schumann Media Center and         Mannes production.  www.Berry Center.org

Food Communicates – Wyatt Ball

Food communicates origin, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and global health upstream, downstream and around our tables. Progressive brands realize that in a true cost accounting future, they will need to be able to provide a suite of environmental impact metrics that go beyond just carbon to include soil, health, water data and biodiversity metrics. Wyatt Ball, Land to Market’s Client Success Manager sheds a light on the responsible brand journey that starts on farms or ranches and ends on our plate. www.landtomarket.com

Frontiers Below – Ben Cloud

Sequestering atmospheric carbon and placing it in soil  will be a part of the solution to climate change and greater economic resilience and security. Ben Cloud, CEO of BodelAG has commercialized a plant extract discovery with broad  application to improve the health and economic welfare of humans, animals, and plants. The loss of soil’s microbial biomass and the functionality the microbes provide causes a loss of ability to cycle carbon and nutrients. Then soil health declines, along with water holding capacity and crop water use efficiency, resulting in excessive water and fertilizer inputs, and their associated costs, as well as an accumulation of salts. The frontier is below us. www.biodelag.com

 

Creation Curation – Chef Travis Passerotti

Creation takes place in our food chain at the farm, in the kitchen and in our favorite restaurants that “curate” a tasting experience to be savored and remembered. At the Tasting Kitchen in Los Angeles, Executive Chef Travis Passeroti creates daily hand written menus that curate the best of what is on offer that day from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and other select local suppliers and farmers. Chef Travis and the award winning food program at the The Tasting Kitchen display a passion for sustainably sourced ingredients and expert knowledge of local food communities.

https://www.thetastingkitchen.com

Our Resilient Alternatives – Joel Salatin & Ben Glassen

Resilience is what’s needed for a viable food system and there are more resilient alternatives available today than ever. The supply disruption and fragility exposed by the pandemic highlights the overlooked advantages of smaller local food suppliers. With food costs from the global system climbing, the price gap between the big and the small operations has shrunk. The author of 15 books, thousands of speeches around the world and founder of Polyface Farms, Joel Salatin understands and shares the opportunity he sees. Ben Glassen is one of thousands who have been inspired by Joel’s wisdom and vision. He has established his own version on Vancouver Island in British Columbia by adhering to these principles: detaching land ownership; mobile/modular infrastructure; and direct marketing. In conversation Joel and Ben agree that this is an exciting time of resilient alternatives for farmers, would-be farmers and their customers. www.polyfacefarms.com  www.glassenfarm.com

Hunger’s Not Right, Or Left – Chef Mulvaney, White House

50 years ago the White House conducted a conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. It has finally happened again as President Biden announced a national plan for ending hunger in the United States by 2030 with these actions: 1) Improve food access and affordability; 2) Integrate nutrition and health; 3) Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices; 4) Support physical activity for all; and 5) Enhance nutrition and food security research. Chef Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L and Chef Santana Diaz of UC Davis Health traveled to Washington from Sacramento with an invitation to participate and then shared some of what they learned from a taxi leaving the conference and in a Clubhouse room that was opened to further the conversation. WHHungerHealth@hhs.gov

Pigs In Space – Pete Lammers

When most consumers buy pork chops or bacon, it seldom occurs to them to wonder how much space does a pig need?  That question is increasingly coming up to supermarkets, restaurants, curious consumers and their legislators.  The pig space question focuses on the stage between a female hog (sow or gilt) being bred and giving birth to a littler of pigs 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days later.  In that time many are confined in individual stalls about 7 feet long and a couple feet wide.  California is one of the states that have banned this part of the pork production system after voters supported Proposition 12.  The California law goes further, even banning the sales of pork products when ‘gestation crates’ were used, whether produced in California or other states. The US Supreme Court gets the last word on this issue.  Dr. Pet Lammers is Associate Professor of Animal Scienc in the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture.  Pete was raised near Johnsburg, MN on a farrow-to-finish pig farm. He earned a B.S. from UW-River Falls and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University with majors in Animal Science and Sustainable Agriculture. He has researched pork production systems and teaches an upper level course in livestock production for niche markets.

Farm To Bridge – Chef Nina Curtis

“Food to live for” could be the theme of Sacramento’s annual harvest celebration of the regions pride in being America’s Farm To Fork Capitol. Talented chefs and local farmers are joined by the whole region including over 300,000 food appreciative consumers at a weekend street festival with music and food for all tastes. One of the most coveted tickets in town gets you dinner with 850 fellow farm to fork fans on the historic Tower Bridge provided by a team of celebrated local chefs, including: Nina Curtis of Plant’ish & Co, Tyler Bond of Lemon Grass, Patrick Prager, Q Bennett of Q1227 and Greg Desmangles of Urban Roots and Brad Cecchi of Canon.

www.visitsacramento.com

Growing Water – Greg Pruett & Terry Paule

Some of the most productive farmland in the world has been knocked out of production by an historic drought. And in California alone over a million citizens lack access to clean drinking water and according to the California Dry Well Reporting System, communities have reported that 966 wells have gone dry this year. If this isn’t a crisis what is? When we look for solutions we may need to look for clues on our plates. Tomatoes are over 95% water, much of which can be removed before the production of ketchup, sauce, soups, salsa and the other products that are how most tomatoes are consumed. . Greg Pruett, President of Ingomar Packing and Terry Paule,Co-founder and CEO of Botanical Water (BWT) explain that their new venture is producing potable water (safe to drink) from tomatoes during the tomato harvesting season. The technology has been proven in applications in Australia over the last few years, but the BWT partnership with Ingomar marks the first offering in the United States. Plans are to expand to other Californian regions, other States in the US, Mexico, and India, to provide water harvested from plant-based processors, such as sugar mills, fruit and vegetable concentrators, to scarce and high risk regions.   There are over 10,000 food processor sites globally with a combined ability to harvest 264 billion gallons of water per year. Every drop is needed. www.wegrowwater.com www.ingomarpacking.com

Global to Local Fertilizer – Matt Simpson

1 in 3 people worldwide didn’t have access to adequate food in 2021, up 350 million from pre pandemic levels. How can agriculture address this widening gulf in the global food supply– becoming more sustainable and efficient? Potash is one of the most prominent minerals used in agricultural fertilization and is sourced and transported in great quantities from far off countries like Russia and Belarus. New locally-sourced mining operations are being developed, such as in the Autazes region of Brazil. Brazil is the second largest potash consumer in the world and 96% of it is imported although it could be an important global supplier. Matt Simpson, the CEO of Brazil Potash, explains the venture that will. help feed millions all over the world, while also helping to reduce the carbon footprint. www.brazilpotash.com

More Than The Dough – Drew Levich

When you’ve had it with the corporate track, why not take a step towards changing the world? Drew Levich took that step because he believes that each of us can make a difference.  He created “Drew’s Cookies” with the underlying purpose to demonstrate that it is simple to be a change maker.  In addition to marketing cookies and popcorn, they are donating a share of profits to environmental charities, planting trees, using earth friendly packaging and other steps that can make you proud to be enjoying cookies and popcorn.  From farm to table, food can taste good and do good.
drewscookies.com

Safe and Sustainable – Julie Henderson

If pesticide residues are discovered in California, it is more likely from imports than state grown. Controlling pests any where must be a priority to be done safely and sustainably.  That’s a key part of the job for Julie Henderson, the Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Formerly the Deputy Secretary for Public Policy at the California EPA, her vision is for collaboration, equity and sustainability  that supports a thriving agricultural sector while elevating public health and the environment. Whether in California or other states and countries, it’s an impossible task without government engagement.  www.cdpr.ca.gov

Logical Bio – Adrian Ferrero

Diverse soil biology affects the farm and our evolving food system. It starts with decoding soil biology using a global data base of millions of microorganisms to both analyze which microbes are currently present and exactly what role they are playing. Adrian Ferrero, a co-founder of Biome Makers, joins Farm To Table Talk to explain the logic of a biological future with implications for the whole food chain, from farm to table. www.biomemakers.com

Farm Food Focused System – Corwin Heatwole

More than just good yields, successful farming increasingly needs to function in a system that connects the farm with customers looking for food that meets their desires, beyond just taste and price. Corwin Heatwole, the founder and CEO of Farmer Focus has created a system for chicken farmers that is an alternative too being large “integrator” dependent or too small to be financially viable. Farmer Focus is the #1 exclusively organic chicken company in the US, partnering with over 70 independent farmers who continue to improve the standards on raising chickens organically and humanely. www.farmerfocus.com

Know More Grow More – Dr.Thelma Velez

 

The road to regenerative resilience will require knowledge gained from research and then implemented by farmers committed to continuous improvement.  That necessary research will have to cost governments and organizations in the short term and pay society in the long term. This was part of the message of Dr. Thelma Velez, the Research and Education Program Manager of the Organic Farming Research Foundation that she presented to the US House Agriculture Committee and now shares with Farm To Table Talk. www.ofrf.org

Eyes In The Sky – Vera Petryk

Mitigating Climate Change will require implementing a data driven approach on every level of the business of agriculture. An agriculture-oriented satellite constellation will provide a critical perspective on the size and condition of nearly everything we grow to eat, nearly every where in the world.  EOS SAT provides eyes in the sky to enable each food sector to introduce smart er sustainable agriculture practices to ensure the security of the food supply on Earth. From Kiev, Ukraine Vera Petryk , the Chief Marketing Officer shares the vision and journey of space pioneers to effect food production in a climate challenged future on Earth. www.eossat.com

Farm In A Box – Jake Felser

Effective climate change actions can be on a spectrum from ‘mitigation’ that reduces emissions to ‘adaptation’ — recognition that the the crisis may no longer be avoidable but humans will figure out new ways to live in a hotter world. The necessary adaptations will include new ways and new places to farm, such as shipping containers that allow food to be produced year round adjacent to restaurants or stores and by farmers who may not be able to afford traditional farm acreage or no longer have a suitable climate. Jake Felser is the Chief Tech Officer of Freight Farms, a Boston-based company using shipping containers to create hydroponic farms – on their mission to make fresh food accessible to anyone, anywhere, any time. www.FreightFarms.com

Good Food For All – Asma Lateef

Farmers grow enough food, yet with extreme weather events, war, pandemic, inflation and more, there are hundreds of millions of people in danger of hunger and famine. Sustainable development goals are being pursued to get the world back on track to end hunger and poverty.  Asma Lateef, the Policy Lead for the SDG2 Advocacy Hub is bringing together NGOs, agricultural networks, nutritionists, campaigners, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to co-ordinate advocacy efforts and achieve Good Food For All by 2030. www.SDG2.org

Tesla-ish Cows – Frank Mietloehner

For the good of the climate let’s just stop driving cars. That sounds ridiculous when you can obtain more efficient cars or hybrids, plug-ins and EV’s . Why shouldn’t the same logic apply for the critics of beef consumption? It turns out that some cows are the Teslas and others are gas guzzlers. Just like efficient climate friendly cars there are climate friendly cows producing more milk and/or meat per unit of Green House Gases than the inefficient models. Just make the right choices in transportation and in what you eat. You don’t have to give up cars and you don’t have to give up beef, but you should encourage the car makers and the ranchers who are taking the right steps. This is logical if you think about it but it still isn’t sinking in so Farm To Table Talk is bringing back this conversation with Dr. Frank Mitloener the Director the Clear Center at UC Davis. He explains that most of the arable land in the world cannot be used to produce crops but can be used for forages and grazing. Four stomached ruminants like elk, deer, bison, cattle, goats and sheep are masters of conversion.

