Feeding the world is not an easy challenge. How do we produce nutritious food, sustainably? That’s what students in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) sustainable agriculture program are learning. The applied science degree, which is unique to North America, is dedicated to the study of food systems using ecologically-sensitive farming practices.
As our global population continues to rise, the expected demand for food will rise too, with the 2017 Canadian Agriculture Outlook predicting a 10% increase in overall food demand through to 2025. With over 193,000 farms in Canada, according to the 2016 Canadian Census of Agriculture, there’s an ongoing need for growers and farmers with an understanding of sustainable practices and the economic, social, and environmental challenges facing our current food systems. The census also highlights a growing shift in who is farming, with an increase in the number of women working as farm operators, and an increase in the number of young operators (defined as those under 35).
Based out of the university’s Richmond campus, the degree program includes both classroom and farm-based studies, with students gaining hands-on experience in KPU’s newly renovated seed lab, and on a 20-acre certified organic research and teaching farm. Courses in the program include sustainable agriculture for the 21st century, plant science, ecologically based pest management, and world trends in agriculture.
Produce grown in the sustainable agriculture program is available at the weekly Kwantlen St Market, occurring every Tuesday from 12-4pm until October 2, in Minoru Plaza—7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond.
To learn more about the sustainable agriculture program, or other Faculty of Science and Horticulture programs, visit kpu.ca/science
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