Myeasha Taylor, Urban Farming Specialist, will be speaking at the Washington D.C. Food Tank Summit, “Cultivating the Next Generation of Young Food Leaders,” which will be held in partnership with George Washington University, World Resources Institute, the National Farmers Union, Future Farmers of America, and the National Young Farmers Coalition on February 28, 2018.
Since graduating from Morgan State University in 2012, Taylor dedicated herself to combating food insecurity and strengthening the local food economy. She has seven years of experience teaching youth, adult, and special needs populations about nutrition, urban agriculture, entrepreneurship, and volunteerism in Washington, D.C. In 2016, Taylor co-founded Two Moons Food Group LLP, an enterprise aiming to improve the conditions of food, farmers, and the food system. She consults with emerging and existing food businesses to help them develop and execute their ideas. She also serves as a member of the Circle of Wise Council for Black Yield Institute and Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Incorporated.
Food Tank got the opportunity to sit down with Taylor to talk about local farming, urban malnutrition, and future leaders in the food system.
Food Tank (FT): What originally inspired you to get involved in your work?
Myeasha Taylor (MT): My family and community inspired me. My late grandmother battled several chronic illnesses and passed away from malnutrition. From my community I gained a better understanding of malnutrition and the effects it has on the urban population. As a result, I discovered how I could help improve the condition of those around me by navigating opportunities in the food system.
FT: How are you helping to build a better food system?
MT: I seek to increase my understanding and participation in the local food system, whether through consulting with emerging food businesses, training beginner farmers, or learning how to grow produce in urban areas with poor soil and disinterested populations. I’ve found that my natural curiosity helps me understand how food insecurity, economic development, health education, and politics overlap.
FT: What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?
MT: I would like to see more local farms with access to land ownership or putting green spaces into easements–a process in which use of the green spaces is restricted to farming and agricultural purposes. Local food production can reduce the impact of the food system on the environment and produce more nutrient-dense crops. I’d like to see urban farms support their local economies and receive subsidies to fund employment for community members.
FT: What innovations in food and agriculture are you most excited about?
MT: I am currently studying solar energy as it relates to sustainability and agriculture because I am interested in integrating energy efficient technologies into agricultural methods. I am also excited by recent efforts of food start-ups that redistribute ugly foods, phone applications that assist local farmers, and urban farms that create equitable employment.
FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
MT: Demonstrate an attitude of service by expressing gratitude to yourself or someone else through words or actions.
FT: What is the best opportunity for young or aspiring farmers and entrepreneurs to get a foothold in America’s agricultural future?
MT: Aspiring farmers and entrepreneurs win when they align their ideas and efforts with the growing industry of agriculture and technology. These individuals can accomplish this by developing inclusive services that reduce food waste and water use, while increasing access to affordable, nutrient dense, and diverse produce.
FT: How can we best stimulate young people’s curiosity about food and agriculture and encourage their participation in building healthier food systems?
MT: We can best stimulate young people’s curiosity by promoting healthy eating through education and entertainment. Mass media is very influential, soda companies contract with athletes and musicians to drink their products. Health food companies and farms could benefit from the same practices. We need more efforts to build awareness that young people would relate to such as Appetite for Change’s video “Grow Food.”
Tickets for the 2018 D.C. Food Tank Summit are selling out quickly! Join us in Washington D.C. on February 28th as we discuss cultivating the next generation of food leaders. Apply to attend HERE.