Dave Semmelink – 2014 Graduate of the UBC Farm Practicum
Dave established Lentelus Farms about half way through UBC Farm’s Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture. The Practicum helped him build many strong connections including with Professor Emeritus and mentor Dr. Art Bomke. “Art sent me off to the Comox Valley to look at renting a farm during the August of my year completing the practicum.” Says Dave. “I still had a year and a half left of my UBC degree in Conservation, but thanks to the practicum coordinators I knew that small scale farming was a viable career path for me, so I signed a lease on a little picturesque farm in the Comox Valley.”
Dave now rents three farms in the Comox Valley. On one of the farms, he grow grains with which he will start feeding the heritage pastured hogs that he breeds during summer. The home-base farm is the original farm he started leasing, where he grows certified organic garlic (seed originated from the UBC Farm) for the wholesale market. This year, Dave needed to start leasing a third farm, thanks to an expanding business and a need for more pasture for his lambs and hogs.
“I’m continuing to expand and to learn,” adds Dave. “Eventually I hope to be doing my own butchering to complete the circle of hog production. The UBC Farm Practicum showed me that small to medium scaled farming has a strong future in British Columbia and that those who are willing to work hard can make a career out of farming.”