Organic Food

Conference 2013

Certified Organic Association of BC
Friday, 22 February 2013 at 1:00 PM - Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 4:00 PM (PST)
Vernon, BC


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Arzeena Hamir - Amara Farm
Arzeena Hamir Arzeena Hamir is an Professional Agrologist who specializes in organic food production. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Crop Science from the University of Guelph and her Master's degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of London, England. She was the staff agrologist for West Coast Seeds in the late '90s and ran her own seed company, Terra Viva Organics. From 2008-2012 Arzeena was the Coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society where she oversaw a number of community projects which included a proposal to the City of Richmond to declare itself a GMO-free Zone. In 2010, in conjunction with Kwantlen University, Arzeena helped to launch the Richmond Farm School. She currently sits on the Board of the BC Food Systems Network and runs Amara Farm, a 25 acre farm, in Courtenay, BC.

Brenda Kent - Provincial Coordinator, Farm to School
Brenda Kent Brenda Kent is the Provincial Coordinator of Farm to School BC. She supports the work of a large network of coordinators, nutritionists, educators and health promotion specialists to deliver Farm to School in their communities. Brenda is a health promotion consultant with a Masters degree in Public Health and 15 years of experience in population health and advocacy at the national, provincial and grassroots levels. She has a strong passion for local food sustainability and healthy schools, and can be reached at or 250-733-9836.

Brian Millward - Hosting Nation
Brian Millward Brian Millward has been developing online marketing and information technology solutions for small business since 1996. Brian has worked extensively to assist small business owners implement technology solutions to increase their competiveness in the market place and reduce costs through software and technology based tools that include Point of Sale and inventory managements systems as well as developing online marketing solutions that include article based marketing, Social Media communication plans and websites. Brian has extensive experience with ecommerce solutions as well as online customer support and training tools. Brian has worked extensively in the tourism industry, retail and manufacturing, and real estate development. Recently Brian has focused on developing on and offline marketing tools for small business and is part on the development team at Hosting Nation who created TotalSnap; a user friendly online marketing tool for creating an websites that includes a instant mobile phone website and Facebook business page app that allows users to create a custom Facebook page that supports ecommerce.

Caitlin Dorward - Research Associate, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Caitlin Dorward has been working as a full time Research Associate with the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, since September 2012. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Food Security and was a student in the Richmond Farm School's class of 2012. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Sustainable Food Systems from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC.

Candice Appleby - Executive Director, Small-Scale Food Processors Association (SSFPA)
Candice Appleby Candice became engaged with the Small Scale Food Processor Association in 2004. She brings a background in small business ownership including, tourism, full line music retail, music schools, performing arts, real estate appraisal, mortgage insurance underwriting and securities. She currently represents the members of the association on the BC Food Safety Stakeholders Round Table, the Minister of Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee, the Safety Program Advisory Committee to FIOSA/MIOSA and the Federal Food Processors Round Table. She currently serves on the board of the directors of the Canadian Food Safety Supply Chain Coalition and the Coopzone Developers Network. She looks forward to introducing the conference participants to the tools and resources that have been developed for the small scale food processing sector to ensure they maintain a competitive edge in the current global market place.

Carmen Wakeling - Eatmore Sprouts & Greens Ltd.
Carmen Wakeling Carmen Wakeling is General Manager, CEO and Co-owner of Eatmore Sprouts & Greens Ltd. Carmen has been involved in growing food, food safety and organic production for over 25 years. Carmen & her family have made a life choice to make a small difference in a big world. Eatmore Sprouts produces organic sprouts & greens year round for a happier, healthier planet. Carmen's long term goal is to educate her community as well as others about sustainable food production and the joy of growing, harvesting and eating foods grown close to home. Carmen is committed to finding simple, sustainable solutions to help support wholesome communities. Carmen and Eatmore Sprouts have been involved in many groups and organizations over the years. Right now Carmen is the Vice President of "Small Scale Food Processors Association", Vice President of the "International Sprout Growers Association", and the chair of Sprouts Canada.

Chris Bodnar – Glen Valley Organic Farm
Chris Bodnar Chris Bodnar farms with his wife Paige and their three young children. Their farm business, Close to Home Organics, operates at Glen Valley Organic Farm in Abbotsford. They sell at farmers markets, to local restaurants and run a Community Supported Agriculture program. Chris teaches the business planning and goat husbandry components of the Richmond Farm School. He represents his certifying body, the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture, on the COABC board. Prior to farming Chris tried to figure out how the world worked by studying. He holds a PhD in Communication from Carleton University. He has learned much more, though, by farming.

