Real Estate Foundation of BC donates to UBC

Jan 29, 2015

Donation will be put towards local farming initiatives

By Diego Flammini,

As a boost to the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) start an evolution campaign and local farming, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC) donated $1 million for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS).

The donation marks the largest ever made by the REFBC and is the beginning of a 10-year collaboration between the REFBC and CSFS.

The funding will be used to support land policy research, experiments with the desired results of yield improvements and to test new crops at the UBC farm.

The number of students taking Sustainable Agriculture through the UBC Farm Practicum is expected to double from 12 to 24.

The announcement of the donation gives the students a confidence boost that they’re choosing the right education path.

“This program made me realize that farming is a viable career choice, and I can actually do this,” said Dave Semmelink, a UBC conservation student who recently completed the training program and has now launched his own organic mixed-live stock business, Lentelus Organics, in a press release.

The sustainable agriculture program is an 8-month long course that envelopes young and inexperienced people in a farm and agricultural environment and allows them to participate in small-scale farming operations and learn about what it means to run a farm-to-table business.

“REFBC’s support of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm helps to ensure a more secure and sustainable future for farming in B.C.,” Rickey Yada, Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems said. “This partnership offers an opportunity to change land use attitudes and practices through innovation, stewardship and learning.”