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.)

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.

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,, 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.



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.


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.

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  For help with authentic stories and strategic counsel go to  Join the drop in audio version of Farm to Table Talk on Clubhouse. 

COP 26 Ag Focus – Karen Ross, Secretary of CA Ag.

Nothing less than the future of the world is the focus of the gathering in Glasgow Scotland, known as COP 26.  The California Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross was there to share the progress and goals of agriculture in California and from there talks with Farm To Table Talk host, Rodger Wasson.