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CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics presents “If Steinbeck was a Farmer”

Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck was widely known for what is considered his best work, The Grapes of Wrath, as well as other social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labor. But what would his writing have portrayed “If Steinbeck was a Farmer?”

This is the question that will be discussed during a special program presented by the CSU Bakersfield Kegley Institute of Ethics (KIE) and the Institute for Religion, Education and Public Policy. The presentation, co-sponsored by a grant from The Society of Philosophers of America, will take place on Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm in the CSUB multi-purpose room.

The program will feature a discussion led by award-winning author and organic farmer, David Mas Masumoto. A respondent panel of local experts will include: Jill Egland, Director of Community Development, United Way of Kern County; Aaron Hegde, Director of CSUB's Environmental Resource Management Program; and Fatima Hernandez, BIA Accredited Representative, UFW Foundation.

“Seventy five years after The Grapes of Wrath was published, with its tragic depiction of poverty and bigotry, we still have huge numbers of valley citizens facing similar conditions, despite extraordinary advances in food production and distribution,” said Dr. Christopher Meyers, Director of the CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics.  “Mas Masumoto is an internationally acclaimed farmer and author and I can’t imagine anyone better suited to lead us in this conversation.”

 “If Steinbeck was a Farmer” is part of the ongoing 2014 celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath and is co-sponsored by the CSUB’s Schools of Arts and Humanities; Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering; Social Science and Education; and Business and Public Administration. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in lot K after 5:30pm.  For more information, call 661-654-2555 or visit All KIE activities are made possible through ongoing support from San Joaquin Community Hospital and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

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