Dag Falck - Organic Program Manager, Nature's Path Foods
Dag Falck Recognized as an expert in the organic industry, Dag Falck has served as Organic Program Manager for Nature's Path Organic Foods since 2002. Prior to joining the company, he was an organic inspector for 15 years. At Nature's Path, Dag oversees all aspects of the company's organic supplies, policies and consumer interaction. He builds strong organic networks and connections between farmers, manufacturing and consumers; he helps to ensure that enough cropland is converted to Certified Organic; and he provides organic farmers with access to resources and techniques that ensure the highest quality of organic crops. Dag is active in the development of the organic sector, currently serving as a member of the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) management committee, a chair of the Canadian Permitted Substances List (PSL) working group and a board member of the Non GMO Project.

Dave Wilson - Choices Markets
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson has been a produce buyer with Choices Markets for 16 years, the last 10 being the regional produce manager and long-term planner for their network of 7 retail locations. Choices Markets are proud of their commitments to growers.

Gabe Cipes - Summerhill Winery
Gabe Cipes Returning to B.C. from Arizona in 2007 Gabe attended the Selkirk College Permaculture design course in Winlaw with his brother Ezra. Together they created the no till Culinary Garden for the Summerhill Organic Sunset Bistro. For the next couple of years they envisioned the future with family and friends and continued research into indigenous ecology, gardening and Viticulture. In 2010 Gabe joined as a director of the Biodynamic Agriculture Society of BC and began making and sourcing the 9 biodynamic preparations for Demeter status of Summerhill Vineyard and culinary Gardens. Demeter is the oldest Organic certification and Summerhill is the first Vineyard in the Okanagan Region to receive the status. They have been creating diversity; inter-planting Perennial herbs in the vineyards and creating fruit trees Guilds to naturalize with passive water harvesting techniques on the edges of the farm.

Jacob Slosberg - UBC Farm
I am the Field Research coordinator at UBC Farm. I graduated from the Global Resource Systems program at UBC in May of 2012. I have approximately 6 years of experience working with a wide range of poultry systems.

Jesse Lemieux Bsc. PDC - Principal, Lead Teacher - Pacific Permaculture
Jesse is motivated by a sincere and genuine concern for the long term survival of the human species and our need for healthy ecosystems and sustainable food production. Jesse has engaged in agricultural, design, education and consultancy work in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. The breadth of his experience covers more that a decade, 4 continents and everything from small sub-urban backyard projects, to large scale community development planning to aid and development work. He brings a comprehensive understanding of permaculture to the classroom and design table.

Jo-Ann Fox, BNRSc, PAg., Program Manager - Southern Interior Weed Management Committee
Jo-Ann Fox has been the Program Manager for the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee since 2006. Jo-Ann has a degree in Natural Resource Science from Thompson Rivers University and is a Professional Agrologist.

Johanna McBurnie - Growing Schools Coordinator, LifeCycles Project Society
As a former Growing Schools Volunteer and current Workshop Coordinator, Johanna brings an understanding of both the hands-on delivery and coordination of the program. This experience allows her to understand the structural challenges of the program, as well as the lived experience of youth, volunteers, and teachers who participate in our workshops.

John & Katy Erlich, Alderlea Farm
John & Katy Erlich John and Katy own and operate Alderlea Biodynamic Farm CSA and Cafe, since 2003. John has been farming for over 20 years.

Kate Petrusa - Glen Valley Organic Farm
Kate Petrusa Kate began as a WWOOFer in 2008, and has worked on farms every summer since. She has recently finished an MA in Anthropology looking at the 'culture' on organic farms. This research has led to her current interest, as an MEd candidate, analyzing and responding to how farming is represented by others and how farmers represent themselves in public spaces. She currently works at the Orchard Garden at UBC, a garden which seeks to increase the use of garden spaces as tools for teaching curriculum. She sits on the BCARA organic certification committee.

Krishna Sharma - Sharing Farm, Terra Nove, Richmond, BC
Krishna Sharma Krishna Sharma is professionally trained plant breeder with more than 20 years of teaching and research experience. For the last four years Krishna has been conducting varietal evaluation of bush bean, pole bean and soybean (edamame) as volunteer scientist at Sharing Farm, Terra Nova, Richmond, BC. This presentation is based on study of the project I-142 supported by OSDP through COABC.

