Purchasing Power

We kicked off the 2nd state- Washington- of our 10 state tour- at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Students crowded at some tables out in front of the theater. There were initiatives to support student farms, and initiatives to get GMO labeling started in Washington state, initiative I-522, if I remember correctly. 

People were a bit restless, as some had thought the screening started at 6, when the actual time was 7. When 7 finally did come around, almost every seat in the theater was filled, probably about 230 folks in attendance.  

Opening night in Washington at University of Washington in Seattle. (Photo Andy Trimbach)

It was a particularly special screening because we had George and Eiko Vojkovich, both of whom are featured in the documentary, as well as their daughter Nicole, who is a freshman at UW. 

The conversation following was very inspiring. Stephanie Robinson, a UW student who helped to organize the screening, spoke passionately about the incredible power that students hold to change the food system. UW purchases an incredible amount of food every year to feed the people of the university. Stephanie correctly pointed out that students have incredible influence as to what kind of food they will eat at their campus. With each word she spoke, you could feel the empowerment of each student in the room. 

George & Eiko talked about how they raise nutrient dense food by paying much attention to the health of their animals. George is a hilarious guy, and his affable manner led to many laughs. 

Charmane talked about her urban farm, with small numbers of many species. A lifestyle that fits her world of music and farming, a world that intentionally avoids earning lots of money.

Megan talked about the importance of workers rights, which is a topic we didn't talk much about in the documentary. 

We were honored to have the discussion moderated by the calm and composed Claire Thompson of Grist, who helped keep the conversation moving. 


Claire Thompson of Grist Moderates. (Photo Andy Trimbach)

After the conversation came to a close, so many passionate people came up and suggested Young Washington Farmers for us to contact and film on our journeys. It's reassuring to know that so many young people are so interested in farming, and that we are starting to learn how to make local systems work. We have a long way to go, a long way to go, and yet, we our movement has the youthful exuberance necessary for systemic change.

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commented 2012-11-17 15:53:53 -0500 · Flag
Thanks Terri, thanks Aldan. George and Eiko Vojkovich, grass-based farmers of Skagit River Ranch
-Megan Carney, postdoctoral scholar in the UW Medical Anthropology and Global Health Program
-Stephanie Robinson, UW student and Real Food Challenge activist
-Charmaine Slaven, co-founder of the Seattle Farm Co-op