Fresno Beehive

Nikiko Masumoto represents the Valley at White House event

Nikiko Masumoto, center, and members of White House panel, from left, Danielle Gould, Will Allen, Caleb Harper and Maria Rose Belding.
Nikiko Masumoto, center, and members of White House panel, from left, Danielle Gould, Will Allen, Caleb Harper and Maria Rose Belding. Special to the Bee

Nikiko Masumoto, an organic farmer from Del Rey, returned home Tuesday from a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., where she spoke at a White House event on farming’s future.

Masumoto, a rising star in the sustainable agriculture movement, appeared on the panel as part of the South By South Lawn festival on Monday, Oct. 3. The one-day event brought together experts from across the country to explore ideas involving food, technology and the environment.

The highlight of the event was a discussion on protecting the planet featuring actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, President Barack Obama and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

“It was an incredibly humbling experience,” Masumoto said Tuesday, Oct. 4. “We were right there on the south lawn of the White House.”

Masumoto was on a panel discussing how to sustainably feed a growing world population. She was joined by several speakers, including Danielle Gould, founder of Food+Tech Connect, a center for food innovation; Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power, a not-for-profit center for urban agriculture training; and Caleb Harper, principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

Here is video of the panel’s presentation.

The panel looked at several issues, including booming populations, evolving diets, and a changing climate. Masumoto spoke about the need for agriculture to expand what it views as a traditional farmer.

“We have to change that cultural narrative about who is supposed to be a farmer,” she said. “If we are going to feed the world, we are going to need more farmers from a wide group of people.”

Robert Rodriguez: 559-441-6327, @FresnoBeeBob

  Comments