Joan Obra of the Fresno Bee called a few weeks ago to ask questions about the seed industry. We get quite a few calls from reporters, and most of the time it’s a somewhat frustrating experience – with the reporters wanting to reduce complex ideas to a sound bite and even when they get you to squeak one out they often get it wrong. Sorry journalists, but this is the experience of much of the citizenry.
She was fantastic, asked great questions, made follow-up calls to other experts and then back to us, and her hard work and good journalism paid off with one of the better pieces I have read on the issue of farmers losing access to important open-pollinated commercial varieties.
I think talking to all the seed freaks may have infected her with the passion, as she told me that she got enough material for several articles and plans to write them. Fresno is lucky to have her on the food beat.