This webinar panel digs into how co-operatives in British Columbia are making farmland accessible for sustainable farming. Panelists will discuss why they formed a co-op, what it is all about, what the key challenges are, and how their co-ops are addressing these.
Learn more and register at: nfu.ca/event/how-to-access-farmland-using-cooperative-models
Antonio Gomes runs Cavaleiro Farm in Schomberg, ON The farm produces veggies, fruits, sheep and farmers. Farmers operate their local food businesses using ecological and cooperative principles. He also runs an accelerator program for farmland owners building community farms and resilience.
Heather Hallgrimson, is Director of Entrepreneurship with Co-operatives First and in this role, she supports groups starting co-operatives. She studied Linguistics and Policy and grew up all over rural Saskatchewan, and now resides in Saskatoon.
Heather Pritchard co-founded an agricultural business (back in 1985) on Fraser Common Farm and is recognized as creating the first commercially grown mixed green salad in Canada. In 2006 the company became a co-op, Glorious Organics. As a founding member of FarmFolk CityFolk, she coordinated the BC region of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, partnered with Young Agrarians, and supported the development of Community Farm Cooperatives. She is also a founding member of Vancouver Food Policy Council and the BC Food Systems Network, and is the current Chair of Slow Food in Canada. In 2015, Heather was given the Brad Reid Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the organic sector in British Columbia. On January 1, 2018, Heather left FarmFolk CityFolk to work full time for the Foodlands Cooperative of British Columbia.
Chris Bodnar is a farmer in Abbotsford, with his wife Paige, at Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op. They have grown organic vegetables at the farm since 2007, selling at farmers markets, wholesale markets and operating a 480-member Community Supported Agriculture program. In the off season, Chris also does farm business consulting and developed and taught the Business of Agriculture course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainable Agriculture program from 2015 to 2021.