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  • Art piece for From Farms to Incubators by JC Gonzalez, artist

Exhibition: Highlighting Women Leaders in Ag and AgTech

Posted on September 21, 2020 14:44 PM by elyons

This fall the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas hosts a special exhibition and film festival


This autumn, the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, is hosting a special exhibition “From Farms to Incubators: Spotlighting Women Leaders in Food, Farming and AgTech.” The exhibition is the brainchild of Amy Wu, an award-winning journalist, writer for the women’s ag and agtech movement, and founder of From Farms to Incubators. Wu was previously a reporter for The Salinas Californian, where she reported on local government and agriculture.


The exhibition will include photos, art pieces, sculptures and film that celebrate women innovators in agriculture and agtech. It is set to launch in mid-November and run through January 2021. There is a virtual launch event planned for November to be hosted by the National Steinbeck Center.


The exhibition will be held inside a gallery in the Steinbeck Center and will also include a film series, which will run alongside the exhibition. The series includes “Fear No Fruit,” the Frieda Caplan Documentary, Dolores, Seed Savers, East of Salinas, and Wu’s documentary short “From Farms to Incubators.”


The exhibition and film festival were inspired by a book that she is completing that is a collection of portraits of women innovators and entrepreneurs in agtech, many of them with a connection to agriculture in California. The book is scheduled to be published by California-based publisher Linden Books in 2021. 


“Women for centuries have played a vital role in farm operations across the country and globally. The National Steinbeck Center is honored to present this timely and eye-opening exhibition and thrilled Amy Wu has chosen the Center to continue to tell the stores of minority women entrepreneurs in Agtech in the Salinas Valley and beyond,” says Michele Speich, executive director of the National Steinbeck Center.


The project also brings together local artists and photographers, which was part of Wu’s vision. Contributors include renowned Salinas artist, educator and farmer JC Gonzalez and photographer Dexter Farm.


“This was an incredible opportunity to meet and photograph leading women in the agriculture technology and agri-business industry. Innovation and technologies from these women show a glimpse of how farming is changing and the people behind it,” says Dexter Farm, one of the lead photographers on the exhibition and book.


While the exhibition and book are new, they are actually a continuation of a special project that started in 2016 when Wu was a local government reporter for The Salinas Californian. She became fascinated with the undertold stories of women, especially women of color, who are creating the technologies to help solve some of the biggest challenges that growers are facing.


“My passion to unearth underreported stories and amplify new voices is what led me to highlight the stories of emerging communities in agriculture,” Wu says. “Ultimately, I hope the exhibition, film series and book serves as vehicles to inspire youth – especially those from rural or underserved communities - to consider that agriculture extends far beyond tractors and overalls and it is a sector that offers an amazing range of opportunities that involve innovation.”


After the exhibition closes in Salinas, it is expected to Gonzales, Sacramento and Merced where events and book signings are planned.


For updates about the exhibition please go to @farmstoincubators on Facebook.