Lucy Sharratt - Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Lucy Sharratt Lucy Sharratt works in Ottawa as the Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, also known as CBAN. She has been CBAN's Coordinator since the network was formed in 2006. CBAN is a campaign coalition of 18 organizations including farmer associations, environmental groups and international development organizations, all of which have various concerns about genetic engineering. Lucy previously worked as a campaigner and researcher on this issue at the Sierra Club of Canada and the Polaris Institute. Lucy also coordinated the International Ban Terminator Campaign.

Michelle Tsusumi - Pilgrim's Produce
Michelle Tsutsumi Michelle Tsutsumi started working at Pilgrims' Produce Organic Farm in 2010 to learn how to grow her own food. It was going to be simple. She would learn as much as she could and take it back to her own little garden. Little did she know that she would fall absolutely in love with farming! Michelle is now in the initial stages of succession planning around the farm business. She is on the board of the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan and is actively involved with the newly formed Young Agragrians group in Armstrong/Spallumcheen.

Mojave Kaplan
Mojave Kaplan, aka Seed Warrioress is the central grower, co-ordinator, and co-creator of Planting Seeds Project. She has been involved since 1990 in the lobby and education for small farm scale production of open pollinated seeds. She has also developed the Youth in Agriculture program to work with apprentices to pass on her passion and knowledge. We are honoured and inspired by her reverence at being a part of life's evolution. She stresses the importance of passing on the stories carried within each seed along with the germplasm. Come and experience her hands on style of mentoring.

Moss Dance - Ripple Farm
Moss Dance Moss Dance farms at Ripple Farm in the Comox Valley. When not in the field, Moss geeks out with web design, logos, marketing and layout for the BC Organic Grower. Moss is also passionate about building farm community, and is working with Amara Farm to start Merville Organics, a collaborative CSA program.

Randy Hooper - Discovery Organics
Randy Hooper Randy Hooper works for Discovery Organics in Vancouver - the place his wife owns. He started growing for Farmers Markets in 1998, and for the commercial marketplace until 2005. He currently works for Discovery in Grower Development, working with farms from the Shuswap south to the south of Chile.

Rochelle Eisen - Resilient Solutions Consulting
Rochelle Eisen Rochelle Eisen has 26 years of consulting in and outside the organic sphere. Rochelle also works in a collaborative relationship with Dr. Brenda Frick and Gunta Vitins under the banner of Resilient Solutions Consulting - "A diverse, skilled and experienced agribusiness consulting team that influences positive change through an innovative and open minded approach." Rochelle is also involved with the Pacific Salmon Foundation's Salmon Safe agriculture program which focuses on watershed health. She is also a reviewer for ISEAL's Standard-Setting Code of Good Practice, the BC Wine Authority and holds a position on both the CFIA's Standards Interpretation Committee and Canada's Organic Value Chain Roundtable. In 2012 she returned to her environmental horticulture roots chairing SOUL's housekeeping committee.

Sara Dent - Young Agrarians & FarmFolk/CityFolk
Sara Dent Sara is a permaculture educator, photographer and project manager. She has worked for over a dozen years in the non-profit sector for arts, youth and social change organizations. Her foray into farming began as a wwoofer in 2006, and in 2008 she studied organic small scale farming and permaculture design at Linnaea Farm on Cortes Island. Since she has worked on a number of different farms from BC to Mexico. She is currently on farm rest in Vancouver and satisfying her farm itch by coordinating/producing Young Agrarians, inspired by The Greenhorns movement in the U.S. and Slow Food International's Youth Network. She is also enjoying her community garden plot, teaching urban permaculture and looking forward to growing much more food and supporting food growers-long into the,

Shauna MacKinnon - Projects & Development Manager, Canada Organic Trade Association
Shauna MacKinnon Shauna MacKinnon grew up in northern British Columbia and after her first move to a big city became intrigued by the way food can help connect people to the natural world. She has been working on food issues for over a decade from helping start community gardens and getting kids excited about where their food comes from to assisting major Canadian retailers with seafood sustainability and conducting socio-economic and market research in the organic sector. She is currently the Projects & Development Manager for the Canada Organic Trade Association and is leading the Canada Organic Market Research program.

Susan Moore
Susan Moore has been a certified organic vegetable grower in BC for over 30 years. Twelve years ago she leased land to Patrick Steiner (Stellar Seeds) and through this contact has become both practically and politically involved in growing and saving seed. Susan now farms and runs a certified organic nursery in Sorrento B.C.

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