Farm Aid + Chinese Immigration

This week Theresa Marquez speaks with two founders of Farm Aid – Carolyn Mugar and Glenda Yoder. They talk about the founding and evolution of this food and farming phenomenon. Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid, has an incredible resume of socially-conscious experience. The social issues she’s tackled includes labor, environment, toxics, literacy, and community empowerment as well as starting a reforestation project in Armenia. Willie Nelson turned to her to direct Farm Aid after the success of the first concert in 1985. The staff at the organization is convinced she never sleeps Glenda Yoder grew up on a farm in Ohio. As a child, she helped her mother garden and put food by for the winter. Her chores included heading out to the pasture to find Jerz when milking time came around, and spinning the cream separator. Today in her backyard in Jamaica Plain, a Boston neighborhood, she s still growing food and freezing vegetables and fruits for the winter. She visits farms as often as possible, walking the fields and asking questions. From rural to urban life, good food and music still feeds her soul. Glenda is grateful for the privilege to work on behalf of family farmers, humbled by the extraordinary, creative team at Farm Aid. She s feeling very lucky!

Rootstock Radio host, Theresa Marquez, serves as the Mission Executive for Organic Valley, the nation s largest organic farmer cooperative and the largest farmer-owned organic brand. Formerly, she was Chief Marketing Executive, helping grow CROPP Cooperative from $5 million in 1994 to $860 million in 2012.

A pioneer of the natural foods movement, Marquez has been a passionate advocate for organic farming and organic foods since 1978. Well known for her unwavering belief that organic is the key to solving many of the challenges we face today, Marquez has demonstrated that organic can make a difference for farmers, citizens and the planet. In 2010, the Organic Trade Association honored Marquez with the Organic Leadership Award for her outstanding initiative and devotion to organic.

Hosted by Theresa Marquez, of Rootstock Radio. Rootstock Radio is sponsored by Organic Valley Family of Farms


Then at 5:30 or so, Secrecy of and revelation about the trip to America to secure a new life during the Chinese Exclusion era is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Felicia Lowe, whose film “Chinese Couplets” tells her mother’s story. Felicia Lowe was met with refusals and silence when as a child she asked her mother about her childhood. This shroud of silence was lifted when Felicia Lowe’s daughter found an old family photograph taken in China and asked her grandmother to tell the story related to the photograph.

The film “Chinese Couplets” shows and tells the story of a childhood in rural China, the new identity to secure passage to America, the fear of deportation if the truth were known, and a prosperous and successful life of an immigrant Chinese woman in Oakland, California. The film “Chinese Couplets” will be shown at the Mendocino Film Festival on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 10 am in the Village of Mendocino, California.

When Felicia Lowe and I visited by phone from her home in San Francisco, California, May 17, 2015, I asked her to tell us about her mother.

The book Felicia Lowe recommends is “The Blues Eye,” by Toni Morrison.

Felicia Lowe’s website is:

Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it’s 25th year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know [email protected], we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas. Radio Curious 280 N. Oak St. Ukiah, Ca 95482. (707) 462-6541(707) 462-6541.

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