Mother Earth’s Pulse – Tony Roelofs

Mother Earth is under the weather, but don’t take her “pulse” just yet.  In the common usage “pulse” is a vital sign, however another usage is a vital food. Food shortages, impacted by soaring gas prices and inflation, are affecting people in need and their ability to access staple foods. Food banks are busier than ever before. In this environment pulses such as beans, lentils and peas sustainably fill an important need for affordable nutrition.  Tony Roelofs, the Vice President of the Pulse Division of Columbia Grain International explains how thousands of farms in the nation’s ‘pulse’ belt are stepping up to produce supplies for the new Balanced  Bushel for programs for expanded Section 32 programs.  www.columbiagrain.com

Amish Ways – Adam Rick

Wendell Berry’s writings favorably compare the ways of Amish farming to the high stress modern conventional farming by “the English”. In surprising ways Amish farms offer regenerative leadership that are a modern contrast in a horse and buggy society. Through his own Modern Frontier Farm and an Amish Cooperative, Adam Rick finds that Amish farms are especially well-suited to these times when consumers want to know how their food is grown. As the average age of American farmers is pushing in to six decades plus, more young Amish farmers are stepping up to grow their business in ways that meet the future head on. Adam Rick shares his journey and what he is learning on social media, Clubhouse app and Farm To Table Talk. www. Amodernfrontier.com

Fabulous Food Celebration – Baconfest Chefs

Festivals celebrate our favorite foods and  since bacon is a favorite for many it deserves a delicious festival.  Across the country, chefs, consumers and farmers have come together in celebration of bacon in events known as BaconFests.  In the acclaimed Farm to Fork Capitol, Sacramento California, Farm to Table Talk joins the Bacon Fest festivities in conversation with talented and enthusiastic chefs, including: Patrick Mulvaney, Mulvaney’s B&L; Dennis Sydnor, Renegade Dining, Bucky Bray, Canon; Brian Guido, Baconfest founder; Chris Barnum-Dann, Localis; Gregory Desmargles, Urban Roots Brewery and Smokehouse; Ravine Patel, Hyatt Centric Sacramento; Lauren Petri and Ryan Visker, Nixtaco; Elena Winks, Franquette; and Scott Williams, Moksa Brewing Company.  The winner of the 11th Guido Cup for top entry went to Juan and Kristin Barajas, Woodland’s Savory Cafe.

Plans, Plants and Planet – Tim Crews

Food can have a positive impact on the land and our communities. “But our planet is in danger and it’s time for us to think even bigger.” These words of wisdom are surprisingly to be found on a climate smart Kernza Grain cereal by Cascadian Farm. Thanks to the research and development at the Land Institute in Salina Kansas, the deep rooted, soil healthy perennial grain will store more carbon, prevent soil erosion and preserve clean water. Plus it makes nutritious tasty cereal and soon other food products. Tim Crews is the Chief Scientist at the Land Institute and a believer in what perennial plants like Kernza can offer the planet. www.landinstitute.org

 

Mind, Body and SOIL Connection – Kate Kavanaugh

The health of land and the health of bodies are connected.  Or as Kate Kavanaugh explains it\’s about mind, body and soil. Kate is a butcher, a farmer, a newly podcast host and more — all existing within the regenerative ag space. As a butcher, she founded Western Daughters Butcher shop in Denver featuring local grass fed beef,  pork and chicken from local regenerative farms. As a farmer, she raises low-PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) pork and poultry (chicken, duck, and goose) focusing on feed and frequent rotation to optimize omega-3 content for the meat it becomes. As a  podcast host the focus is  on the interconnected themes of Mind, Body, and Soil. www.groundwork.com\"\"

More Sheep, Better – Rick Stott

 

\"\"Sheep may be today’s most popular animal for a new breed of sustainable farmers and ranchers with new consumers who are discovering a taste for lamb, raised right. To meet this opportunity lamb processor Superior Farms and sheep producers from six states have launched a state-of-the-art sheep facility, in Nephi, Utah. Superior Farms CEO, Rick Stott explains that the venture will converge the farming methods of traditional lamb production with advanced sheep industry technologies, production practices and genetics, resulting in a more consistent and sustainable lamb production model that will benefit the entire American lamb industry, from farm to table. www.superiorfarms.com\"\"

Seeds Save Us – Dylan Bruce

Seeds are the source of all food.  Will seeds save us? The FAO reports that only nine crop species now account for the majority of the world’s food supply. There has been a 90% decrease in plant breeding diversity since the early 1900’s. Farmers are not able to save seeds for future planting that are protected by intellectual property laws and 4 corporations control 70% of the current  $90+ billion seed system. As Co-Founder of Seed Linked, Dylan Bruce thinks of that future, focusing on no-till vegetable production, seed breeding and seed production for organic and reduced-tillage systems. Global food security begins and ends with seeds. www.seedlinked.com

\"\"

Earthwhile Endeavor – Sally Calhoun

Worthwhile endeavors that are to protect and regenerate the Earth, must be\"\" \”Earthwhile\”. Nestled in the heart of California\’s San Benito County among  sweeping oak-studded hillsides,  Paicines Ranch is habitat for a diversity of wildlife including animals, birds, insects, trees, plants, grasses, springs, rivers, and  more. Ranch owner,Sally Callhoun says their mission is to work with the dynamic natural world at the ranch to regenerate the health of the ecosystem from the soil up while growing delicious, nourishing food for their community: 100% grassfed beef, lamb, pork, and turkeys. They  also host a variety of  weddings, corporate events and workshops. This earthwhile endeavor becoming a place where people convene and ecosystems are regenerated. www.paicinesranch.com

Healing Grounds Heals Us – Liz Carlisle

\"\"Regenerative agriculture can significantly curb climate change, but only if it’s coupled with racial and land justice.  UC Santa Barbara professor and writer Liz Carlisle\’s  book, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming  explores how  we got here and how we heal the earth and the food system. Along the way she shares the stories of female farmers of color who are reviving ancestral methods of growing food, reclaiming their communities’ relationship to land, and tackling climate change. Truly implementing regenerative ag will require reckoning with agricultural history and dismantling power structures that discriminate against farmers of color.

·

Better Farming – Jonathan Lundgren

A food system revolution is under way that begins with farming better. From his Blue Dasher Farm in South Dakota and the non-profit Ecdysis Foundation, Jonathan Lundgren professes that \”we can grow food and conserve biodiversity and environmental health\” by making innovative practices scalable and transferable to as many farms as possible . Nothing less than a paradigm shift is anticipated as soon as  farmers are ready to farm in nature’s image. www.ecdysis.bio.hub www.bluedasher.farm

\"\"

 

Powers of Regeneration – Jesse McDougal

\"\"Caroline and Jesse McDougall work everyday to build abundance, diversity, and resilience on their farm in rural southern Shaftbury Vermont. Studio Hill Farm transitioned from conventional chemical management to organic holistic management in 2012.  To rehabilitate 250+ acres of degraded land, they raise sheep, pigs and poultry on pasture and use regenerative management to foster healthy, biologically-active soils—something they’ve mastered to become a Savory Influencer Hub. In order to help pay the bills and ensure that their family farm thrives for generations to come, they have added partnership in a meat processing plant, including tanning capabilities and  agri-tourism as an auxiliary source of income.  They have accessed the capitol needed for expansion through a partnership with Steward—a private commercial lender offering business loans to regenerative farms and ranches. studiohill.farm

Farm Days for Farm Daze – Senator Jim Patterson

\"\"Almost 50 years ago the Agriculture Council of America started National Ag Day. Since then across America, agriculture has been recognized and celebrated on a day or all week in March of every year. It is based on the belief that everyone should:understand how food and fiber products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.In this episode of Farm to Table Talk we’re at Farm Day on the steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento, California where government officials, FFA, Farm organizations and the public are gathering to listen and join in conversations about agriculture in California., where many are still surprised to learn that this state of 40 million people ranks # 1 in Agriculture. Most of the Fruits and Vegetables grown in the US come from California, including over 99 % of figs, almonds, garlic, artichoke, honeydew, sweet rice, plums, raisins, walnuts, peaches, olives, nectarines, pistachios, clover, kiwis, onions, flowers, apricots and pomegranates. However the story is more than the food produced, it’s also the \’culture\’ in agriculture. As he stepped from the Capitol stage at Ag Day, CA Senator Jim Patterson explains to us and the live audience from around the world on Clubhouse why that matters.\"\"

Country Music Country Farming – Barry and Aliceson Bales

\"\"Country music legends and livestock on a farm in East Tennessee surprisingly have something in common.  Aliceson and Barry Bales own a family farm in East Tennessee where they raise grass fed and finished beef, pastured pork and chicken and their CEO (Chief Egg Officer) son has a pastured egg operation.  Aliceson has published a cook book and Barry is a long time musician with Alison Krauss and Union Station (along with a few other folks) and a songwriter. How do you top winning 15 Grammies as well as other awards with CMAs, ACMs and IBMAs., including song of the year at the ACMs for “Nobody to Blame” (co-wrote with Chris Stapleton and Ronnie Bowman) By farming with your family in Greene County Tennessee.                                                www.balesfarmstn.com

 

Local Craft Butcher Shops – Eric V Miller

\"\"Local Butcher Shops are coming back as more consumers want to experience the craft, knowledge and quality assurance of old.  The new version of an old tradition provides local, humanely treated, pasture raised beef, lamb, pork and poultry. Expert butchers not only know how to cut meat, they can answer questions on production practices, menu ideas and cooking instructions. One of the leaders in this butcher shop movement is Eric Veldman Miller and his Butcher Shop in East Sacramento, \”V Miller Meats.\” vmillermeats.com

Your Consumer Segment – Jayson Lusk

\"\"

Food insecurity is a reality for 16% of the public and 32% are waiting for their next pay check before they can buy food. Trends like this matter and are now being discovered by the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability at Purdue University.  The Head of the Center and Head of the Purdue Ag Econ. Department, Dr. Jayson Lusk believes that to be successful in the food business you must understand your consumer segment and what it is that they are caring about. To fill that need Purdue has launched a monthly Sustainable Food Purchasing Index.  What matters in your segment?     www.purdue.ag/cfdas

Make It App \’N – Peggy Meyer

The most hated chore on most farms is paperwork.  From her family farm in Nebraska Peggy Meyer thought there had to be a better way, so she created an app to help farmers manage their paperwork more efficiently.  She felt the pains of time management and record keeping and wanted to build something to help! Somehow between raising 6 kids and farming, she created \”Field Pocket\”.  Peggy believed she could make it App \’N and farms across the MidWest are glad she did. The app is called Field Pocket.\"\"

Quacks In The Field – Farmer Jeff Siewicki

\"\"When we think of pasture sounds, it\’s moo, baaa, or whinnies.  So why not quacks, clucks and honks.? Well poultry in the pasture is the gateway to farming since the aspiring farmers can start with just a few acres, as did Jeff Siewicki in South Carolina. He had to figure out how to start with low investment and no experience but with passion to spare. Ducks have become the poultry preference in his pasture . With a profitable pasture poultry base he now shares how to farm without buying land, without a tractor, without piling up debt and with getting Chefs to feature his duck.

