In 2017, Jon Bansen, of Double J Jerseys, spoke at Food Tank’s Sacramento Summit Conference (This interview was originally published on the Food Tank website, in preparation for the event). Bansen farms in Monmouth, Oregon, and works as an educator, writer, and spokesperson for organic dairy in Oregon.
Food Tank (FT): What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?
Jon Bansen (JB): My interest in biology and love of nature.
FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?
JB: Consumer-driven demand of different products.
FT: What innovations in agriculture and the food system are you most excited about?
JB: It’s food. It’s not technology. It should be about the biology, not the innovation.
FT: Can you share a story about a food hero that inspired you?
JB: My father would be my food hero. Even before organics were around he refused to spray pesticides in the fields where the cows were going to eat.
FT: What drives you every day to fight for the bettering of our food system?
JB: The survivability of our planet.
FT: What’s the biggest problem within the food system our parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with?
JB: Large agribusiness and the pesticides that come with it.
FT: What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?
JB: The corn and soybean based monoculture.
FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
JB: Their food choices.
FT: What’s one issue within the food system you’d like to see completely solved for the next generation?
JB: It would have to be the issue around monocultures of corn and soybeans, and the pesticides; it’s all intertwined and tied to our broken food system.
FT: What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?
JB: Subsidies to the corn and soybean monoculture system.