Friday February 23 to Sunday February 25, 2018
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Ashley joined Canadian Organic Growers in 2012, and as Director of Programs and Government Relations, she lends vision to COG's educational activities and strengthens the national voice of Canadian organic farmers.
At present, she is leading a comprehensive study on transitioning to organic production and is also co-leading the Canadian Organic Standards Funding Initiative.
Ashley holds a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Management and a M.Sc. in Physical Geography from the University of Guelph.
Chris has been engaged in small-scale and urban food production since 2001 as a farmer, educator, community organizer, and advocate. His career began in Victoria, BC operating a certified organic farm for 6 years. He learned the ins and outs of plant breeding and seed saving through local workshops and training with Washington State's Organic Seed Alliance. Since 2008, Chris has been based in Vancouver, BC where he received his BSc. in Agroecology in 2011 from UBC - focusing his studies on urban farming, soil management, and small-scale plant breeding. In 2013, Chris joined FarmFolk CityFolk as the BC regional coordinator for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. When he isn't obsessing over seeds, soil, and harvests, Chris spends much of his time with this son, doing everything from soccer to skating, running to wall-climbing, and reading to wrestling!
Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Director of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 10 years for Indigenous food sovereignty related research, action and policy proposal projects including: Decolonizing Research and Relationships, Indigenous Food Sovereignty Learning Circle, Strengthening Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Canada, and Wild Salmon Caravan.
Dawn has a background in horticulture, ethnobotany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems, and is an internationally recognized author. Dawn's work shines a light on the cross cultural interface where Indigenous food sovereignty provides a baseline of historical reference points in the movement to a more just and sustainable land and food system.
Heather joined the BC Association of Farmers' Markets in 2016 and brings over 10 years of experience in non-profit, social enterprise and entrepreneurial leadership to her position as Executive Director. As a social entrepreneur and food lover, Heather believes deeply in farmers' markets and small-scale farmers and food processors as a critical force in our regional food system and farmers' markets as an important gateway for small business development in communities across BC. She has worked with a variety of business, non-profit and charitable organizations, and loves to bring strategic thinking and entrepreneurial resourcefulness to make creative ideas come to life. For 8 years, Heather served as executive director of Potluck Café Society, an award-winning social enterprise in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Heather continues to be active in social enterprise and social innovation development and has provided support to multiple social enterprises through the Vancity Community Foundation. Other recent projects include working with CityStudio as its executive producer, co-facilitating a next generation of change makers through SFU Change Lab and serving as tour manager and charity liaison for the Barney Bentall and Cariboo Express concert fundraising tour.
Heather holds an MBA, a BA in International Relations and Native Studies and a Bachelor of Environmental Design, all from the University of Manitoba. To deepen her knowledge of farming, Heather completed the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School program and is an emerging, organic farmer living in Ladner with her horse Lucas.
Heather has been with FarmFolk CityFolk since it began in 1993. Her work has included: supporting existing and developing Community Farms, co-coordinating the BC region of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Food Security and partnering with Young Agrarians. In 2017 she was on contract, with FarmFolk CityFolk, to develop the Foodlands Cooperative of BC, a land trust, which was incorporated in August 2017. Starting in January 2018 she will be working with the Foodlands Cooperative to acquire land as as community asset and lease it to a local community group, who will, in turn offer long term sub leases for farmers and foragers.
Heather is a founding member of FarmFolk CityFolk, the Vancouver Food Policy Council and the BC Food Systems Network and, 2015, was given the Brad Reid Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the organic sector in British Columbia. She currently sits on the "Sustain BC- Farmland Protection and Production Committee" and is Chair of Slow Food in Canada.
Jen Gamble is the Executive Director of Operations for the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC), a non-profit organization that oversees organic certification in BC. COABC aims to lead, support and enhance the certified organic food system in BC. Over the past two years in her role with COABC, Jen has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture to help smooth the transition into the new provincial regulation that will ensure organic claims are verified by certification.
Jen has a long history of involvement in the food system, from farming to advocacy. As a farmer, she could see the disconnect between farmers, consumers and the food system which inspired her to became a deeply dedicated member of the organic food movement.
Kent Mullinix is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen University in British Columbia, Canada. Mullinix attended the University of Missouri where he earned a B.S. in Agriculture, M.S. in Horticulture and Ph.D. in Agriculture Education. He also earned a Ph.D. in Plant Science specializing in integrated pest management from the University of British Columbia. Formerly Mullinix was an Associate Professor and the Endowed Joint Chair in Pomology at Washington State University and Director of Agriculture Programs at Wenatchee Valley College. His areas of professional focus are pomology, biologically based-ecologically sound crop production systems, regionalization of agri-food systems and family-based agriculture revitalization. Mullinix has, lived and worked on farms, owned and operated an orchard with his family in eastern Washington and oversaw the establishment and management of a 45 acre organic apple, sweet cherry, and peach teaching and research orchard in eastern Washington.
