Episode 213: Anna Genasci

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Anna Genasci, Director of Communications for the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, is always looking for opportunities to educate farmers, ranchers, growers, and consumers alike about their local food sources and, while getting a salad one day with her coworker from a local fruit stand, she said, “wouldn’t it be great if we could take an inventory of all the restaurants in our county and see who is sourcing locally and find a way to give them a shout out?” 

From there, the Farm Bureau Foodies video series was born! The Farm Bureau Foodies series is released every other month and highlights local farmers, growers, and ranchers in Stanislaus County and the restaurants that support them. Their first episode highlighted the local dairy farmstead Fiscalini Cheese (this is where cows stay alive, are milked and delicious cheese is made right on the property) that’s over 100 years old!  This might not sound that important, but it’s educational resources like this that help in diminishing the spread of misinformation that’s one of the biggest threats to our domestic agriculture. For example, Anna’s mom gave her a call after watching a news story that claimed harvesting almonds kills bees. Anna explained to her mom that bees aren’t even in the almond orchard at the time of harvest! Instead, bees join the orchard during bloom in February, and almonds aren’t harvested until late August to early September. The second episode of Farm Bureau Foodies even talks about how bees leave almond orchards healthier than before, and the interesting science behind why.

“The number one thing in my opinion that’s a threat to our domestic agriculture is the misinformation that’s out there and the misunderstanding of what life and the practice is on the farm.” Anna Genasci (24:23-24:37)

Organizations like the Farm Bureau serve as a catalyst for change and improvement, as well as a safe space for their members (our farmers) to share their ideas, best practices, assembly task forces, and decide how to make the necessary changes and improvements to our agriculture industry. Creating a series that speaks to consumers is extremely beneficial for this because there are a lot of regulations farmers are up against that affect their ability to attain and sustain the labor they need to thrive. Labor laws and water regulations are the two top issues both Anna and Lori agree our farmers and growers are fighting against, and we need more voters to use their voice and advocate for what’s going to keep our farmers, growers, and ranchers successful.

“Farm security and food security is national security and the only way we have food security is if we have profitable farmers.” Lori Taylor (15:28-15:35)

The goal of the Farm Bureau Foodies episodes is to, of course, entertain and educate consumers, but also instill a sense of pride. When you find out what your local county grows, the incredible history and hard work that goes into production and the unique, delicious meals local restaurants can create because of it, how could you not feel proud? Many people don’t know that their favorite restaurant meals are sourced locally, or what goes into making that sustainable process possible.

“We have transparency. We have nothing to hide, we are doing things in a way that we believe are our best practices and we’re not trying to hide anything about what’s happening on the farm.” Anna Genasci (24:06-24:17)

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The Farm Bureau Foodies series is just getting started and has already created some great episodes you don’t want to miss! Your mouth will be watering when you watch the first episode of some delicious shrimp and grits made with Fiscalini bandage-wrapped cheddar cheese. Their second episode features Roberts Ferry Gourmet with a delightful milkshake that uses almond (or as the locals say “ammon”) butter. Watch and subscribe to the Farm Bureau Foodies series at: https://www.facebook.com/FarmBureauFoodies/.

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!
  • Reach out to us – we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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