Building Resilient Food Systems During COVID-19 and Beyond
Farmers: Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
From labour shortages to supply chain delays, COVID-19 has ushered in a host of new challenges for B.C. farmers. How are farmers responding to the day-to-day disruptions caused by pandemic? As food insecurity becomes tangible for many British Columbians, how might farmers use this current crisis as an opportunity to reinvent the agricultural sector? Join Nadia Mori, Regional Agrologist with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Eric Gerbrandt, Research Director for the BC Blueberry Council, Raspberry Industry Development Council, and BC Strawberry Grower’s Association, and Leo Quik, Chair of BC Young Farmers, as they explore the lessons learned by farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Presenters
Leo Quik is a family partner in a second generation cut flower farm situated in beautiful Chilliwack, BC. He also acts as chair for the provincial young farmers committee, BC Young Farmers. Being a young farmer himself, Leo is passionate about issues which affect incoming generations of farmers. He considers himself fortunate to be part of a family that has collectively worked hard over the past 30 to build an established agricultural business. All that seemed to come crashing down when Covid hit, and suddenly things didn’t look so “bloomy” anymore.
Eric Gerbrandt is a plant scientist with a focus on applied horticultural management of berry crops, including blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and haskap. Through his role as Research Director for the BC Blueberry Council, Raspberry Industry Development Council and BC Strawberry Grower’s Association, he facilitates a diversity of research projects with researchers in industry, government and academia to improve the bottom line for berry growers in British Columbia.
Nadia Mori is a recent Saskatchewan transplant where she had worked with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture as a Forage and Range specialist. Now a Regional Agrologist for the Metro Vancouver area, she has switched out her ATV for a Compass card but enjoys the collaboration with the diverse agricultural community of the Lower Mainland. Nadia obtained her BSA in Agriculture as well as her MSc in Plant Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan. Before her 17 year stint in Saskatchewan, Nadia actually lived in Switzerland where she grew up on a small mixed dairy farm.
Dr. Hannah Wittman’s research examines the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian agriculture. Her projects include community-based research on farmland access, transition to organic agriculture, and seed sovereignty in BC, agro-ecological transition and the role of institutional procurement in the transition to food sovereignty in Ecuador and Brazil, and the role that urban agriculture and farm-to-school nutrition initiatives plan in food literacy education.
The Building Resilient Food Systems During COVID-19 and Beyond series, brought to you by the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), the BC Food Web, and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS), is an eight part series centered on answering fundamental questions about our food system during this pandemic. Webinars will air every two weeks starting May 28th at 3 p.m. PST.