Valley author David ‘Mas’ Masumoto contributes to book on food and farming

Local author David “Mas” Masumoto has written an essay for “Letters To a Young Farmer.”
Local author David “Mas” Masumoto has written an essay for “Letters To a Young Farmer.”

Local farmer, Fresno Bee contributor and author David “Mas” Masumoto, is one of the contributors to the book “Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future.”

The book (Princeton Architectural Press, $19.95) was released Tuesday by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

It’s the first book to be released by the nonprofit farm, educational center and restaurant designed to promote sustainable, community-based food production.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to share everyday stories of a life working this good earth and, hopefully, offer a few lessons – some painful, others joyful – from one generation to another,” Masumoto said.

The book features 36 essays by farmers, chefs, writers and leaders. Along with Masumoto, the contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, Dan Barber, Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Verlyn Klinkenborg.

Masumoto, a third-generation farmer, has been writing books related to the farm life he’s embraced for more than four decades since his 1995 memoir “Epitaph for a Peach.” There’s been a long list of titles since then, including “Wisdom of the Last Farmer” and “Letters to the Valley, A Harvest of Memories.”


His most recent work, “Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm” (Heyday, $16), was written with his daughter Nikiko.

“Letters to a Young Farmer” comes at a major time of change in the farming industry. As farmers retire over the next two decades, 400 million acres of farmland is to change hands. That means a new generation will take over the farming life.

In the book’s introduction, Jill Isenbarger, executive director of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, writes, “In these letters, I hope you will find that the promise of a more sustainable and resilient future has never been brighter, and that the prospects for good food, grown well, are strong.”

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1