Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) farm schools not only offer fresh, sustainably and locally grown produce to their students and faculty on campus, but also to the greater community through farmers markets and local businesses.
It’s no wonder that the university is a partner of “Feed BC.”
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries initiative is working to serve locally grown and produced food and beverages within hospitals, schools, residential care facilities, post-secondary institutions and government-supported facilities.
“Increasing access to fresh, local food on campuses will help feed our next generation of great minds and create new opportunities for our farmers, food producers and processors,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Lana Popham in a March 16 press release.
KPU offers students interested in farming the option between two farm schools – one at the 20-acre Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School and one at the five-acre Richmond Farm School.
“The Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School is a partnership between KPU and the Tsawwassen First Nation and is an immersion into integrated vegetable and livestock farming. The program incorporates a diversity of topics centred around regenerative agriculture including an Indigenous food systems perspective,” reads KPU’s website.
KPU became a partner of Feed BC in August 2021.
It is one of 20 post-secondary institutions who have made a commitment to serving more locally sourced food and drinks on their campuses since the initiative’s launch in February 2021.
“Students work on the KPU farm at the Garden City Lands in Richmond as part of earning their degree in sustainable agriculture. Through planning, planting maintenance and harvesting, students are involved in every step of bringing the produce from farm to table,” reads the press release.
“It is critically important that public post-secondary institutions contribute to the vitality and health of B.C.’s local food system by purchasing from and featuring B.C. producers ... Students in the sustainable agriculture program are the future farmers of B.C. and are learning how valuable local products are in connecting with and serving communities, businesses, and creating a sustainable food system,” said Andy Smith, farm manager at KPU.
Feed BC and the BC Food Hub Network assist B.C. producers and processors in connecting with supply chain partners, infrastructure, training and technology that supports their business growth and market opportunities in regions across the province.