Seventeen British Columbians with diverse backgrounds and expertise in food production will help farmers access the latest technology, create more resilient farms and increase sustainability through their roles on the Minister’s Advisory Group on Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech (RAA).
“Soil is an incredibly powerful tool in our fight against climate change,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “Our new Regenerative Agriculture Advisory Group is bringing together farmers, academics and industry experts to find more opportunities in our natural systems of production and in agritechnology to restore soil, strengthen B.C. food security and create a thriving food economy.”
Members of the advisory group include co-chairs Glen Lougheed and Michelle Koski, as well as 15 industry experts, including farmers, academics, industry associations, private-sector representatives and special advisers. Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development, will also serve on the group in an ex-officio capacity.
“I am very pleased to have been asked to co-chair such an important initiative,” Koski said. “The RAA will provide a forum to harness and align the incredible opportunities of regenerative agriculture and agritech to ensure B.C. farmers and B.C.’s food supply are profitable, sustainable and resilient.”
Lougheed said: “I’m a big believer in what regenerative farming can do for our environment and how agritech can help scale those practices. The work we will do together will help create a stronger, more resilient food supply.”
Regenerative agriculture practices restore the soil, water and biodiversity of the land, which helps farmland become more resilient to climate change. Agritech brings new and innovative technology into farming to support regenerative practices.
Tea Creek, an Indigenous-led, culturally safe, land-based Indigenous food sovereignty and trades training initiative works with Indigenous people to build confidence, skills and self-esteem to revitalize economic interdependence and food production in communities.
“Regenerative agriculture was and has been practised by Indigenous people and Nations in the Americas for thousands of years,” said Jacob Beaton, owner/operator, Tea Creek and an RAA advisory group member. “I’m excited to bring an Indigenous farming perspective to this important and timely group as we help shape the future of B.C. agriculture.”
The advisory group had its first meeting on Monday, June 13, 2022. The Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network (RAAN) is a mandate commitment for the minister of agriculture and food.
- B.C. has more than 150 agritech companies, including in areas of food processing, precision agriculture, bioproducts, food safety/traceability and soil/crop technology.
- B.C. has an agritech land strategy that builds on recommendations made in 2019 by the Food Security Task Force to review land-use planning policies and regulations to ensure B.C.’s agritech sector has a place to grow.
For more information on the advisory group, visit: https://www.bcpublicsectorboardapplications.gov.bc.ca/s/tribunaldetail?boardNum=A-25409
To learn more about B.C. agritech, visit: https://www.britishcolumbia.ca/TradeBCPortal/media/Marketing/bc-agritech-mit.pdf
To learn more about the Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25034
To learn more about the Agritech Concierge program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/economic-recovery/agritech-concierge
For more on Tea Creek, visit: https://www.teacreek.ca/
A backgrounder follows.