Born in the Central Valley of California, Nikiko Masumoto spent her childhood slurping over-ripe peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm (an 80-acre organic farm in Del Rey, CA). She has never missed a summer harvest. In 2007 she graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies. It was there that she realized she wanted to return to the Valley to farm. But first she completed a M.A. in Performance as Public Practice from UT Austin. Her research focused on the performance of memory and Japanese American history. Daily, she apprentices with her father on the family’s small organic farm whilst continuing work in arts and community. In 2013, she published her first book, co-authored with parents Mas and Marcy, a cookbook The Perfect Peach. She participated in the Catalyst Initiative, a civic practice cohort program of the Center for Performance & Civic Practice, Emerging Leaders of Color in the Arts program of WESTAF, and is currently a Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies. She has served on various volunteer and nonprofit boards in the Central Valley (Central California Asian Pacific Women, Central Valley Community Foundation, Valley Public Radio, California State University Fresno’s College of Arts & Humanities). She currently serves on the board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and Western States Arts Federation. On most days you can find her on a tractor, dreaming of projects yet to be born and justice yet to be won.
The Masumoto Family Farm is also the subject of the documentary film Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm.
“I’m really glad to be in a place of challenge, because I think it makes me be a much more astute farmer, and really think about my place in a larger structure and system of stewardship.” [6:30] – Nikiko Masumoto