September 21, 2016

Farm Tank Summit

Food Tank, in partnership with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Farm-to-Fork Program, and University of California, Davis, is excited about the 1st annual Farm Tank Conference in Sacramento this fall. The two-day event will feature more than 35 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policymakers, government officials, and students will come together for interactive panels.

Our chief farmer, Thaddeus Barsotti will be one of the speakers at the summit. He recently had the opportunity to speak with Farm Tank for a little Q&A session. 

Q. What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?

A. I was born and raised on an organic farm, and it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized that there are not a lot of people who grew up like that! After we lost our mother to cancer, my brothers and I all agreed to keep the farm going.

Q. What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?

A. Fixing the food system is not something that can be done by one specific group of people. In order to fix the food system, all the different components of the food system (farmers, distributors, government, academics, customers) need to band together behind a common vision. This united effort that spans industries is the opportunity.

Q. What innovations in agriculture and the food system are you most excited about?

A. I am most excited about using the internet to completely connect all of the users of the food system with all of the information in the food system.

Q. Can you share a story about a food hero that inspired you?

A. My mother loved to grow new produce (baby mixed lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, satsuma mandarins were some of the things she was the first to grow post world war II). I remember her sitting at the dining room table with all of her seed catalogues deciding what to grow next season. Looking back at it, I respect her courage to grow new items and hustle to find customers that loved those products.

Q. What drives you every day to fight for the bettering of our food system?

A. I am driven on a daily basis to provide my customers with genuinely healthy and just food.

Q. What’s the biggest problem within the food system our parents and grandparents didn't have to deal with?

A. Past generations didn’t have to deal with children growing up eating processed food that has been scientifically perfected to “taste” great.

Q. What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?

A. Our society needs to figure out how to empower everyone to afford and prepare healthy, wholesome food.

Q. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

A. Participate in a local CSA.

Q. What’s one issue within the food system you’d like to see completely solved for the next generation?

A. The ability for everyone to source and prepare wholesome, healthy food.

Q. What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?

A. Stop subsidizing commodities.

Click here to learn more about the Sacramento Food Tank Summit.