There is an inherent relationship between people, land, and our food systems.
On November 22nd, we heard from farmer Michael Bomford, PhD, Chair of the Department of Sustainable Agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Dr. Philip Loring, ecological anthropologist from the University of Guelph, as they discussed how we might strengthen our collective relationship with the landscape, our food, and each other. Facilitator Angel Beyde, of the EFAO, moderated the conversation. Watch the recording below:
About the farmer:
Dr. Michael Bomford teaches Sustainable Agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Richmond, BC, on the ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Kwantlen, and Tsawwassen people. He and his students work on an organic produce farm at the edge of an ancient degraded peat bog, which he is now studying in hopes of restoring. He teaches courses in vegetable production; ecologically-based pest management; agriculture and energy; and food systems and the environment. He also guides a full-year experimental research series for senior students. Mike came to KPU in 2014 after 10 years at Kentucky State University, where he lead research, extension, and teaching programs related to organic agriculture with an emphasis on small farms.
About the speaker:
Dr. Philip Loring is an interdisciplinary scientist, storyteller, and educator with experience leading large-scale collaborative projects on food systems, climate change, and environmental conflict. He works at The Nature Conservancy, where his work focuses on the intersection of sustainability, food systems, and social justice. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics at the University of Guelph. His research has taken him to such diverse places as Arctic Alaska, the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, the prairies of Saskatchewan, Down East Maine, the Burren of Western Ireland, and the Sonoran Desert in Mexico.
About the moderator:
Angel Beyde’s love for the natural world and growing food is equalled only by her joy in feeding people and community-building. Over the past two decades, Angel’s work has spanned the for-profit and non-profit sectors in education, urban agriculture, regenerative landscaping, social enterprise and mental health.
As a Director at Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, Angel’s work focuses on building strategic partnerships and supporting organizational governance and transformation through an anti-oppression and equity lens. This includes founding and leading the Land Access Coalition as well as the EFAO Farmers Network for Black, Indigenous and People of colour, which has over 150 members.
Through Angel’s work as Peace Garden Consulting, she offers organizations support in strategic visioning & planning, leadership coaching and team-building, as well as board and stakeholder training in equity, diversity and belonging. Angel has had the honour to consult with dozens of farming and environmental organizations across the country and has served in an advisory capacity for Farmers for Climate Solutions, Fair Finance Fund, Regeneration Canada, Project Swallowtail, Toronto Metropolitan University, Pollinator Partnership and Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council, among others.
Angel is the grateful steward of a small farm in Eastern Ontario, in Crawford purchase territory.
About the campaign:
This webinar is the first in a 6-part webinar series, and is part of our Stories of Regeneration campaign. The campaign aims to enhance public awareness around regenerative agriculture practices and how farmers contribute to combating climate change and food systems issues.
The webinar series will run from November 2023 – March 2024. All sessions are free to attend live, and free to watch later. We encourage you to register for as many sessions as you’d like!
Keep an eye out for our podcasts, short films, and blog posts that will be released throughout the coming months too.