Dr. Janet Nagamine

Owner/Farmer, Hikari Farm & Doctor at Watsonville Community Hospital

Janet started her career as a “Hospitalist doctor” working in hospitals treating patients with heart attacks, strokes, and other serious illnesses. After seeing how patients were sometimes harmed by medical errors, she got deeply involved in improving hospital systems to deliver safer care and led many national quality and safety initiatives. At the peak of her medical career, she was unexpectedly called back to her family farm to help wind down the company and lease the farm out. She planned on being away for a few months, and 8 years later, she is still there. She is still a doctor, but sees patients only one day a week. On all the other days, she is practicing Preventative Medicine on the farm. By providing fresh, beautiful, organic vegetables and fruits that taste delicious, she is helping people lead healthier lives. Most of the produce you get in grocery stores are produced for shelf life, not flavor. They are genetically engineered to look beautiful, last longer, and transport well. And this is why many children don’t eat as many fruits and vegetables as they should! Janet is delighted to be providing fresh, organic Fuji Apples to K-12 schools for the first time. The apples don’t look as perfect as the genetically engineered and pre-packaged varieties, but they taste so much better! What gives you hope in this upside down world? Courageous, thoughtful, and resilient people give me hope. My parents, at 101 and 97 years old are one example. They have endured a lot of prejudice and hardship but never gave up their dreams. People who fight for justice and do the right thing despite putting themselves at risk, i.e. whistleblowers inspire me and give me hope.