\"\"
https://farmingtribe.com/tabletalk

Bioengineered Now Disclosed – Greg Jaffe

\"\"Some are concerned about whether or not the foods they buy contain GMO, genetically modified organisms, or what USDA refers to as Bioengineered. As a result of a 2016 Bill passed by Congress and signed into Law by President Obama,  USDA regulations have just gone in to effect  that specifies that foods that are bioengineered or contain bioengineered ingredients must disclose that information to consumers with text, symbol, QR code or telephone. Greg Jaffe, the Project Director for Center for Science in the Public Interest shares the the history, major components of the requirement and first impressions of in-store implementation.

https://cspinet.org/news/blog/whos-labeling-what-examining-how-companies-are-disclosing-bioengineered-ingredients

Animals Need Tech Too – Paulo Loureiro, DVM

\"\"Technology in smart phones and watches help people identify current and emerging issues that Doctors can address. Do animals deserve any less?  Rapidly improving technology helps ranchers, farmers and their veterinarians know everything they need to about an animal\’s current condition and anticipate problems that are likely to occur.  Beyond monitoring, DNA technology allows all of the information a chef or an end consumer may want to know about the history of their dinner. Dr. Paulo Loureiro, is Lead  for Global Marketing at Allflex Livestock Intelligence for Merck Animal Health.  He explains the ramifications of these developments including the implications of healthier animals to the Climate.  \"\"

BUYodynamic SOS – Mark Rathbone

\"\"Regenerative? Organic? Real Organic? Non GMO?  Sustainable? Biodynamic? Consumers understandably get confused by the terms when they just want to buy the best food for themselves and their families.  \”Best\” can mean everything from climate to nutrition but always includes taste.  On his \”Save Our Soil\” (SOS) farm in Australia, Mark Rathbone  is a firm believer in Biodynamic and his customers believe he is right especially when they taste what he grows on his farm about 3 hours north of Melbourne. Mark shares his passion and purpose with other farmers around the world and with all of us who want to eat the best and save our soils. www.saveoursoil.com.au

Fair Competition & Resilience in Meat Supply – Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA UnderSecretary

\"\"

President Biden has launched a well-funded action plan for a
\”Fairer, More Competitive and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain.  Jenny Lester Moffitt, the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs says that the new program will effect the entire meat supply chain from farm to table by: expansion of independent processing capacity; jump starting independent processing projects; strengthening finacing systems; and backing private lenders that back these new or expanding independent meat processors.  Country of origin is also a part of the venture. www.usda.gov/meat

Food Chained, Human Trafficking – Anne Ross

There have been major, well-documented problems with child labor overseas in production of various food imports. These foods make their way into the US market–another reason consumers want to know who produced their food. Anne Ross with Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services emphasizes that it isn\’t fair for ethical farmers to have to compete with those who are using forced labor for profit. It\’s even worse that these practices are a direct impact on the liberty of people in addition to the devastating impact on the livelihoods of all the ethical farmers. People often confuse \”human trafficking\” with \”human smuggling.\” but trafficking happens even when no borders are crossed. Unscrupulous recruiters have lured workers with false promises, only to coerce them to work by withholding immigration documents, threatening deportation, withholding pay, or creating a debt that can never be repaid by any amount of work.  Consumers can engage in market place activism by knowing their farmer and knowing how to find information about supply chains. There are resources consumers can use to find out more about where their food came from. \"\"

Makin\’ Bacon Cost More – Dan Sumner

\"\"Bacon crisis? Or not? Since Californians voted to require more space for pigs, chickens and veal calves, consumers have started to worry about  what it will mean for the price and availability of bacon.  The effects will not only be felt in California but nationwide for pig farmers, meat packers, food distributors, restaurants, supermarkets and consumers. UC Davis AG Economists, Daniel Sumner and Rich Sexton have studied the situation and identified what to expect when consumers in one state want production practices followed that are not required in other states.  Professor Sumner explains that the regulations dictate minimum space just for breeding sows. Fresh pork (not processed) ultimately sold in California can only be from California compliant pens that provide 24 square feet  of space per sow instead of the industry standard 20 square feet–requiring farmers to build more space (higher cost) or cut production  (lower income).  That in turn will have a ripple effect through every state with likely implications to future production standards of other food products. ( But there will be bacon.)

https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/568762-californias-animal-welfare-law-caused-hysteria-on-both-sides-here

Make A Living, Not A Killing – Wendell Berry

\"\"“To make a living is not to make a killing. It’s to have enough.” says Wendell Berry  in many ways, in scores of books over the years. As we consider the future of the world we need to reflect on the counsel of Wendell Berry who reminds us that the world will take care of us if we take care of it; knowing and loving it.  If there was a poet laureate for agriculture, it should be Wendell Berry. A few years ago the renowned Bill Moyers was successful in interviewing Wendell and he agreed we could share that conversation as a Farm To Table Talk podcast. As a capstone to a challenging year and a message that inspires us for another New Year, we once again bring back this conversation of Wendell Berry and Bill Moyers that originally aired on October 4, 2014 as a production of the Schumann Media Center and Mannes production.  www.BerryCenter.org.

The people who produced the original show are acknowledged here. Produced & Directed by ELENA MANNES; Editor DONNA MARINO; Director of Photography PETER NELSON; Art Direction DALE ROBBINS; Sound ROGER PHENIX; Coordinating Producer KRISTIN LOVEJOY; Associate Producers JESSICA BARI, RENIQUA ALLEN; Additional Camera JAY McCAIN, CHIP SWETNAM; Lighting Director DAN CUNNINGHAM; Grips MIKE DICKMAN, JAMES WISE; Make-up TAMARA LEE; Data Management LUKE STALEY; Production Assistant DAVID ZACHERY; Assistant Editor SCOTT GREENHAW.  Special Thanks: MARY BERRY. TANYA BERRY, BONNIE CECIL, DWIGHT COTTON, ADOLFO DORING, TONY MORENO, LEAH BAYENS, CONNIE KAYS, MICHAEL KELEM, AMANDA ZACKEM Footage and Stills: Appalachian Voices, AP Images, Wendell Berry Family, Shay Boyd, Dan Carraco, Center for Ecoliteracy, Ben Evans, Getty Images, ilovemountains.org, James Baker Hall Archive, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Guy Mendes, Oleg Ignatovich/Pond5, Twistah/Pond5, Kbuntu/Shutterstock, Spotmatik/Shutterstock, Suliman Razvan/Shutterstock, Suwit Gaewsee/Shutterstock, Chad A. Stevens, Wallace Global FundMusic: Courtesy of APM Music:, Abandoned Ruin, Josh Clark, Leon Hunt, Anthill A, Kurt Hummel, Ballad of Willie – Underscore, Ken Anderson, Rebecca Ruth Hall, Ein Takt Für Gitarre, Shih, Gaya-gaya, Hwa Chae Kyung, Completely Calm C, Klaus Stuehlen, Jesse James, Richard Gilks, Unknown, Madonna’s March, Susi Gott, Pianissimo, Bob Bradley, Matthew Sanchez, Quiet Garden, Pascal Bournet, Silent Movements A, John Epping, Jeff Newmann, Skydancer A, Klaus Stuehlen, Skydancer B, Klaus Stuehlen Senior Executive Producer JUDY DOCTOROFF O’NEILL Production Executives KAREN KIMBALL, YUKA NISHINO. A production of the Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Mannes ProductionsInc.© 2013

 

 

 

Water, Land and Power – Mark Arax

With climate change what is the future of agriculture?  The author of The Dreamt Land, Mark Arax draws from his chronicles of California over the past three decades to consider where we\’ve been and where we\’re headed to address the future of agriculture in a time of climate change.  No writer has devoted more pages to the story of California agriculture—small farmers and big farmers, conventional farmers and organic farmers, the migrants who work the crops—than Arax. A “culture of extraction”  has leveled valleys and drained rivers and lakes. In defiance of drought, flood, wildfire and earthquake Agriculture has been  invented and reinvented and it needs it again.  The Dreamt Land is one of the best books ever written about farming and ranching in the West.

   

 

 

Fighting for Food & Seed Sovereignty – Elizabeth Hoover

 

Because ‘we are what we eat,’ the Native American food sovereignty movement is working to revitalize and perpetuate traditional food systems in order to promote good physical, cultural and spiritual health for Indigenous peoples. This is being done through the promotion of seed sovereignty and the reclamation and rematriation of Native heirloom seeds; through the work of Native chefs seeking to reclaim and define Indigenous cuisine; and in fighting for a clean environment in which to nurture these foods. Elizabeth Hoover, discusses nationwide Native American food and seed sovereignty efforts, and the inspiring community based projects and organizations that are changing the way the nation thinks about food. Elizabeth Hoover is a professor of Environmental Science, Policy and management at UC Berkeley.

 

 

African Farms to Tables – Donald Madukwe & Akintunde Akinwande

\"\"Small holder farmer provide over 80 to 90 % of food production in Africa. However much more food is needed and farmers need to earn more money to lift them and their families  beyond subsistence, just getting by. Larta Institute has introduced Farm to Table Talk to OCP  a Moroccan based global plant nutrition company serving farmers on five continents. The potential for African farmers to improve their livelihood, food availability and eventually export is huge. Dr. Donald Madukwe, the Head of Agronomy Services & Farmer Centric Projects for OCP Africa and Akintunde Akinwande who has Business Development and Innovation responsibilities explain how this goal may be realized and the unique demands driving digital Agronomy in Africa. ocpafrica.com  Agshowcase.com

 

 

New Tech For A World Of Farms – Jennifer Fawkes

\"\"Successful agriculture requires a continuous supply of new ideas and technology for farmers of all types to meet the demands of global and local markets, profitably. Over 100,000 from the farm to table global supply chain are once again making their way to the Central Valley of California to experience the World\’s largest outdoor farm show, the World Ag Expo.  Marketing Manager, Jennifer Fawkes, shares the what is to be found and learned from over 1,000 exhibits, food tents, seminars and more; including the \”Top-10 New Products\”  2020. https://www.worldagexpo.com/attendees/top-10-new-products/

 

Humane Washing – Ben Goldsmith

 

\"\"\”Green Washing\” is a better recognized term than \”Humane Washing\” but it\’s the same idea of claiming to be as good as your customers want to hear. Exaggerations or plain mistruths take liberty with the true facts of the matter.  Farm Forward is one organization that is watching and calling out retailers and others in the food chains that they believe are making animal welfare claims that cannot be substantiated. Ben Goldsmith is the  Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Farm Forward and organization that openly calls for the end of \”factory farms\” to be ultimately replaced with more equitable, sustainable and humane practices. www.farmforward.com

Metaverse Farm to Metaverse Table – Troy Hooper, Clubhouse

 

\"\"Food is changing. How will we eat? That’s the question posed in the Farm To Table Talk Clubhouse room to Troy Hooper a multi- business entrepreneur in the hospitality space with a consulting practice to build and scale emerging brands. Troy and Rodger Wasson are joined live in the Clubhouse room by a large group of members. Joining the conversation “on stage” are Chef Dr. Mike, a cardiologist, professional chef and author;  Regenerative Livestock Manager, Ben Glassen; farming entrepreneur Cindy Beuchert, Sara Calvosa, Indigenous Californian, Karuk Tribe food writer, author and others.

Ideas can be farmed! The seeds of ideas can be planted, cultivated, harvested, distributed and consumed. For ideas about growing, marketing and consuming food, Idea Farming consultancy was created– helping organizations tell their stories and grow their brands And for conversations about ideas that will matter there is the Farm To Table Talk podcast. Hear about new ideas at www.farmtotabletalk.com.  For help with authentic stories and strategic counsel go to www.idea-farming.com  Join the drop in audio version of Farm to Table Talk on Clubhouse. 

Bet The Farm – Beth Hoffman

\"\"Beth Hoffman was living the good life: she had a successful career as a journalist and professor, a comfortable home in San Francisco, and plenty of close friends and family. Yet in her late 40s, she and her husband decided to leave the big city and move to his family ranch in Iowa—all for the dream of becoming a farmer, to put into practice everything she had learned over decades of reporting on food and agriculture. There was just one problem: money.Half of America\’s two million farms made less than $300 in 2019. Between rising land costs, ever-more expensive equipment, the growing uncertainty of the climate, and few options for health care, farming today is a risky business. For many, simply staying afloat is a constant struggle. Beth Hoffman shares the story of the struggles faced by farmers and paths to a more just and sustainable food system, that starts on the farm. https://island press.org/books/bet-farm

 

Chefs\’ Manifesto – Paul Newnham

The Chefs’ Manifesto is a chef-led project that brings together 1000+ chefs from around the world to help deliver a sustainable food system. As chefs bridge the gap between farm and fork, the Chefs’ Manifesto empowers chefs with a framework tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This framework consists of simple, practical actions chefs can take and are grouped in key areas. Paul Newnham, the Global Coordinator for Chef\’s Manifesto, sees Chefs as the Conduit between food producers and eaters with a powerful role to play in accomplishing worldwide sustainable development. www.chefsmanifesto.com

\"\"

Meat Comes Back – Michael Dimock

COVID disruptions again showed that instead of dependence on a few global meat conglomerates, States and Provinces need more small-scale slaughter and cut-and-wrap facilities — creating  skilled jobs throughout rural communities.  The Biden Administration\’s commitment to increase fairness in livestock and poultry markets, and USDA’s new short-term funding for local meat processing, are a start. Coupling those with systemic solutions proposed in Congress and  Legislatures will create  Meat Processing Inspection programs “equal to” USDA inspection.  Michael Dimock and Roots of Change are working to unleash more market opportunities for small- and mid-scale meat producers, increase local meat supply chain resilience, protect workers and aid rural communities. www.rootsofchange.org

