Ultra Black Hats – Sharon Palmer, RD

58% of the energy intake in the American diet is from ultra processed foods and not coincidentally nearly 40% of the population is considered obese, facing growing rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.  It’s not that all processed foods are bad since many highly nutritious foods are minimally processed and maybe canned, jarred, frozen or dried points out Registered Dietitian and author, Sharon Palmer. Realigning our diets involves simple choices that can be made at the supermarket and even at fast food drive throughs. Sharon explains what is “ultra” processed and what we can do better.

@sharonpalmer   sharonpamer.com www.food&planet.org

New Farm Spirit – Stuart Woolf, Sean Venus

Water restrictions in California will cause large acreages of farm land to be fallowed, potentially producing nothing.  Fortunately   a new crop is being introduced that uses very little water, making more available for thirstier tree, vine and row crops.  That new crop, a new spirit, is California Agave.  Stuart Woolf has been to Mexico and brought back Agave plants that are planted and flourishing in the Central Valley. It’s turning out that California is ideal for Agave production.  That’s good news for Sean Venus, of Venus Distilling in Santa Cruz who is distilling California Agave Spirits and is representative of progressive distillers who see a promising future for California’s newest crop, a great spirit.

www.woolffarming.com   venusspirits.com  californiaagave.org

 

Consumer Confusion – Amy Myrdal Miller, RD

Consumers are more confused than ever about what are the best food choices for themselves and their family.  This is the case inspite of the fact or because of the fact that social media, traditional media, books and TV are filled with strongly asserted points of view.  Why is establishing  the right path so confusing?  Amy Myrdal Miller is a registered dietitian, North Dakota farmer’s daughter and co-author of Cooking a la Heart.  https://www.farmersdaughterconsulting.com

Farming The Farm Bill – Ricardo Salvador

More money is spent lobbying the Farm Bill than is spent lobbying for America’s Defense industry. It’s not just about producing food. Over 80% of the farm bill is for nutrition programs, such as SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bulk of the lobbying investments are made by AgriBusiness that sells inputs to farmers and the grocery industry who benefit from food assistance purchases.  Even the farm focused programs (research, exports, conservation, etc) mostly support products used for fuel, animal feed and sweeteners. These include important programs to help real farmers produce real food, but not enough.  Ricardo Salvador is the Director of Food and Environmental Programs with the Union of Concerned Scientists. www.ucusa.org

More Meat More Ways – Paul Shapiro

The demand for meat will keep growing because the world’s population will keep growing out of poverty and with a hunger to add meat to their diet. Now more meat can come from more sources , including animal, plants and mycoprotein. Paul Shapiro is CEO of the Better Meat Company and author of “Clean Meat”.  Growing micycrobial fungi called “mycoprotein”, meat is produced with the look, taste and texture of animal sourced products with equal or superior nutrition. Who knew we could be farming microbes to help feed a hungry planet. www.bettermeat.co

Organic Juice Journey – Uncle Matt Mclean

A successful consumer brand can be built from the farm while prioritizing community well-being. Organic style farming existed long before chemical intensive farming became the norm.  Four generations of Matt Mclean’s family were citrus farmers in Florida, beginning before federal organic certification became a law. Recognizing growing demand , Matt founded Uncle Matt’s Organic.  Starting with one item sold locally in his backyard, it has become the oldest organic OJ brand in the US and is sold in over 15,000 stores nationwide. Matt’s goal is to produce the highest quality products using sustainable organic methods while educating consumers and farmers about the benefits of an organic lifestyle.   www.unclematts.com

Commodity Ag – Scott Brown

Economies of scale will continue to push farming operations to get bigger over time. While big farms getting bigger is not likely to change, value added farming is a different matter. Another decline in net farm income is projected  according to the Spring 2024 Missouri Farm Income Outlook released by the University of Missouri’s Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center (RaFF). Projections from the report suggest that declining market receipts and lower crop prices play a role in the estimated $0.8 billion decrease in net farm income says  Scott Brown, interim director of the center.

Old Ways Are New Ways – Brittany & Bill Sullivan

 

The new ways of raising livestock and meat production are increasingly drawing from old ways when pastures were more prevalent than large metal confinement buildings. Brittany and Bill Sullivan own and operate Sullivan Farms, just outside of Fayette, MO. Their primary business is pork. All their pigs are raised and rotated on fresh regenerative pastures, and fed NON-GMO grain, along with organic milk. They believe a highly quality of life for animals insures terrific, nutritious food on our dinner tables. Selling to  restaurants, butcher shops, at the farmers markets, and grocery stores.they have discovered there is a market for livestock produced on pasture an that you don’t have to be a giant CAFO, concentrated animal feeding operation.

www.sullivanfarmsmo.com

Regional Food System Creation – Zack Wyatt

Although funding and knowledge is available to create better food systems, it is the active choice of doing nothing that is impeding progress. We keep educating the public on the problem and offer no solutions says Zack Wyatt, CEO and founder of the Carolina Farm Trust. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he’s now driving change to improve access to affordable, healthy foods. The first stage is to open a distribution and food production center in west Charlotte, an area known as a food desert. The project includes working with farmers to get food from the farm to the tables, partnering with local chefs in the community and helping to build urban farms. carolinafarm.org.

 

Farm Adjacent Communities – Clayton Garrett

Cities keep growing but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to be around a farm. In fact when you can’t live in the country then how about bringing the farm to the city?  That’s what Clayton Garrett shares is happening in Houston and other cities. It may be surprising to farmers who have experienced mixed results when city folks move to the country and become their neighbors. Clayton Garrett is a farmer and founding partner of Meristem Communities,  a Houston based real estate development company exploring how healthy communities are developed and nourished,  often with farming in its midst. indigocommons.com

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

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