Friday February 23 to Sunday February 25, 2018
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Anne Macey has been involved in the organic sector for over 30 years in many different roles. She has contributed as a writer and editor for several COG publications including the Organic Livestock Handbook, A Guide to Understanding the Canadian Organic Standards, and Living with Worms in Organic Sheep Production. Anne was also involved in compiling the Animal Welfare on Organic Farms Fact Sheets. In a past life in Ontario, she operated a small, mixed, organic farm and more recently has worked as a VO in BC, as well as the director of COABC's Accreditation Board. Anne represents Canadian Organic Growers on the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Technical Committee and is the convenor of the Livestock Working Group.
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.
Charlie was the first certified organic operator in BC & Alberta Peace River with the Peace River Organic Producers Association (PROPA). He quit school in grade 9 and has been farming organically and ranching for over 70 years. For over 50 years, he has had a closed herd that he has trained to eat all different types of weeds on his 5000 acre ranch in Chetwynd, BC. These days he has 800 head and direct markets to Alberta markets.
Aside from ranching, Charlie was Mayor of Chetwynd for 22 years, 12 years a councillor in Pitt Meadows before that, he was Treasurer for PAcs for 10 years, and one of the founding governors of UNBC. The Fraser Valley Regional Library made Charlie an Honourary Lifetime Boardmember.
As Charlie likes to say, "I didnít go to school long enough to realize there were things you can't do," so Charlie accomplished a lot. He will be on the panel for the Vanguard on the History of Organics, moderated by Chris Bodnar on Saturday afternoon.
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!
Darcy Smith is the Communications Officer for the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) and editor of the BC Organic Grower. She has a background in communications and project coordination centred on food and farming, and is passionate about supporting farmers and growing local food systems. She is currently coordinating the development of the Organic Online System, an online application platform for certified organic operators. Darcy is drawn to projects that empower new entrants to agriculture; in addition to her work with COABC, she coordinates the Young Agrarians Land Matching Program connecting new farmers with available land opportunities and sits on the advisory for the BC Foodlands Cooperative.
Daria Zovi lives on Salt Spring Island and has worked as an organic inspector in BC for almost 20 years, completing and average of 100 inspections per year (livestock, crops and processors) mostly in the Lower Mainland and the islands. She graduated in Plant Science from UBC a long time ago and while inspecting she raised two beautiful children, owned and operated an organic vineyard and managed the gardens at a boutique hotel on Salt Spring. She is now helping convert 35 acres of mixed clear and forested land into a small self-sufficient community of farmers.
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.
Heather Stretch has operated Northbrook Farm since 2001 and has co-owned Saanich Organics since 2002. She is a co-author of All The Dirt: Reflections On Organic Farming. Heather works with diverse farmhands and apprentices to grow a wide variety of veggies and berries on land she shares with several other farmers. Because Heather was inexperienced when she started farming, she realized that good record-keeping systems would be necessary not only for organic certification but also to learn from her rookie mistakes and run a successful business.
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.
Mike Bomford teaches sustainable agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He spent 10 years in Kentucky, leading research, teaching and outreach programs related to organic agriculture. He holds a PhD from West Virginia University, where he conducted companion planting research on a newly-certified organic farm. He grew up the son of a District Agriculturalist among the expansive grain farms of BC's Peace River region, then earned degrees in plant science and agricultural pest management from UBC and SFU.
Mike is very interested in the intersection between food, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions. He has experimented with renewable energy production techniques for small farms. He is a fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, dedicated to leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world by providing individuals and communities with resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated ecological, economic, energy, and equity crises of the 21st century.
Nicole Boudreau is a biologist (B.S.C. Sherbrooke University) and a communicator (B.A. McGill University). She is involved in the Canadian organic sector since 2005, working as a supervision officer for CARTV, and being the coordinator of the Organic Federation of Canada since 2007. She is the manager of the Canadian Standards Interpretation Committee and the co-manager of the Organic Science Cluster II Project with the Organic Agriculture Center of Canada. She was the coordinator of the 2 year review of the Canadian Organic Standards that led to the publication of the 2015 version of the COS.
Rebecca Kneen brews beer, farms, and manages the paperwork for Crann@oacute;g Ales and Left Fields Artisans Community Co-op farm. She's currently a member of the NOOA Cert Committee and is the provincial representative to the Organic Federation of Canada; over the 18 years she's been farming organically has served on the Board for NOOA, PACS and the COABC. Her persnickety record-keeping has resulted in easier and faster audits and inspections by various provincial and federal agencies and organic VOs. She and her partner work to develop a deep relationship with the land they farm, guided by principles of ecology and good stewardship. This land is in unceded Secwepemc Territory, so it is necessary to shape their work in Indigenous principles, and to find ways to deepen their relationship with the first stewards. In the rest of her life she spins, knits, felts, cooks and raises conscientious hell at every opportunity.
Rochelle's expertise is years of verification, agriculture extension and consulting work in and outside the organic sphere. She also works with Dr. Brenda Frick and Gunta Vitins under the banner of Resilient Solutions Consulting - "A diverse, skilled and experienced agri-business consulting team that influences positive change through an innovative and open minded approach." Rochelle is a member of the CFIA's Standards Interpretation Committee and was the convenor for the Preparation Working Group for the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Technical Committee, and as co-convenor for the Agri/Aqua Integration exercise for this latest review. Last, but not least, Rochelle is the current president of the Canadian Organic Growers.
Rod grew up knowing conventional agriculture. He has a chemical engineering degree that he put to work in the oil patch, but after ten years he to returned to agriculture. In Season Farm was founded in 1987, switched to organic production in 1992 and its main business is the production of animal feeds: hen scratch, starters and mixes for turkeys and broilers; feed for poultry, horses, hogs and goats. On the other hand In Season grows mixed organic vegetables on the 4 acres of farmland in the back of the property and they sell at the Farmer's Markets in the Metro Vancouver area.
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.
Susan was a founding member of the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA) incorporated in 1986. She helped articulate the Production Standards used by organic farmers in the Fraser Valley prior to COABC's formation in 1993.
Since 1980 Susan has lived in Aldergrove on land "owned" by Fraser Common Farm Co-operative on the unceded territory of the Kwantlen and Matsqui First Nations. She is a "dwindling" member of Glorious Organics Co-operative's farming enterprise there and active in BC EcoSeed Co-op - preferring to work collaboratively with like-minded folks to build community engagement in all aspects of what organic agriculture entails. .
Tanja is Fieldstone Organics Production Coordinator works closely with our local growers to ensure that we are producing the crops to meet our customers needs. From supplying seed, researching farming techniques, through to mill production, quality and storage, Tanja offers year round support to our local farmers and our production team; she will represent the production side of this discussion.
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.
Willem is one of the owners of Fieldstone Organics. He is a strong advocate of living an organic way of life Willem has been instrumental in developing a vision and bringing the methods and infrastructure of organic farming to BC. Always keen to try new methods and organic crops Willem not only grows grains, he also grows lambs, chickens and turkeys for organic markets.