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article254243278.html#storylink=cpy

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Bucket List Dining – Chef Dneb Williams

In our ideal world the best farming  finds its way to the best restaurants. One of those journeys leads to Allora in Sacramento where the best things in life belong together,  food and wine. Allora is the dream of a sommelier and a chef; husband and wife. Two partners who love Sacramento and are infatuated with Italy. Featuring over 250 wines, fresh pasta made daily, and a commitment to sustainable seafood, Allora is the best of where they are from, of what they have experienced, and what is yet to come. Chef and Partner Dneb Williams describes Allora as a wine-centric gathering place that celebrates modern Italian food and the  Sacramento areas bounty. Chef Dneb share the journey to source sustainable, artisanal food and wine locally and in Italy. www. allorasacramento.com\"\"

Food Wise Experience Is Everything – Gigi Berardi

\"\"\”Experience is everything,\” says Gigi Berardi, Ph.D., author of Food Wise: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices, “We all eat, but we make different choices about what to eat and how.” Improving how we make these choices can mean the difference between continued frustration with what we put in our bodies and a more healthful, meaningful relationship with food and nourishment. Food “Wise” stands for: whole, informed, sustainable and experienced-based thinking. She invites readers to think holistically about how we can procure and produce incredible meals, and draw deep nourishment from the foods we prepare and consume. In addition to being a food resilience professor at Huxley College in Bellingham Washington, the author is a sheep farmer, cheese maker and a slow food movement proponent.  https://wp.wwu.edu/gigiberardi/

 

 

Rewilding is Healing – Daniel Firth Griffith

\"\"Rewilding can regenerate our relationship with nature/soil, sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, nourish foods and heal our communities. Rewilding is happening in Nelson County, Virginia with 100% grass-fed and finished cattle, heritage & holistically foraged pigs, and 100% grass-fed sheep on the Timshel Wildland –a 400-acre regenerative, process-led, and emergent conservation wildland. The owner, Daniel Firth Griffith, is an author, emergent conservationist and director of the Rabinia Institute, a Savory Institute Hub. wildtimshel.com @timshel

 

UN Food System Summit – Paul Newnham

 

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World leaders have committed to tackling global hunger, climate change and biodiversity loss at an historic UN Food Systems Summit. More than 150 countries made commitments to transform their food systems, while championing greater participation and equity, especially amongst farmers, women, youth and indigenous groups. What is this global food system and why does it matter? After a full day of hearing Presidents, Prime Ministers and UN officials express their vision,  Farm To Table Talk visits with an experienced hand at global diplomacy engaged from farm to table all over the world. Paul Newnham is the Director of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 Advocacy Hub, a secretariat catalyzing, convening, and connecting NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to coordinate global campaigning and advocacy to achieve food systems transformation. The 2021 UN Food System Summit has concluded but the journey continues. https://www.un.org/foodsystemssummit

Legally Resilient – Rachel Armstrong

\"\"Everything is changing down on the farm, except for the laws.  How do farmers and ranchers keep up while they diversify in to direct to consumer sales, wedding sites, field dinners, local meat processing, pesticide drift, agri-tourism, cottage food, food safety liability, NIMBY neighbors, run off, carbon credits, etc?  The trusty local lawyer may not have all the answers.  That\’s why Rachel Armstrong created Farm Commons.

Feeding Earth\’s Future – Adegbola Adesogan

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Call it what you will, the climate is weird and getting more dangerous. Still reactive blanket prescriptions for changing the world\’s diets must take in to account that over 800,000 people are subsisting on incomes of $2 per day. In these areas the most serious threat is physical and cognitive stunting of up to 30% of the children due to poor diets; however,   global regenerative agriculture can reduce Green House Gases and still improve diets with better utilization of nutrient dense animal sourced foods. Dr. Adegbola Adesogan is the Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems and the Professor of Ruminant Nutrition at the University of Florida.

https://livestocklab.ifas.ufl.edu/.   https://foodsystems.ifas.ufl.edu/

Rescuing Mother Earth – Tim LaSalle

The world can draw down all of our Carbon emissions if agriculture fully embraced regenerative agriculture. Soils must be regularly monitored by probing  carbon levels because the more that is in the soil the less is in the atmosphere.  These themes are promoted by the Chico Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems to reduce greenhouse gasses, restore soil resiliency, increase the sustainability of farm\"\"s and ranches, and address food and water insecurity.  The co founder of the Center, Dr. Tim Tim LaSalle was the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management and researcher/adviser with the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers.  Tim is Professor Emeritus of Cal Poly and former President/CEO of the California Ag Leadership Program.  https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/index.shtml

Holistic Abundance – Abbey Smith, Savory Institute


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Global regenerative abundance is the goal and holistic management is the way to get there. It\’s an abstract perspective at first, but when coached to this vision by the Savory Institute\’s Global Network Coordinator, Abbey Smith we get the picture. The Savory Institute sets out to regenerate the world\’s grasslands and in that journey regenerates farms, ranches, regions, communities and individuals who are committed to protecting the Earth and its population from predicted climate and food disasters. Abbey Smith explains how Savory Institute\’s work is global in scope, grassroots in execution and holistic.

Take That First Step – Ben Glassen

\"\"To cook, farm or eat in a different way requires taking that first step.  On Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Ben Glassen has taken first steps in regeneratively raising animals and providing them to consumers who are taking their own first steps, reaping the benefits of regenerative livestock production.  Ben\’s approach includes leasing (or borrowing) land, mobile infrastructure and direct marketing. Customers choose to purchase meat raised regeneratively for the health value, ethics of the way the animals are raised, support of local production and the environmental impact.  The next first step for Ben will be establishing an abattoir to process locally raised livestock. In addition to listening to Ben Glassen on the Farm To Table Talk podcast, he can be visited with directly on Clubhouse in the Farm To Talk Club. www.glassenfarms.com

Creating Links in the Food Chain – Joseph Lee

\"\"COVID-19 forced thousands of farmers, fishermen, butchers, and food suppliers to make incredible changes that they had  never imagined. Fortunately, in the emerging food chain, suppliers of all sizes can compete in the digital world at the intersection of technology and food. Joseph Lee, Co-Founder  and CPO of Freshline shares the story of how new ventures like theirs have stepped up to create these links that are revolutionizing the way food efficiently gets from boats and farms to tables all over North America.

www.freshline.io

 

Social Science and Special Interests – Silvia Secchi

What does Social Science have to do with our food system?  Professor Silvia Secchi a Social Scientist at the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa believes it has a key role to play as is clear by her favorite quote from  T. W Shultz, \”It is especially the social sciences -economics, sociology and political science -which, if prosecuted with vigor reveal answers which are unpalatable to special interests.\” Today that vigorous prosecution can address issues facing women farmers, polluted waters, barriers to entry and misdirected carbon credits strategies.  Professor Secchi highlights the issues and ways to constructively engage in the dialogues that can lead to positive change. silvia-secchi@uiowa.edu

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10460-020-10077-x.pdf

Crap and Trade

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Farmers Market On Wheels – Sara Bernal

If food insecure populations can\’t make it to food markets,  bring it to them. With this idea and a grant from the California Department of Agriculture for a Farmers Market Food Truck, this is a dream come true in West Sacramento. Sara Bernal is the program manager for the West Sacramento Urban Farm Program and now with a vehicle the size of a traditional U Haul moving truck low income communities are able to shop for farm fresh foods in their own neighborhoods. “With the seniors particularly but also these affordable housing complexes with families, it can be exceedingly hard if you don’t have a car to get groceries,” Bernal said. “So the whole purpose of the truck is to get produce to people where they live in the easiest way possible and then to make it affordable.” Sarah Bernal and Rodger Wasson visit in the parking lot of a low income housing community while customers bring their Cal Fresh/SNAP EBT cards for discounted purchases of healthy foods. www.landbasedlearning.org\"\"

Hunger and Food Waste Solutions -Carol Shatuck

\"\"Food waste presents its own serious crisis. As awareness has risen about the impact of climate change on our environment, we are learning the significant role that food waste plays. In America, 40% of the food supply, from farm to table, is wasted. This excess food ends up in landfills where it creates methane gas, a major contributor to the warming of our planet. Vegetables, fruit, milk, and other nutritious foods fill our landfills. At a time when there is so much hunger in our country, we are throwing away the very food that could feed the food insecure and help save our planet.The bottom line is that hunger and food waste are unacceptable in America where there is a wealth of resources and enough food being produced to feed everyone. The knowledge that these crises can be solved drives the mission and work of Food Rescue USA whose CEO Carol Shatuck visited the Farm To Table Talk Clubhouse room (now open to all) and this episode of Farm To Table Talk. www.foodrescue.us

 

 

Nonpassive Farmers & Eaters – Francis Thicke & Dave Chapman

 

Before he became the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson\"\" envisioned a country of \’citizen farmers\’ who would be engaged in government. Jefferson would have been pleased with citizens like Iowa farmer Francis Thicke and Vermont farmer Dave Chapman who climb off their tractors to Zoom with the Secretary of Agriculture about needed policy infrastructure repairs to the USDA Organic program. A thousand farmer have already joined with them to give consumers assurance of Real Organic production practices and to rescue the reputation and trust in Certified Organic. It\’s wrong when farmers are passive about what they grow and it\’s wrong when consumers are passive about what they eat. Jefferson could see farmers and eaters  saying \”we the people are going to do it on our own.\” www.realorganicproject.org

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Pledging Head, Heart, Hands and Health – Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty

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If more of us pledged our head to clearer thinking, our heart to greater loyalty, our hands to larger service and our health to better living it would be better for us, our clubs, our community, our country and our world.  That\’s been the 4-H pledge for generations, although our \”world\” is a welcome additional beneficiary. 4-H is not just for farm kids with animals.  In many states the vast majority of young people in 4-H Clubs are in cities with a wide range of projects that often have more in common with computer labs than barnyards.  Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty is the California 4 -H Director for University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Lynn tells the story of today\’s 4-H and how we can help our kids and ourselves. Caring parents, neighbors or grandparents should look in to 4-H for youngsters or to volunteer their own time for \”better living in better communities\”. http://4h.ucanr.edu

 

Louis Bromfield Now – Rich Collins, Anneliese Abbott, John Jamison & Sukey Jamison

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Louis Bromfield planted seeds of the food revolution and reminds us to \”Never forget that agriculture is the oldest of the honorable professions and that always the good farmer is the fundamental citizen of any community, state or nation.\” We are reintroduced to the wisdom and vision of Louis Bromfield in the recently published book, \”The Planter of Modern Life\” by  the author Stephen Heyman.  He was introduced to the Bromfield books of nearly 75 years ago by  Pennsylvania grass farmers, John and Sukey Jamison who had themselves been inspired by Bromfield\’s Malabar Farm. John and Sukey share how Bromfields vision helped them get started when neither had any farming experience.  Regenerative farming leader, Rich Collins, has been a self described Bromfield \’Groupie\’ for years and has visited Bromfields place outside of Paris and Malabar Farms in Ohio. He also has shared Bromfield books  and introduced us to the author of the next Bromfield book, Annaliese Abbott. Rich, Annaliese and the Jamison\’s join the table to discuss the life and lessons of Louis Bromfield. In addition to recommending The Planter of Modern Life, Rich Collins shared the following. \”Most all of these folks focused on the important role of soil as a key element of the water cycle.  As Hugh Bennet wrote back in the mid 30\’s \”Keep the raindrop where it falls.\”  So simple!!
Pleasant Valley (1943) and Malabar Farm (1947) by Louis Bromfield
Water and the Cycle of Life (1958) by Joseph A. Cocannouer
Plowman\’s Folly (1943) and A Second Look (1947) by Edward H. Faulkner
Deserts on the March (1935) by Paul B. Sears
Big Dam Foolishness (1954) by Elmer T. Peterson

