In Feburary, the ENTS program and the Carleton community were very fortunate to welcome David “Mas” Masumoto to our campus. Masumoto is a third-generation Japanese-American organic peach farmer from the San Joaquin valley south of Fresno, CA. This background gives him a unique perspective on American agriculture.
During his week on the campus Masumoto showed his enthusiasm about sustainability, agriculture and creativity through his many different interactions with the Carlton community. Not only did he give a public lecture, he also ran a creative writing workshop, held multiple brunches for students, staff and faculty, and ran a faculty seminar. He met with many of the food or sustainability related student groups on campus, including FireBellies and Food Truth. He even attended a dinner at farm house. He was not shy about being involved on campus during his short visit.
His presentation, titled “How A Peach Changed Everything,” was a mix of multigenerational memoir, social and environmental commentary, and an evocative celebration of the sensory pleasures of working the land and growing fresh fruit. He talked about how farm families are adapting to changes in the farm economy, what farming has meant and continues to mean to him, and the food movement.
David Masumoto was a wonderful and interesting person to meet and speaker to listen to. He is a truly distinctive and rich contribution to American agrarianism. Carleton College was very lucky to get the opportunity to welcome him to our campus.