To wrap up 2022, we’re shining the last Member Spotlight of the year on Monica Lin from Foodshed in San Diego. Monica is very involved with her community and is truly passionate about the work she does increasing food access while supporting small farms. She is also an active member of CAFF’s policy committee, pushing for structural change in our agricultural system. It is an honor for us to work with people like Monica who truly care about the communities they are a part of.
Q&A with Monica
What inspired you to work with CAFF?
“I pin it back to the first time I attended the CAFF Small Farm Conference. There was a big session about the Farm Bill, and although translation to Spanish was available, I was surprised to find there weren’t any Spanish-Speaking attendees. This is when I realized that I wanted to get involved with CAFF to bring different voices to the table and share resources and information with my community.”
Why is the work being done at CAFF important to you?
“The work that CAFF is doing for the communities of small farmers and ranchers in California is extremely important. The connections that are formed when small producers join this network, helps build resiliency for existing farms and forge the path for new and incoming farmers. Big Ag already has ease of access to all the resources they might need. CAFF’s work is important in counter balancing the disproportionate influence Big Ag has on policies affecting farmers and eaters”
What inspires you to be part of the Ag community?
“Strong and healthy communities are built around food sovereignty. The culture that gathers around food-growing is very rich in wisdom, interdependency, and a sense of responsibility and caring for each other. Big Ag is the antithesis of all this! So, the small Ag community inspires in me the possibility for big change, and of healing the wounds inflicted by imperialism on all of us. “
Why is it important for farmers to engage in advocacy?
“It’s very important that farmers engage in advocacy in any capacity, and especially so for small farmers. The laws and policies being approved in our governments influences every aspect of a farmer’s livelihood, from the land they grow on, to the people that they nourish. Bringing their needs to the table and having their voice represented helps build sovereignty over these choices; and I remain hopeful that the more small farmers engage in advocacy, the stronger the impact will be in the reshaping the landscape of US Agriculture.”
What is your favorite part about engaging with farmers?
“Farmers are amazing people! My favorite part about engaging with farmers is listening to their stories. Whether they are reminiscing about how food used to be grown in their homeland, or whether they are sharing about their daily lives, they always have their eye on a better future, this inspires me and fills me with hope.”
If you could choose one favorite veggie which one would it be?
“Root vegetables are my favorite. Simply imagining how the root grows and pushes the soil underneath our feet while feeding billions of microorganisms, is mesmerizing. It also brings me so much joy to pull them out of the ground! Plus, I have a special appreciation for sweet potatoes in particular, because these nourished my ancestors through famine.”