And then I took the inimitable Mark Richards up on an invitation to speak to students at Lake Placid’s stunning North Country School. The 4th-9th grade boarding school in New York’s Hudson Valley has a working farm, and work done there is a central part of their education; I even made it onto their daily photos blog here and here. Mark, the librarian, was so taken with my work and its relevance to their students that he designed youth-oriented curricula around it! I’m not sure there’s anything more flattering than that, but the two pieces in the local paper came close:
I not only enjoyed writing a quick piece for the delightful Eater website about what inspires my work, and why I think food can change the world, but am honored to be among 71 (!) other food world names, most of whom are way plenty more accomplished than me.
I can often be a whiner. But right now I’m feeling silent on that front, because the fall has been pretty amazing. I have had the incredible luck to be overwhelmingly busy with work, including reporting for two features that I’m actually excited about — big news for any freelancer. (Keep your eyes out for my byline, fingers crossed, in the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.)
But I’ve also been privileged enough to be traveling to talk about The American Way of Eating and why having a frank conversation about food and class is important in today’s America. Here’s a quick recap below, mostly to give a shout out to the wonderful, generous people who’ve been hosting my writerly self all across the country (and generously helping me cover living expenses in the process)!
If you follow my Twitter feed @TMMcMillan, you’ll already know that on May 3, I was honored to receive the James Beard Journalism Award for Food Politics and the Environment. The irony of swanning around in a party dress with a champagne flute for writing about farm workers sleeping in the field is not lost on me — and neither is the fact that I should enjoy such things when they come my way. Here’s hoping this means that America, in general, is a little more interested in talking about things like farm labor than before!
Food and Environment Reporting Network • May 6, 2013
We are honored to report that Tracie McMillan’s story on the plight of farmworkers, “As Common As Dirt,” won a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award last week. The story, produced by the Food & Environment Reporting Network in collaboration with The American Prospect, appeared in the magazine’s September 2012 issue. Considered the Pulitzers of the food reporting world, the Beard Award was FERN’s first journalism prize, and also came within our first year of publishing. Continue reading “FERN Wins James Beard Award”