Anne Schwartz owns and operates Blue Heron Farm, producing regionally marketed, certified organic vegetables and berries. Schwartz graduated in 1978 with a degree in animal science from Washington State University (WSU), and has been farming in the Skagit Valley ever since. Schwartz is an active advocate for organic certification policies at the state and national levels and has been involved in many different projects promoting sustainable agriculture research to strengthen the regional food system.

Food Tank spoke with Anne about how TCA and increased engagement with local, organic farms can make a more sustainable and socially conscious food system.

FT: How are you helping to build a better food system?

AS: I have been an active and engaged organic farmer and activist for 38 years, collaborating with many organizations to create change in our universities, legislature, and communities. I am working to change the culture at our land grant institution, WSU, and I volunteer for many organizations to create better policy, better research, and better communication among farmers and critical partners.

FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

AS: Seek out local food. Buy from local businesses. Keep your money close to home. Your dollar is your vote. Use it well.

FT: How can we make food policy more relevant to eaters so that the politicians representing them feel a mandate to act?

AS: We need to find the most successful models around the country that have developed on-the-ground programs and incentivize local investors to build on community initiatives like Farm to School programs.

Read the full article about how local and organic farming can help solve food issues by Sammy Blair at Food Tank.