UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture
The UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture is a five to seven-month experiential learning program designed for aspiring farmers, environmental educators, gardeners, and students interested in applying knowledge about sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Students bring a diversity of backgrounds and life experience to the practicum. Our program graduates share a vision of livelihoods and lifestyles grounded in sustainable and community-based food systems. The program is open to all; you do not have to be a UBC student (see details below for minimum qualifications).
2020 Practicum Applications are closed. The 2021 Practicum Application cycle opens in the Fall. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
Haltwhistle Cheese Co.
After completing the practicum in 2009, Cory Spencer trained with cheese makers in the UK and France. When he returned to Canada, he started a 130-head goat dairy and cheese making operation called Haltwhistle Cheese Co.
2019 Graduate - Renewal Funds
After completing the practicum in 2019, Gregg Ashby went on to work for Renewal Funds, who invests in sustainable products and environmental technology. He also volunteers in urban agriculture, keeps bees, and serves on the Board of Richmond Beekeepers.
UBC Farm Practicum Field Mentor & Field Lead
After completing the practicum in 2018, Alisha M'Lot jumped right back into the UBC Farm community as a Field Mentor and Brassicas lead. She recently added hoop houses and tunnels to her portfolio at the UBC Farm, and spends her down time cooking farm veggies and hanging out with her deep-ecology book club.
Senior Plant Growth Operations Technician and Food Security Coordinator
After completing her practicum in 2019, Brianna Thompson went on to work with a research & technology company developing sustainable agriculture solutions. She also works as a coordinator for a produce and security initiative, coordinating yard gardens and purchasing excess produce from local farmers.
KPU - Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School & UBC Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab
Amy Norgaard wrapped up her practicum in 2015 while completing her BSc in Agroecology at UBC. From there, she went on to farmhand with Ice Cap Organics. In 2018, she returned to UBC to complete her MSc in Soil Science. On the side, Amy teaches sustainable soil management with the KPU - Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School and is articling in order to become a Professional Agrologist.
Robert and Stacey Spring
2015 Graduates - UpBeet Farm
Since completing the Practicum, Robert and Stacey spent a couple years pursuing other educational opportunities before beginning their dream family farm in earnest. Stacey attended KPU in a Sustainable Agriculture program and Robert at BCIT and Groundswell. This summer, they couldn't wait any longer and started 'UpBeet Farm': a small-scale, organic and beyond, vegetable farm located at Stump Lake, BC.
2014 Graduate - Lentelus Farms Comox Valley
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. Dave now rents three farms in the Comox Valley. He grow grains on one farm to feed his heritage pastured hogs. He also grows certified organic garlic on another farm and this year, he leased a 3rd farm for his lambs and hogs.
About the Program
The Practicum would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the following: West Coast Seeds, Choices Market, Young Agrarians, Vancouver Urban Farming Society, Groundswell, Vancity, Dr. Art Bomke, and Anonymous.
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