Exploring Rural America: A Discussion on the Environment, Food Systems, and Farmland
This conversation will focus on the intersections of environmental concerns, food, farming and equitable access to farmland in the Bay Area. Key questions to be explored include: How can we improve the diversity of rural food producers, as well as increase the accessibility, affordability, and interdependence within and between our rural and urban communities? How can we have more gender and racial equity in regional farmland ownership that can also grow culturally relevant foods for our multi-racial Bay Area communities?
Samir L. Doshi, PhD, is an organizer working on food and land sovereignty in the Bay Area and nationally. He is also a Race and Technology Practitioner Fellow at Stanford University's Digital Civil Society Lab and the Center for Comparative Studies for Race and Ethnicity. Samir was a Senior Scientist and Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama White House and USAID, and has held research and teaching positions at the University of Cambridge, Stockholm Resilience Center, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and UC Berkeley.
Before co-founding Pie Ranch in 2003, Jered Lawson worked with various organizations in California with a common goal of influencing the way people relate to themselves, each other, and the land around them through the development of healthy, local, and just food systems. Jered leads the organization's regional advocacy efforts, joins in farm operations, and works with the Board of Directors to raise the necessary support to fulfill the mission and infrastructure improvements of Pie Ranch. Jered lives on the farm with his partner Nancy and their children, Lucas and Rosa, and loves to surf when time allows.
Kristyn Leach farms in Winters, an agricultural town in the Central Valley. She grows primarily Korean and other East Asian crops, with an emphasis on heritage seed preservation, as well as breeding Asian vegetables for organic systems. Her project, Second Generation, started as a collection within Kitazawa Seed Company, and now is a collective effort to support communities of the Asian diaspora in tending to their respective food traditions and wisdom.
This event is part of a series hosted by the Stanford Rural Engagement Network, a collaboration of The Bill Lane Center for the American West and Haas Center for Public Service. To stay informed of Stanford’s efforts to deepen engagement with domestic rural communities, sign up here.