First Friday of the month at 5p.m.
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Immigration reform, one of our modern era’s most intractable political problems, is best examined from a historical perspective. Mario Sifuentez worked Oregon onion fields as a child and now teaches the “History of Food” at UC Merced.
Host Tom Willey speaks with guest Mario Sifuentez, author of “Of Forests and Fields, Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest”.
Fruits and vegetables daily gracing our tables are harvested by a similar work force on both sides of an international border. While California’s minimum wage soars from $8.00 to $15.00 per hour, Mexican farm workers struggle to earn $10.00 for an entire day’s labor.
Host Tom Willey speaks with guests CSU Fresno anthropologist Dvera Saxton and student Elio Santos while they share their recent experience on picket lines alongside striking Baja California field workers.
The big almond gamble has been hogging all the news of late, while growers quietly yank out thousands of acres of wine and raisin grapes…..why? Farm gate prices are in the tank, as some wineries fill their tanks with foreign wine, not local grapes.
Host Tom Willey interviews Madera vine dresser and San Joaquin Wine Co. vintner Steve Schafer for some low down on the down low grape business hereabouts.
Host Tom Willey interviews former National Land People leaders, Berge Bulbulian and Marc Lasher, local water activist Janaki Jagannath and John Heywood, Executive Director of People, Food and Land Foundation.
Four decades ago, the late social activist George Ballis and cohorts waged a nearly successful, if ultimately quixotic, campaign to enforce 1902 Reclamation Act rules limiting farm size to 160 acres in Fresno County’s sprawling Westlands Water District. California Institute for Rural Studies scholars recently retraced Ballis’ National Land for People history, in hopes of shedding light on Valley agriculture’s current state and future trajectory.
Neolithic Revolution, a term synonymous with our invention of agriculture, suggests humans abandoned hunter-gatherer ways, picking up the hoe rather abruptly some 10,000 years back. Actually more drawn-out and complex, that transformation began altering Earth’s climate long before the Industrial Revolution’s fossil fuel combustion did. Now biologists, publishing in the journal Nature, present evidence that Homo Sapiens’ recent adoption of farming ways also coincides with a “dramatic restructuring of Earth’s plant and animal communities”, not seen in earlier fossil records over several hundred million years. Join UC Merced’s Jessica Blois, co-author of that Nature article, and “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey.