Farm to Every Table Advisory Committee
Kat Taylor, cofounder of Beneficial State Bank, TomKat Ranch, and Left Coast Grassfed has launched an innovative project to transform California’s long-standing Farm to Family program, which previously involved only 130 large farms in the state. That program provides unsold produce to the state’s food bank system. The Farm to Every Table initiative is expanding sourcing to include smaller regenerative farms led by black, indigenous people of color and women by aggregating their products for efficient shipping and paying them wholesale prices.
Gleaning is an age-old tradition to capturing food from farm fields that did not make it to market and would go to waste if not harvested by volunteers. Based in northern Sonoma County, Farm to Pantry has for 12 years gleaned vegetable and fruit farms to feed the hungry. Volunteer teams go out most days of the week to supply food pantries, day care facilities, community health centers and the food bank with some of the highest quality organic produce grown in the state. The program provides a replicable model of how to build community cohesion and improve public health through nonprofit-coordinated volunteerism.
The industrial food system is upheld by law and policy formulated by corporations who have put profit before people. Ecological degradation, diet related disease and rural economic decline have been the result. Laws and policy must rapidly evolve to fix these problems. The UCLA Law School is dedicated to supporting creation of a healthy, resilient and just food system.
Founded by writer and small farmer Dan Imhoff, the Wild Farm Alliance is working to help farmers and ranchers bring wild nature back onto the agricultural lands to increase biodiversity, which means farm resilience. There are some exciting “Play Big” ideas emerging from this farm-centered organization. Think “hedgerows to the moon and back” or a million bird boxes from Baja to British Columbia and you’ll get the idea.