Lauren was born and raised in Southwest Michigan where her parents owned a blueberry farm. While blueberries were important to the family's bottom line, Lauren had interests of her own to pursue. At an early age, Lauren became a member of 4-H which was a strong influence for her to become a veterinarian. She received her degree in Animal Science at Michigan State University and subsequently her DVM. Her desire to work in the dairy industry was confirmed through a summer in Wisconsin working on a 2-robot dairy farm.
Lauren welcomes working with a range of food animals including dairy and beef, small ruminants, swine and poultry. Her free time sees her hiking, camping and bow hunting for white-tail along with her husband Jared and their English Setter, Faith. Lauren also enjoys horseback trail riding both of which are abundant in BC.
I am a Professor of Biology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. I have a BSc (Hons) in Bacteriology and Immunology from the University of Western Ontario and PhD in Microbial Ecology from the University of Calgary. I have worked as a research scientist in government (National Research Council of Canada), as a manager of R&D in industry developing microbial products for agriculture and silviculture, and as an administrator and professor in academia (University of Saskatchewan, Okanagan University College and UBC Okanagan Campus). I am a soil microbiologist with interests in plant-microbe interactions, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, biological control of plant fungal pathogens and nitrogen cycling in soil microbial populations. Current research in my lab includes a study of the effects of irrigation on greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen cycling microbial populations in Okanagan agricultural systems; the evaluation of the potential of selected soil bacteria to control postharvest fungal pathogens of stored pome fruit in order to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and promote more sustainable practices to control fungal pathogens; identification of major postharvest pathogens of cherry and their abundance in the orchard during the growing season; and studies to identify sustainable orchard floor management practices and water delivery systems that will optimize water use efficiency and soil health as cherry production expands northward and to higher elevations with climate change in the Okanagan. I work in collaboration with other faculty at UBC, researchers in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and with growers and cooperatives in the Okanagan Valley. I am a Past President of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists and a former Associate Dean of Research, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, UBC Okanagan Campus.
The BC Migrant Workers' Dignity Association (MWDA) is a non-profit organization composed of workers (both Canadian and Temporary) and members of the general public who volunteer their time and skills to help protect and celebrate the rights and dignity of migrant workers. The goal of the MWDA is to assist in the improvement of the living conditions of temporary foreign workers while in Canada, with a particular focus on supporting temporary foreign farm workers, as they represent one of the most abandoned and discriminated populations of workers in Canada.
Shauna is a coordinator for the BC Seed Security Program at FarmFolk CityFolk. She has a M.A. from the University of Guelph where she conducted the first large-scale analysis of the socio-economic impact of organic farms. After five years working on sustainable seafood initiatives and learning how to execute a market campaign from grassroots organizing to corporate negotiations, Shauna returned to the ecological agriculture sector. Recent work has included authoring the BC and National Organic Market reports for the Canada Organic Trade Association, managing the BC Organic Brand Project and authoring reports for the Vancouver Urban Farming Society.
Tia is the Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association. With extensive experience working in the organic food industry, Tia co-founded Camino (La Siembra Co-operative) in 1999, going on to become the organic and Fairtrade cocoa company's Director of Sales until 2009, when she joined Fairtrade Canada. As its Business Development and Licensing Director, she led strategy, building the not-for-profit's membership base and encouraging sustainable & ethical sourcing standards. In 2013, she moved over to Fairtrade America, where as its Chief Operating Officer, she successfully developed advocacy initiatives and grew U.S. market opportunities for small farmers via the Fairtrade model. Tia joined COTA as the Executive Director in March 2016.
Tracy Hueppelsheuser is a provincial entomologist for the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, based in Abbotsford. Her work focuses on biology and pest management of established and invasive insect species that impact BC agriculture. This includes insect identification, outreach and extension activities, policy and regulation development, and some surveillance. The Ministry works closely with other organizations with similar mandates and goals.
Tristan Banwell manages Spray Creek Ranch, an organic, diversified 260-acre farm in the Northern St'at'imc Territory near Lillooet, BC. Together with his wife Aubyn, he raises cattle, pigs and poultry on pasture along the mighty Fraser River in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountains. He has been practising management-intensive grazing since 2014.