Labor Supremes – Michael Droke

On-farm agriculture operations have been excluded from federal labor law\"\" since 1935. California filled this gap by creating its own law in 1975, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (“ALRA”) that gave union organizers the right to physically access the farm property in order to solicit support for unionization. Growers challenged this regulation as a state-sponsored “taking” of their property rights, without the just compensation guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with the growers, holding that the ALRA’s access regulations were a per se violation because they allowed “physical invasion” of the land without compensation. Michael Droke explains the significance of the decision and implications for property rights protection for agriculture. Michael is a senior partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its Food and Agriculture group. www.scotus.com www.dorsey.com

 

Climate: Cows or Cars? – Frank Mitloehner, UCDavis

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Will eating less meat save the planet? Some say so but science says no. of course if you\’re looking for a reason to eat less meat and tell others to do the same, climate change seems to add to your case.  However, if you\’re looking to make real impact on the climate, transportation and construction are still much more important than agriculture.  Dr. Frank Moetloehner, Director of the Clear Center at UC Davis is the most quoted expert on these issues in the world. He shares with us the true story of the effects of livestock production, including that some countries are doing a better job than others.  With the adaptation of new technologies, California dairy farmers have reduced methane emissions by 25%..  On You Tube videos  and in Frank\’s presentations you we see him hold up an 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper to represent the entire surface of the Earth; then a business card that represents the area where agriculture is possible with 2/3 of that card only fit for grazing  livestock. It is an important story that Frank tells us. www.clear.ucdavis.edu

Water Matters Most – Randy Record

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Except for the air we breathe, nothing is more important to life on earth than water.  Humans can live up to 60 days without food but only a few days without water.  So water is life and the worsening climate is severely impacting life as we know it.  In California alone it is estimated that nearly a million acres of previously productive farmland will be fallowed in 2021.  Inevitably the food supply  and food costs will be impacted. Randy Record farms and invests his time in seeking water solutions.  He has a vineyard and is on the Metropolitan Water District (LA) Board where he has served as Chairman. Randy has a clear eyed perspective on the water challenges we face and faith that  building trusting relationships between cities, agriculture and environmental publics is a key for progress. www.farmwater.org

Millennials Farm and Ranch – Paige Dulaney and Bryon Moes

 

Not all farmers are old.. Millennials are coming back to family farms and ranches in impressive numbers.  After college and trying other adventures many are deciding that their passion and what seems best for their families is to be back in rural areas where they bring enthusiasm and a renewed commitment to grow livestock and crops in a way that is good for their family, community and the climate. Brian Moes, his wife and five young boys, dry land farm and feed cattle in North East South Dakota.  Paige Dulaney, her husband and two young boys, farm and ranch in North East Colorado. Bryon and Paige share a path with thousands of new generation farmers who want consumers to understand that their food is being produced by young families liker theirs who are proud of how they farm or ranch and hope to see their kids come back some day to continue the tradition.


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Bush to Table

 

\"\"Connecting small farmers to new markets is a universal goal. In Fiji and Australia that is being accomplished due to the efforts of twin sisters, Lisa and Zoe Paisley who have  co-founded Aggie Global. They moved to Fiji  to  start a business and address poverty in rural communities. Farmers struggled with selling their produce while the tourism sector imported 70% of their food so Aggie Global was built to connect either end of the food supply chain in a more transparent and equitable way. Zoe and Lisa came back to Sydney when the pandemic hit and launched an Australian arm to support indigenous farmers by focusing on \’Bushfoods\’.    It\’s another great journey of connecting farms and consumers that can be translated to local and global regeneration.

Aggie Global\’s crowdfunding and subscription program will help make positive social change every month. Their campaign helps  support Fijian farmers and build healthy communities by providing boxes of locally grown, fruit and vegetables to families in need every month. Check out their campaign on Start Some Goods website today!   https://startsomegood.com/support-local-to-build-healthy-communities-aggie-global/

https://www.aggieglobal.com/

Farmlink Project- James Kanoff

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Billions of pounds of produce are going to waste while millions of Americans are going hungry. Seeing food lines develop all over, some University students decided to do something to change that. They created the Farmlink Project to connect farmers to food banks, delivering millions of pounds of farm fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted to feed families in need. The founder and CEO of Farmlink, James Kanoff explains how this idea has led to up to a million pounds of food per week that might otherwise been wasted, make its way from farms to food banks to hungry people. www.farmlinkproject.org

Smart People, Bad Choices – Jack Bobo

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Consumers have never known more about nutrition and yet, have never been more overweight. For most Americans, maintaining a balanced diet is more difficult than doing their taxes. What are we doing wrong?  Jack Bobo has been engaged with the food system from farm to table and is the author of a new book \”Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices\”. He is a food psychology expert with over 20 years advising four U. S. Secretaries of State on food and agriculture. In his book and here on Farm to Table Talk  he guides us to smarter food choices and improving our quality of life. https://futurityfood.com/

 

Biodynamic Insights – Chris Daugherty

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Nutrient density, biodynamic and regenerative are terms of relevance to the health of  our planet, our soil, our food and ourselves. It\’s tricky learning the connections but  Dr. Christopher Daugherty ties it all together. \”Biodynamic is the art and aspect\” of the essential principles of food. Nutrient density is the \”level of nutrients per unit\” of calorie. 

Dr. Chris is a regenerative entrepreneur in \’Ortho-molecular\’ Nutrition & Biological Medicine. Focusing on biological nutrients, product development and farmer direct supply chains provides biodynamic insights for the future of earth to farm to table.

organicconnectmag.com/wp/2008/11/dr-christopher-daugherty-the-quest-for-sustainability/\"\"

 

New Normal It\’s Not – Suzy Badaracco

 

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Now is not the new normal. Consumers were forced to change their shopping and dining food practices by the pandemic.  As they return to stores and restaurants, they need to be the Hero of their lives.  From farmers to restaurants and food markets, helping consumers realize their need to be the Hero from these troubled times, is job One. Suzy Badaracco is the President of Culinary Tides Inc.,  a Trends consultancy with a focus on what\’s going to happen next.  It\’s not just studying the data to see trends taking shape; but rather identifying the \”parents\” of the trends.  Food marketers from farm to table, especially need to take note and act accordingly to help their customers become HEROS.  www.culinarytides.com

Becoming Farmers – Mary Kimball

 

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Many people wish they could farm and new farmers are needed. Sounds like a match. It is a well established fact that the average age of farmers is around the age that people are thinking of retirement.  So who will be farming in the future, beyond just those who are fortunate enough to be born in to a sustainable family farm?  The Center for Land Based Learning is trying to answer that question with programs reaching out to an audience from High School, to early career and to mid-life career changers. Mary Kimball the CEO of the Center For Land Based Learning joins Farm To Table Talk in a Clubhouse room to explain and answer questions from a live global audience on the future for those who want to be farmers. www.landbasedlearning.org

Better Life Rural – Johnathan Hladk

\"\"Families are spending more time cooking at home and local meat provides a better and more affordable alternative. According to Johnathan Hladk the Policy Director for the Center for Rural Affairs, local meat lockers simply do not have the space or equipment to keep up, leaving family farms in the growing direct sales industry without a crucial partner.State and Federal government should support small meat processors looking to improve and expand their infrastructure, which is vital in addressing bottlenecks in local processing and encouraging the growth of rural economies. Funds should be made more available to entrepreneurs seeking to open a new small  meat processing facility. With voluntary support coming from coast to coast, the Center for Rural Affairs addresses issues to improve the quality of rural life.  www.cfra.org

Good Vibes Farming – Francesco Arlia

New technologies will play an important role in the future of farming for every size, shape, climate and geographic location. The ideas are popping up fast and increasingly affordable for the full spectrum of global farming systems. Francesco Arlia is the founder and CEO of  one of these emerging pioneers, Harvest Harmonics.  With dime-sized micro-transmitters the natural vibrations and optimum frequency of photosynthesis is changed for the better. Frank talks of the birth of new, non-chemical technologies that could represent the next green revolution. www.harvestharmonics.com\"\"

Climate Smart Agriculture – Secretary Karen Ross

\"\"Climate smart agriculture will make a difference to farmers, citizens and life on earth.  Karen Ross, the Secretary of Food And Agriculture for the California Department of Agriculture is on the front line of meeting the climate challenge as chief administrator of food and agriculture programs for the 5th largest economy in the World.  Secretary Ross has a perspective beyond California boundaries having hailed from a western Nebraska farm, managed farm organizations and served as the Chief of Staff at the US Department of Agriculture under then Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Secretary Vilsack is now back at USDA with a fresh charge to lead Agriculture to Climate Smart Agriculture and Karen Ross will promote the synergies that come from state, federal, local and farm/rancher initiatives  that lead to climate smart solutions for a warming planet. www.cdfa.ca.org

 

Food System Clubhouse – Paula Daniels

 

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Clubhouse is a drop-in audio chat network that now includes conversations about the food system, on Farm To Table Talk.  The Center for Good Food Purchasing uses the power of procurement to create a transparent and equitable food system that prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment. Paula Daniels is the Co-founder and chair of the Center,  developing nationally-networked adoption and implementation of the Good Food Purchasing Program by major institutions. The result is good news for local farmers and communities across the country  from the direct connections with sustainable and regenerative food sources for their schools, hospitals and public administrations. The conversation with Paula Daniels begins in a podcast that wanders in to the Farm To Table Talk Clubhouse to be joined by other  food system pioneers. www.goodfoodpurchasing.org #Clubhouse

Give Livestock A Break – Illias Kyriazakis

\"\"It\’s become popular to bash livestock production and meat consumption for extreme green house gas emissions.  What if the data is wrong? In the UK where carbon neutral agriculture is to be accomplished by 2050, new research has found that the \’carbon\’ case against pig farming is not right.  The study conducted by the Institute for Global Food Security found that the carbon footprint has been overstated by 40% over the last 20 years.  Professor Illias Kyriazakis of Queen\’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland is the author of the study. Professor Kyriazakis also explains that there was very little carbon foot print differences in the type of pig production, indoors or outdoors. Genetic improvements deserve much of the credit for the progress, however when soy protein for pig feed is imported from somewhere that destroys rain forests to grow soybeans, the Climate suffers. All livestock systems deserve a closer look before broadly promoting meatless diets to protect the climate. https://www.qub.ac.uk/Research/GRI/TheInstituteforGlobalFoodSecurity/

Warm and CRISPR Climate – Andrew Porterfield

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The Nobel Prize Committee has just recognized the scientists who discovered CRISPR—genetic scissors that are a tool for rewriting the code of life and potentially a tool in limiting global warming. New science, technology and a range of farming systems from conventional to agroecology, regenerative and organic have roles to play. Science writer Andrew Porterfield is investigating and writing about the avenues that are being considered by farmers to slow global warming. In a feature article that caught our eye, he answers the question of whether one farming method can help slow global warming. In our conversation we consider that  there needs to be broader acceptance that climate change is a real threat and that farming methods can be part of the solution.

Omnivore\’s Dilemma, Delusion or Delight — Blake Hurst

Do omnivores face a dilemma as Michael Pollan famously proposed in his\"\" popular book over a decade ago or is the dilemma a delusion? Farmer Blake Hurst who just completed 10 years as President of the Missouri Farm Bureau has practiced what he’s preached about farmer\’s need to communicate. A dozen years ago when the Omnivore’s Dilemma brought global attention to modern farming methods, Blake responded with an article titled the Omnivore’s Delusion. https://www.aei.org/articles/the-omnivores-delusion-against-the-agri-intellectuals/ This led to the farmer from Missouri appearing with Michael Pollan on NPR’s Face of the Nation where they respectfully engaged in a too seldom heard consequential conversation. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113619474        Now a dozen years later Blake Hurst visits with us on why it is still important for farmers to resist their nature and instead speak up about what they do and why they do it.

