Amy Norgaard – 2015 Graduate of the UBC Farm Practicum
What is your occupation?
I am completing a MSc in Soil Science in the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab at UBC. My research helps organic farmers meet their goal of producing food with a reduced environmental impact through enhanced nutrient management! For this work, I managed two seasons of field trials (2018, 2019) in collaboration with 20 organic vegetable farms in the lower Fraser Valley, Pemberton, and on Vancouver Island. I also teach sustainable soil management with the KPU – Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School and I am finishing my term as an Articling Agrologist with the BCIA – soon to be a Professional Agrologist.
What path did you take after your practicum to arrive at your current occupation?
In the fall of 2015 I wrapped up the UBC Farm practicum while also completing my BSc in Agroecology from UBC. For the winter I spent several months “wwoof”-ing on small-scale farms in Switzerland and Denmark. I returned to BC in May 2016 to farmhand with Ice Cap Organics – an organic vegetable farm in Pemberton, BC; I returned for a second season in 2017. Between seasons as a farmhand I did a short stint with Richmond Food Security Society (RFSS) as a Community Program Coordinator. With RFSS I managed a community seed library and the Richmond community garden program (with 300+ gardeners!) – it was a great opportunity to see the non-profit and policy side of our food system in a very tangible way. After my second field season at Ice Cap I decided to get back to my love of science and started my Master’s in April 2018.
Are you currently involved in any other food or sustainability-related activities?
I can still be found occasionally working with Ice Cap Organics at the Vancouver Farmers’ Market. I am also collaborating with ES Crop Consult to develop options to help farmers meet the new BC Agricultural Environmental Management Code of Practice.
What would you like to tell folks who are considering a career in land and food systems?
I’m always happy to chat! I love helping farmers find and use resources to make informed nutrient management decisions.