UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture
The UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture is a six-month experiential learning program that provides an introduction to small-scale organic mixed vegetable farming for sale through direct markets. It is designed for aspiring farmers and community food growers, as well as those seeking to deepen their understanding of the food system and the pursuit of food sovereignty.
Students bring a diversity of backgrounds and life experience to the practicum. The program is open to all; you do not have to be a UBC student (see details below for minimum qualifications). Click here to see profiles of Practicum alumni!
2009 Graduate of the UBC Farm Practicum - Founder of the Haltwhistle Cheese Company
A decade ago, Cory Spencer traded in his comfortable professional life as a software developer in Vancouver for a plot of land and a herd of goats. Now, nearly 11 years later, he wouldn’t change a thing.
2018 Graduate - 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.
2019 Graduate - Senior Plant Growth Operations Technician
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.
2015 Graduate - 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.
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.
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.
2013 Graduate - Twin Island Cider
After completing the practicum in 2013, Katie went on to do a year of mixed-vegetable CSA farming at Farmers on 57th. Katie has since moved to Pender Island, where she started Twin Island Cider, a farm-based cidery, with a fellow farm worker she met during her time at the UBC Farm.
2013 Graduate - Community Animator Farm to School BC
After joining the UBC Farm family in 2013, Samantha transitioned straight into a Master's degree where she studied agricultural policy and food sovereignty in the BC dairy industry. After graduating, she secured a job as Community Animator for Farm to School's Vancouver Area Regional Hub.
Simone McIsaac and Sarah Stewart
2008 Graduates - Rootdown Organic Farm
Simone and Sarah met during their practicum at the UBC Farm in 2008, and are now co-owners of Rootdown Organic Farm, a mixed vegetable farm serving restaurants, grocery stores and CSA members in the Pemberton and Whistler area. Since 2010, the farm has developed into a multiple-acre project.
A $40 CAD application fee is required, to be paid online once the application form is submitted. For the 2024 program, we have two application pools:
- Full Program, April 11 – October 19, 2024. UBC students completing the full program are eligible to receive 9 academic credits via APBI 365 and APBI 465.
- Summer Option, April 11 – August 24, 2024. This is intended to accommodate the scheduling limitations of students currently enrolled at UBC or other institutions. There are limited summer program spaces. Only apply for this option if your schedule truly prohibits you from attending the full program. UBC students completing the Summer Option are eligible to receive 6 academic credits via APBI 365 (additional action is required). Priority is given to applicants intending to complete the full program.
Application for the 2024 cohort is now closed. Please contact Practicum Lead, Katherine Aske, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Check out a day in the life as a practicum student
About the Program
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