On Wednesdays at noon Pacific Time Farm To Table Talk will host conversations, including guests such as Blake in the new on-line audio chat for iPhone, Clubhouse. You can find us there and also find more information at our website FarmToTableTalk.com where you can also subscribe to receive our weekly podcasts. Thanks, Rodger Wasson

Tools To End Hunger – Katie Martin

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COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity and laid bare systemic inequalities that contribute to hunger. One in six Americans—54 million—are food insecure, with the largest increases seen in communities of color. For a country that wastes 30-40 percent of its food supply, how can we understand this rate of food insecurity? Katie Martin is Executive Director of the Foodshare Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions and author of Reinventing Food Banks and Pantries: New Tools to End Hunger. On Farm To Table Talk Katie distills over 25 years of expertise developing creative solutions to hunger for tackling food insecurity.  Pervasive food insecurity is not due to a lack of food: it is a matter of access and power.  Reinventing Food Banks and Pantries: New Tools to End Hunger  shares a new vision of food banks and pantries as empowering community hubs where clients receive more than food, including job training and connection to community resources.

 

 

Linking The Food Chain- Rob Neenan

\"\"It might be appealing to imagine all food going straight from \’Old McDonald\’s Farm\” to our tables, but it\’s not realistic.  Because of seasons, climates, soils, water (quality and availabilty) research and grower education, most harvested crops need to be cleaned, cooked, canned, frozen or dried to move on up the food chain to tables around the world. In California alone, the companies that do these essential tasks employ over 750,000 workers with  several million family members and thousands of dependent local businesses–directly adding $25.2 billion to the economy.  This link in the chain is represented by the California Food Producers.  As CEO and President of the association, Rob Neenan with staff and committees is engaged in promoting and defending policy and public opinion that effects processing food distribution and sales.  Those policies today extend from new issues like the pandemic to long term issues related to water–where new groundwater regulations may result in millions of acres being fallowed and less food produced. www.clfp.com

Changing Farm Ways – Emily Newman, Rodale Institute

\"\"A lot of people want to farm and some farmers want to change the way they farm.  Emily Newman is helping those folks in her role as Program Manager for Rodale Institute\’s Organic Crop Consulting Service. They provide  one-on-one mentorship and assistance to farmers looking to transition to organic. Consultants meet farmers where they are—each plan is individualized for best outcome for that particular farmer, no agenda or pressure.In under two years of operation, they already have over 150 farmer clients and over 50,000 acres in transition.A lot of people want to farm and some farmers want to change the way they farm.  Emily Newman is helping those folks in her role as Program Manager for Rodale Institute\’s Organic Crop Consulting Service. They provide  one-on-one mentorship and assistance to farmers looking to transition to organic. Consultants meet farmers where they are—each plan is individualized for best outcome for that particular farmer, no agenda or pressure.In under two years of operation, they already have over 150 farmer clients and over 50,000 acres in transition. Emily holds a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, focusing in Soil Science, from Pennsylvania State University and is currently pursuing an M.B.A. in Food and Agribusiness. www.rodaleinstitute.org

Sustainability Is A Happy Family – JoBeth Evans and Maggie Davidson

 

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Sisters JoBeth Evans and Maggie Davidson have been farming since they were old enough to feed the cows but just recently  (officially) went in business with their parents to form Williams Angus Beef. The girls grew up, graduated from college, got jobs, married farmers, had two kids each and are now reconnecting with their parents. They are practicing a basic premise of  sustainability:  keeping farming a live for generations to come. JoBeth and Maggie explain why this is important, how they are doing it and how other farmers can make this possible for their children and grandchildren. www.WilliamsAngusBeef.com

Smart Label Down Under – Paul Ryan and Rob Mackenzie

\"\"Food fraud and political tensions have heavily impacted Australian farmers exporting products to international markets. Traceability and provenance are essential to fighting food fraud and opening new export markets for  farmers, producers, processors and consumers who deserve to know they’re getting exactly what they purchased. Fourth generation Black Angus beef farmer, Rob Mackenzie, has been getting his hands dirty, working to strengthen Australia’s supply-chain visibility by implementing Aglive’s  paddock-to-plate platform.  Paul Ryan the Managing Director of AgLive and Rob Mackenzie join Farm To Table Talk to explain how new technology fights food fraud with stories in smart labels that traces provenance and production practices from the table back to the farm. www.australianangusbeef.com.au  www.aglive.com

Which Came First – Josh Balk

 

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Consumers, Restaurants, Supermarkets and Farmers are finding common ground on animal production and marketing animal products. Here it can be argued that \”the egg came first.\” Josh Balk leads the Humane Society of the United States’ work in shifting the egg industry from predominantly cage production to cage-free housing instead. He’s successfully worked with virtually every major food company—including McDonald’s, IHOP, Denny’s, Kroger, Nestle, etc.—to enact a policy to switch to exclusively using cage-free eggs. He’s also waged successful ballot measures and legislative campaigns passing numerous state laws to ban the confinement of laying hens in cages and ensuring that all eggs sold in the state would be cage-free. When this work began, less than 5% of laying hens were cage-free. Now it’s up to ~30% cage-free representing nearly 90 million hens. Lessons being learned about this shift have implications for the future, up and down the food chain. @joshbalk www.humanesociety.org

Science and Solutions – Diego Angelo

 

\"\"Scientific advances are credited (or blamed) for food system progress (or problems) depending on food philosophies and perspectives.  Yet new knowledge  that comes from new scientific findings can lead to more sustainable systems that reduce waste, limit production of green house gases and feed more hungry people world wide.  Some of the necessary research for these advances will come from government agencies and most of it will come from companies who seek to profit, and to do the right thing. The Chief Business Officer with Biotalis, Diego Angelo is adamant that nature provides the key to solving the food waste (30%) problem.  www.biotalys.com

 

 

Healing Earth Heals Us – Rupa Marya, MD

 

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From farms to citizens of the world of the world inflammation causes disease and makes health impossible. Global transformation will need recognition that farming is medicine for the health of all life and of earth itself.  That\’s a theme for a KeyNote presentation at EcoFarm by Dr. Rupa Marya: physician, writer, musician, mother, farmer\’s wife and Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco. Her forthcoming book, authored with Raj Patel, is \”Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the anatomy of Injustice.\” In addition to her extensive engagement in support of indigenous communities, she is the lead singer and composer of a globe circling band, Rupa and the April Fishes.  info@eco-farm.org

Dietary Guidelines – Barbara Schneeman, DGC Chair

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Every five years the US Government develops and publishes \”Dietary Guidelines For Americans\”.  The Guidelines for 2020 – 20225 have now been  released by the two responsible agencies, USDA and HHS.  New approaches have been taken to identify diet patterns for various life stages.  The report follows the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Committee of experts, except for two areas. The Committee recommended that \”added sugar\” limits should be reduced from 10% to 6% and that if men drink alcohol it should be limited to no more than one drink per day as it is currently for women and not two drinks as has been the guidance for men. Chair of the Committee, Dr. Barbara Schneeman (UC Davis, USDA, FDA) explains the process, the findings and significance of the new guidelines.  MyPlate.org

Loving Our World — Wendell Berry & Bill Moyers

\”To make a living is not to make a killing. It\’s to have enough.\” says Wendell Berry  in many ways, in scores of books over the years. As we consider the future of the world we need to reflect on the counsel of Wendell Berry who reminds us that the world will take care of us if we take care of it; knowing and loving it. If there was a poet laureate for agriculture, it should be Wendell Berry. A few years ago the renowned Bill Moyers was successful in interviewing Wendell and he agreed we could share that conversation as a Farm To Table Talk podcast. As a capstone to a challenging year and a message that fits the holidays, we bring back this conversation of Wendell Berry and Bill Moyers that originally aired on October 4, 2014 as a production of the Schumann Media Center and Mannes production.  www.BerryCenter.org.

\"\"The people who produced the original show are acknowledged here. Produced & Directed by ELENA MANNES; Editor DONNA MARINO; Director of Photography PETER NELSON; Art Direction DALE ROBBINS; Sound ROGER PHENIX; Coordinating Producer KRISTIN LOVEJOY; Associate Producers JESSICA BARI, RENIQUA ALLEN; Additional Camera JAY McCAIN, CHIP SWETNAM; Lighting Director DAN CUNNINGHAM; Grips MIKE DICKMAN, JAMES WISE; Make-up TAMARA LEE; Data Management LUKE STALEY; Production Assistant DAVID ZACHERY; Assistant Editor SCOTT GREENHAW.  Special Thanks: MARY BERRY. TANYA BERRY, BONNIE CECIL, DWIGHT COTTON, ADOLFO DORING, TONY MORENO, LEAH BAYENS, CONNIE KAYS, MICHAEL KELEM, AMANDA ZACKEM Footage and Stills: Appalachian Voices, AP Images, Wendell Berry Family, Shay Boyd, Dan Carraco, Center for Ecoliteracy, Ben Evans, Getty Images, ilovemountains.org, James Baker Hall Archive, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Guy Mendes, Oleg Ignatovich/Pond5, Twistah/Pond5, Kbuntu/Shutterstock, Spotmatik/Shutterstock, Suliman Razvan/Shutterstock, Suwit Gaewsee/Shutterstock, Chad A. Stevens, Wallace Global FundMusic: Courtesy of APM Music:, Abandoned Ruin, Josh Clark, Leon Hunt, Anthill A, Kurt Hummel, Ballad of Willie – Underscore, Ken Anderson, Rebecca Ruth Hall, Ein Takt Für Gitarre, Shih, Gaya-gaya, Hwa Chae Kyung, Completely Calm C, Klaus Stuehlen, Jesse James, Richard Gilks, Unknown, Madonna’s March, Susi Gott, Pianissimo, Bob Bradley, Matthew Sanchez, Quiet Garden, Pascal Bournet, Silent Movements A, John Epping, Jeff Newmann, Skydancer A, Klaus Stuehlen, Skydancer B, Klaus Stuehlen Senior Executive Producer JUDY DOCTOROFF O’NEILL Production Executives KAREN KIMBALL, YUKA NISHINO. A production of the Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Mannes Productions, Inc.© 2013

 

Revitalize Rural USA – Marion Nestle

 

\"\"Covid pandemic demonstrated enormous problems in the food system with food being destroyed while people were going hungry.  If we want to revitalize the food system and rural America we have to bring people back. And to do that we need to have work that people can do.  @MarionNestle says it can be done and the new team taking shape at the USDA must take the lead in making it happen.

Farmer Protests – Deep Singh

 

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Some of the world\’s largest protests are taking place in support of farmers in India.  Whether in Delhi, San Francisco or Paris people have gone to the streets to show solidarity with the small farmers in India who are losing essential government support. To generate global awareness of the farmers\’ fate,  Sikhs in California have brought tractors, trucks, friends and their voices to public rallies that have filled the Bay Bridge and circled government buildings. The Executive Director of the Jakara Movement, Deep Singh shares the reasons and methods being used to enlist

\"\"the public to the cause.  Deep\’s family is from Punjab and he was raised in the Central Valley of California. Educated at UCLA and Johns Hopkins University, Deep\’s commitment and passion to social, racial, and class justice has helped shape his view of the world.  #Farmer Protests  will  find news and events from all over the world.  www.jakara.org

Bounty, Peril & Politics – Tom Philpott

 

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When once again safe to travel through farm country, the bounty of the food system  will be evident.  So are the perils resulting from misdirected political power.  Tom Philpott, author, podcaster and Mother Jones reporter wrote Perilous Bounty to draw attention to the promise and the peril of farm policy and practices that are often not good for farms or consumers. However an encouraging sign appeared just after the podcast conversation when Rep. David Scott became the first black Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee who (as Tom has reported) recognizes the urgencies of addressing climate change: “With each wildfire, hurricane, or flood more devastating than the last, it is incumbent upon us to ensure food security for future generations…The threat of climate change is a present and growing danger, and we must promote sustainable agriculture solutions that are economically viable, ecologically just, and support the social fabric of our rural communities.” David Scott\"\"

hope.https://www.motherjones.com/author/tom-philpott/

 

Working for Peanuts – Erin Sastre & Tyler Towne

 

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Masked or not, face to face marketing can\’t be beat; because  wherever you are in the food chain it is best to have direct contact with customers.  Erin Sastre and Tyler Towne are literally doing that for Planters Peanuts as they drive a giant peanut thousands of miles back and forth across the country. On a bright Fall morning we find them in front of the Zoo where families come to see them and their Peanut Mobile.  They find the \”Peanutters\” , safely masked, and offering nut packs, information and friendliness to everyone who accidentally found them or had heard they were in town from local media or their website, PlantersNUTmobile.com.  Although 2020 has been beyond challenging for  direct contact between farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, restaurants and consumers. Safely done, it is important and these Peanutters share that magic with Farm To Table Talk. @PlantersNutmobile.com

Half Story Half Food All Good – Chef Rob Connoley

 

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The story of a place has to include the story of it\’s food: what was grown and what they ate. Taking that to heart, the owner Chef of Bulrush Restaurant in St. Louis, Rob Connoly, is finding a delicious way to share the story of a special place with special food traditions from the Ozarks.  Rob is establishing the Ozark foodway by resurrecting ingredients, practices and recipes of the past. He’s doing so through foraging, hunting, farming and creating extensive partnerships with organizations including the Seed Savers Exchange, Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis Archivist Association, and the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office. Guests dining at his restaurant have an opportunity to try unique cuisine often from before the Civil War with ingredients such as paw paws, cattails and acorns.  New technologies accompany the old ingredients with video stories of each course provided to guests before dinner through QR code links. Dinner with Chef Rob Connoly is half story, half food and all good!   www.bulrushstl.com

Poor Air Poor Nutrition Poor Us – Dr. Kristie Ebi

 

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Climate change effects will go way beyond receding coasts and shrinking farm  regions to to include the quality of air that plants need to produce nutritious foods. When carbon levels in the air increase, the nutrition from foods will decline by up to 30%, severely impacting human health.  Dr. Kristie Ebi  is the Founding Director of CHanGe, the Center for Health and The Global Environment at the University of Washington. She works to highlight the role of health and wellbeing in climate action and to facilitate climate resilience in the health sector.  So far the public worries about \”carbon\” have been it\’s effect on creating a green house around the earth but the increased levels of carbon in the air that we and our crops breathe matters too. Our table talk leads us to understand that \”feeding the world\” is much more than just sufficient calories when nutrient content is depleted. http://fgobalchange.uw.edu

Women Farming and Leading— Kristyn Mensonides and Lynne Wheeler

 

\"\"Well educated young women who could do anything are choosing to farm, and to lead.  Equal gender opportunities do abound in agriculture, including the opportunity to give leadership to controversial issues like climate change. Krysten  Mensonides and Lynne Wheeler both graduated from universities and had career choices before they decided farming was their future. Now that future includes joining with their fellow dairy farmers  in Washington state to achieve carbon neutrality (or better) on their farms by 2050.  The dairy industry currently accounts for 2% of total Green House Gas emissions in the US.  They share their journey back to the farm and on to the front lines of farmers addressing climate change. #mensonidesdairy  #coldstreamfarm www.wadairy.org

 

GMO Deregulation — Greg Jaffe

\"\"For better or worse there has been substantial deregulation happening in the US Capitol, now including genetic engineering (GMO/GE).  Greg Jaffe is the Biotech Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). They believe that GE products deemed safe through an independent science-based assessment have a place in our food system and have long advocated for USDA to revise its regulations to establish a streamlined and efficient regulatory process. However, they have also called for such a system to remain science-based and to address real potential risks posed by GE plants (such as preventing the development of resistant weeds or pests). A new USDA Rule falls far short as it \”eliminates any independent, science-based regulatory review by allowing developers to self-determine their products to be exempt from oversight\”.  CSPI and others are calling on USDA to revisit these provisions and, until they do, \”calling on all GE plant developers to commit to requesting USDA confirm any self-determinations they make\”. cspinet.org

 

 

Ag\’s New World – Kristine MacRae, Deborah Wilson

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Agriculture may be 10,000 years old but it\’s a new world. Farmers and Ranchers are facing the new challenges  with new technologies and new philosophies, enpowering the big and the small. This comes at a time when consumer interest in how their food is produced has never been higher–a fact not missed by food manufacturers, retailers and chefs. Deborah Wilson and Kristine MacRae join Farm To Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to explore that new world. In addition to being a rancher, Deborah Wilson of TrustBix leads a Canadian verification program supporting Cow Calf, feedlot/backgrounder, packer/processor, Retail (McDonalds) and certified Canadian sustainable grain fed beef for sale in China, utilizing Block chain. Kristine MacRae of West Sky Technology helps ranchers track cattle life cycle, monetize public land grazing practices, work with small meat processors and engages customers and sales partners through a virtual hub.

www.ncba.org/https://grsbeef.org/; www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/raising-beef/beef-sustainability www.farmcredit.com/community/young-beginning-farmers www.cdp.net/enhttps://www.indigoag.co                                                        ; www.crsb.ca; www.crsbcertified.ca; www.sustainablecrops.ca; www.virescosolutions.com; www.trustbix.com ; www.caain.ca

North American Food Strategy – Emily Broad Lieb, Harvard Law

\"\"The North American food system has succeeded in producing an abundance of commodities at relatively low cost, but it is failing in other ways that matter. Showing how law and policy should make needed changes is the purpose of \”the Blueprint for a National Food Strategy\”.  This work in progress is a collaborative project between the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.  Some of the project\’s recommendations have already been accepted in Canada and  will be considered in the next US Farm Bill.  Harvard Law Professor Emily M. Broad Lieb, Director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic, focuses her scholarship, teaching, and practice on finding solutions to some of today’s biggest food law issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, eliminate food waste, and support sustainable food production and local and regional food systems.Professor Broad Lieb shares her journey from Harvard Law to rural Mississippi and back as food system success, shortcomings and solutions are addressed. www.foodstrategyblueprint.org

Tomato\’s Endless Season – Greg Pruett

 

\"\"Seasons are the rhythm of nature, naturally restricting the availability of fruits and vegetables.  That is except when it\’s with a food such as tomatoes that are freshly preserved in diced, peeled or paste form to be part of  the worlds most popular dishes. Although some food products are just processed when quality is declining, processing tomato varieties, production and processing practices have been especially developed for prime preservation and use in popular canned and jarred products. As a nutritional bonus,  a powerful antioxidant, Lycopene, is even more bio-available in processed tomatoes than in fresh. This magic happens between the tomato fields and the end product. Greg Pruett leads us through tomatoes\’ stop on the way to our table. Greg is a tomato grower and CEO of one of the leading tomato processors, Ingomar Food Processing in Los Banos, California that enables consumers to enjoy the taste of summer all year long.   www.ingomarpacking.com

www.tomatowellness.com

Care for Coffee? –Jay Ruskey

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In every region farmers are finding ways to pivot from producing the same commodities that have always been produced on their land.  New farmers are also finding new ways to get started that includes trying different crops. In southern California coffee is being successfully grown on land formerly growing avocados and lemons.  Jay Ruskey planted a trial crop of coffee at his family-owned and operated farm in the hills of Santa Barbara, California called Good Land Organics, and is proving that coffee could be grown successfully outside of tropical regions –putting California coffee on the map! Farmer Jay is also the CEO of FRINJ Coffee a company set out to provide farmers an opportunity to diversify their farm portfolios. Today, FRINJ Coffee supports 65 farms in the coastal climates of Central and Southern California as it leads the California Coffee Movement. While you can\’t grow coffee everywhere, Jay Ruskey shares a journey to innovative and regenerative farming practices that meets producer\’s needs for a better share of the food dollar and the discerning expectations of today\’s consumers. www.frinjcoffee.com

Bridging Food Streams – Troy Rice

There is a growing need for informational bridges between farmers markets, farm workers, shoppers, and farmers of every size shape and situation. Troy Rice established Farm Brigge to fill that need and create local food ecosystems.  Shoppers can go on line to find local farmers and farmers markets that have the food products they seek and the story behind the stories. Farmers can find farm workers and training  to establish \”lean farming\” practices. And everyone can find themselves to the virtual bridge that enables sustainable production, employment, marketing and food literacy. The story that Troy shares with Farm To Table Talk begins with his own family and fans out to bridging food streams from coast to coast.  www.farmbrigge.com

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Kiss The Ground podcast – Josh Tickell, Author, Filmmaker

\"\"If you’re not yet a believer that we can create a climate stable future, you probably will be a believer after listening to Josh Tickell. He and his wife Rebecca wrote the book and produced the most uplifting film to date about regenerative agriculture and what it means for farmers and consumers. Over a year ago I read his book “Kiss the Ground”, listened to the audio version that he narrates, viewed the website, talked with several of the farmers he features and now after a long wait just viewed the film, “Kiss the Ground” that is now available on Netflix. I recommend that you see the film and here you can listen to the filmmaker as we explore the road to Kissing the Ground in a podcast we published last year when we thought the film release was just around the corner. Getting around the corner takes longer in 2020. www.kisstheground.com

Fix What\’s Broken – Ricardo Salvador

\"\"For too many it is basically a no win situation if you\’re a farmer and so they ask \”How can I get off this treadmill?\” The dream of farming can become a nightmare in a broken system explains  Ricardo Salvador, the Director of Food and Environment for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Farm choice has traditionally been either playing the low value, high volume commodity game or high value crops where farm families can make a living on small acreage. Ricardo shares the fact that very few farmers make enough money that they can live off of faming alone. The majority subsidize their income from an off farm job.  Of the 2 million \”farms\” identified by the USDA, about 300,000 are attempting to make a living from faming. Just 70,000 farmers are turning out 75% of Agriculture\’s output. The mechanized industrialization of the food system increases output but has led to \”de-skilling\” and other issues from farm to tables. Ricardo Salvador explains the problems and the solutions. www.ucsusa.org

Packing Plant-demic – Ricardo Salvador

\"\"The fact that the food system lacks resilience is apparent from the devastating effects of COVID on meat packing plant employees.  In a system that inspired Henry Ford\’s assembly plant, these dis-assembly plants have proven to be extremely dangerous for workers.  First plants closed, farmers euthanized hogs, workers were home sick or laid off, then politics intervened.  This is where we pick up the story with Ricardo Salvador, the Director of Food and Environment with the Union of Concerned Scientists who had just visited with us about our broken food system. Sadly in 2020 the situation in meat packing plants is a case in point. www.ucsusa.org

Small Is The New Big – Zack Smith

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For many it would be a dream come true if their family could be supported from an 80 acre farm instead of the more typical 2,000 acres commodity farm.  In a recent article, Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists says that dream may be becoming a reality: \”We all could use some good news. Here is some. This is a story about breaking free. There’s more than corn, beans and hogs growing in north central Iowa this summer. It turns out that the future may be taking shape just outside Buffalo Center. That’s where farmer Zack Smith has set aside one of his 305 acres of corn/soy to experiment with a system that he calls the Stock Cropper. As the name tells you, both livestock and plants are involved. In the same field. ….The setup involves alternating strips of 12 rows of corn and 20 feet of annual pasture. simultaneously allowing them to range in the open while not damaging the crop. The mobile barns move 11 feet daily through each pasture strip, permitting the livestock to methodically convert forage and soil insects into meat and fertility for the soil by just being themselves.\” Ricardo kindly introduced us to Zack Smith who explains how  a better future could come from smaller farms.

New Pivot, Ancient Grain – Claire Smith

 

\"\"\"\"Can traditional MidWest commodity farms pivot to a more diverse system than just corn and soybeans? It\’s an important question as farmers and their customers pursue sustainable farming systems; and even more important when it is not possible to earn enough from the typical dependance on corn and soybean. Seven generations of Smith\’s have farmed about 2,000 acres (1,200 tillable) in South Central Michigan. They decided to pivot from the tried and true corn-belt  farming approach to the ancient grain, Teff.  Now that they\’ve made the pivot to Teff and other alternative grains such as Buckwheat and Millet, they are processing grains and seeds for other farmers seeking their own pivots.  Claire Smith joins Farm To Table Talk to share how her journey from pivot to vertical has led to producing and marketing a granola made from the Teff they are growing \”Teffola\”.  www.eatteffola.com

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Your Time Picks You – Mayor Darrel Steinberg

\"\"We didn\’t pick 2020 as our time to step up, but 2020 picked us. Community leaders, restaurants and local farmers are stepping up to tackle the existential health, safety and economic crises of 2020.  People are hungry, farmers marketing channels have been disrupted, restaurants were brought to the brink  and government resources depleted yet communities are finding ways to cope. Sacramento, the self proclaimed Farm to Fork capital, is a prime example of a resilient community. When all restaurants were forced to close for Covid, five restaurants (Mulvaney\’s B&L, Canon, Binchoyaki, Allora and Camden Spit and Larder) started making \”Family Meals\” to distribute to those in need.  City and State leadership moved quickly to support these efforts and transition to a state wide Great Plates program that is delivering meals to millions.  Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Senior Policy Advisor Julia Burrows share the story of what a community, from farm to fork, can do when it sets its mind to providing for the needs of a population with shrinking nutritional and financial resources.

Farming Towns and Cities – Richard Fordyce USDA Administrator/Farmer

\"\"Farming in Cities and Towns is not where you usually expect to run across the US Department of Agriculture. Well that’s beginning to change as the USDA’s Farm Service Agency is launching county committees to focus exclusively on urban agriculture.  Richard Fordyce  is enthusiastic about this new direction. He is a farmer from Missouri where he also was the Director of Agriculture and now is the Administrator of FSA where this year due to special trade, Covid and natural disaster programs over $40 Billion dollars are being spent to support US farmers. Richard believes that growing food, whether in traditional farms or full or part time in cities and towns is as noble a calling as there is.  To find out more about the Urban Agriculture initiatives contact the FSA county office at the local USDA Service Center. General questions about these FSA county committees can be sent to UrbanAgriculture@usda.gov.  For webinars  discussing the work of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production – including these FSA county committees see farmers.gov/urban.

Online Markets For All – Cole Jones

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Covid has hastened the shift to online markets for every size and shape of farmers to connect with wholesale, retail or consumers around the corner or around the world. Local farmers who have been selling to farmers markets, CSA\’s, local stores or restaurants can now add their own online outlet.  Even large scale commodity farmers can now branch out from a mono crop system to add some specialty crops or livestock that they can market wholesale or retail from their own personal online stores. Cole Jones, the founder of Local Line, is convinced that online commerce is the new commerce from farms to tables. Local line is helping over 7,000 farmers from every Canadian Province and 49 States get to market \”better, faster, cheaper!\” When much of agriculture has suffered from the concentration of fewer and fewer buyers, farmers can hang their shingle on their personal virtual store that cuts out superfluous middlemen.  It is a key part of North America\’s future food system and it\’s the Talk of Farm to Table.  www.localine.ca

Let\’s Talk Turkey – Jason Diestel

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Some  independent growers and processors  have removed the need for the middle man. From raising and butchering their animals to processing and shipping the finished product to stores, they have control over their product quality and supply chain and embody the essence of the farm-to-plate movement. For over 70 years and four generations, the Diestel family has been on that track, pursuing innovation in turkey farming and processing while maintaining old-fashioned values.Jason Diestel has loved food and farming since growing up working alongside his dad, Tim Diestel, and his grandpa, Jack Diestel, on the ranch he now helps run. Jason turned his attention to sustainable farming in college, where he led a humus composting project—the first of many excuses to nerd out on carbon farming and creating more nutrient-dense food, and what ultimately led to his role on the farm today. As a turkey farmer who understands the role of healthy soil in the greater food web, he knows that caring for the land is one of the most important contributions  of Diestel Family Ranch can make. Jason also leads Diestel’s gargantuan compost program, helping CSA farmers, Master Gardeners, and school gardens to be more productive and more responsible. Farm to Table Talk visits with Jason Diestel on this family\’s journey from producing turkeys, to processing and marketing a successful family brand and creating an earth friendly composting program.  www.diestelturkey.com

Celebrating A Life – Jack Woolf

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When a living legend passes after over a hundred years on Earth, it can truly be right to celebrate that life. That has never been truer than when that legend is Jack Woolf and his particular part of the Earth was the Central Valley of California.Jack Woolf started farming for others on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley after returning from WWII. When he and his family founded Woolf Farming in 1974, he sought to move away from the region’s traditional crop rotation of grains, cotton & melons to higher valued specialty crops and processing tomatoes and almonds. About three years ago I sat down with Jack on the occasion of his 100th birthday. It was an incredible conversation with a man I liked and admired for who he was as a Farmer, Father, Grandfather, Friend, Husband of Bernice and a true champion for Agriculture in the Central Valley of California. Jack passed away, a few weeks shy of his one hundred and third birthday. Jack\’s telling of his own story is an inspiration that we share again in this podcast conversation, the first podcast with a 100 year old farming legend. In the spirit of true celebration of a remarkable life, we now turn the clock back for this visit with Jack Woolf. www.woolffarming.com

Well-Raised Meat – Diana Rodgers

 

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\”At our grocery stores and dinner tables, even the most thoughtful consumers are overwhelmed by the number of considerations to weigh when choosing what to eat—especially when it comes to meat. Guided by the noble principle of least harm, many responsible citizens resolve the ethical, environmental and nutritional conundrum by quitting meat entirely. But can a healthy, sustainable and conscientious food system exist without animals?\” That\’s one of many critical questions answered by Diana Rodgers: Mom, organic farmer, registered dietitian, author and film-maker. Cows get a raw deal and Diana sets the record straight in her blogs, books, film and podcasts.  In our Farm To Table Talk and the new book and film, aptly titled Sacred Cow, Diana explains why well-raised meat is good for you and good for the planet. www.sustainable dish.com www.sacredcow.info

 

Honey Do Biz – Matt Kollmorgen

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What if you could build an online retail business around your favorite food.  Matt Kollmorgen had that idea when, as many are experiencing today, his former employment ended.  Since he loved honey from when he was a kid growing up and as a grown  up it became important to provide his family with a healthy, nutrient rich alternative to sugar, he found a way to turn his love into a business, \”Bee K\’onscious Artisinal Honey\”.   A business plan was drafted and beekeeper partners were found who use ethical sustainable practices so pure, blockchain traceable, raw honey could be sourced, bottled, posted on line and shipped to discerning families all over. Career changes are on the horizon for many today, so opening an online store featuring a favorite artisanal food can be a solution for new entrepreneurs and consumers who love the expanding choices, from farm to table. www.bkshoney.com

 

 

Community, \”Heal Thyself\” – Cathryn Couch, Ceres Project

\"\"There is  good news for people who want to help people: To make a difference you don\’t have to fly to a challenged part of the country or the world; just roll up your sleeves and go to work in your community. That\’s what Cathryn Couch does through the Ceres Community Project that she started in the basement of her Church with some volunteer teens. Today they energisze communities by linking what we eat and how we care for each other with the health of people and planet. From their humble beginnings they have grown to provide thousands of meals that connect locally grown food with people in need. CNN recognized their founder and CEO, Cathryn Couch as one of America\’s \”Community Heroes\”.  Beyond their local community role today they are helping train community leaders across the country and are working on regional \”food as medicine\” projects that recognize good nutrition trumps the costs of drugs and hospitals.  www.cerespoject.org

 

Bending, Not Breaking & Beyond.. – Erin Fitzgerald USFRA

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Farmers and ranchers should \”be recognized for the the unique ways they enable the sustainable foods systems of the future and nourish our communities, natural resources, and planet\”.  The US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)  was created to accomplish that vision with a mission to co-create sustainable food systems, connecting farmers, ranchers and food makers.  The CEO of the USFRA Erin Fitzgerald explains that American agriculture is bending but not breaking from the strains of Covid 19 in this conversation with the co-hosts of a developing podcast \”Beyond Your Table\”.  Michael Dimock the host of Flipping the Table podcast and Rodger Wasson the host of Farm To Table Talk have joined to bring conversations from the real dirt to common ground-Beyond Your Table. www.USFRA.org

On Off Farm – Matt Brechwald

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It is not unusual to hear from folks who want farming to be a foundational part of their lives.  They may have a job that requires a long commute to their office cubicle or they are living on a small farm and can\’t quite make a living, with out adding some off farm income. Matt Brechwald was one of those people before he made the jump to a small farm in Idaho and started adding enterprises off farm that allowed him with his wife and daughter to live their dream.  For Matt those off farm enterprises included speaking, coaching and podcasting to help others \”get in to farming and to love their lifestyle.\” I literally heard of Matt when he interviewed my brother, Ron Wasson about www.barnyarddiscoveries.com.  That and loads of other informative podcasts can be found at www.offincome.com or the Off Farm Income podcasts wherever you get your podcasts.

Graze Nearby, Please — Andree Soares

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Wild fires have been an annual occurrence for centuries, but the increasingly undeniable effects of climate change portends more fire disasters, more often.  One natural step to deal with the threats is responsible grazing,  in and around urban populations.  Andree Soares, President of Star Creek Land Stewards is finding that once people get used to having sheep and goats grazing around their homes, they never want to go back to the old days of vegetation control with weed eaters, poisons and mowers. Sheep production is a family tradition for Anree that goes back hundreds of years to grazing sheep in the Pyrenees mountains in Spain and France. Modern day California is far different in some ways, but the same in others: sheep and goats are still regenerative to the earth, remote mountains or crowed suburbs.  www.starcreeklandstewards.com

Sheepless in CA? – Andree Soares

Sheep and goats have a long tradition in California, a state that ranks #1 in lamb production and #2 in wool production. After years of decline from issues such as predation there has started to be encouraging increases in demand for lamb and public recognition for the important role of grazing for fire protection. Andree Soares of Star Creek Land Stewards has told us the encouraging news and now explains the existential threats to the survival of the California sheep industry. www.CAWoolGrowers.org www.starcreeklandstewards.com

Growing To Go – Kelly Tiller & Sam Jackson

 

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The pandemic has been a nightmare for restaurants but a dream come true for curb-side, carry out and delivery. We cheer the climate friendly effects of some of our forced changes but what about all those Styrofoam and other non-recyclable packages that our encasing all of that take-out food or home deliveries? What if the packaging is grown on a farm just like the food and could also be traced back to the farm it grew on? Well that’s happening now in Tennessee where farmers are growing switchgrass that is processed in to packaging for takeout containers for a regenerative cycle. Native grasses like switchgrass are perennials that can grow to 8-10 feet high every year, without replanting. The roots go as deep as the plant is tall, building the soil and requiring minimal water. Native grasses for packaging will not typically be more valuable than major cash crops but they help make full use of fringe and marginal land on many farms across the country and may have a future in California where new water pumping regulations are expected to cause many Central Valley farms to fallow as much as a third of their acreage. Farmers in East Tennessee are being recruited by Genera to grow ag-fiber pulp like switch grass to produce compostable, fully plant –based food service products like to-go containers. Genera CEO Kelly Tiller and Vice President Sam Jackson join us to connect the dots from fields of perennial renewable grasses to a guilt free packaging of our delivered lunch. I know who grew the food. Who grew the package? www.generainc.com

Virtually Organic – Laura Batcha, OTA

 

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The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic this year — and its enormous impact on our everyday lives – has already had dramatic consequences for the organic sector in 2020. As shoppers search for healthy, clean food to feed their at-home families, organic food is proving to be the food of choice for home. “Our normal lives have been brought to a screeching halt by the coronavirus\” says the CEO of the Organic Trade Association, Laura Batcha. Laura joins Farm To Table Talk having just wrapped up the first ever virtual annual meeting of the Association. The over 650 members connected by Zoom were assured that consumer\’s commitment to the Organic label has always resided at the intersection of health and safety, and is expected  to strengthen as the public gets through these unsettled times. www.ota.com

Breaking Silence – Marion Nestle

\"\"Sometimes in some ways \’silence is golden\’ but especially in these times, breaking the norms of polite silence is essential.  Stepping up, speaking out and breaking the silence is a public petition that Marion Nestle has pushed throughout her career as author, blogger, professor and respected influencer of food policy.  She is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public health (emerita) at New York University, visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell and host of the Food Politics Blog.  Marion sees that the Covid pandemic crisis reveals issues such as the fate of today\’s packing plant workers that need to be engaged–breaking silence.  The price paid for speaking up may include occasionally being trolled on Twitter as @marionnestle experiences, but that\’s \”just politics\” to be endured for needed progress. www.foodpolitics.com