Fri, 4 April 2008
In March 2008, BC NDP Opposition Critic of Agriculture and Lands' Corky Evans, toured throughout the Province to hear from farmers. Deconstructing Dinner recorded his stop in Nelson, when he delivered a passionate and highly-informative primer on the failures of the BC government in recent decades to allocate financial support to food production within the province. Of greatest interest was his reference to BC maintaining the lowest level of support for food production of any Province. He presented a number of opportunities that farmers, eaters and political parties must take advantage of now, in order to preserve a viable system of food production into the future.
While the content of his presentation was focused on BC, his message is important to all Provinces and States throughout North America, as the scenario that has played out in BC, can be seen as an extreme version of what is playing out across the continent.
We round off the show with a recording from the March 2008 conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC hosted in Sidney. Presented at the conference were the winners of the COABC's Fresh Voices contest. The contest solicited submissions from anyone wishing to share their vision of how "sustainable organic production and marketing systems could improve profitability, stewardship of the land and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities". The winner of that contest was Jordan Marr who has been embarking on a path towards becoming a farmer. He presented his winning essay to those in attendance at the conference.
Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.
Jordan Marr - Wanna-Be-Farmer (Sooke, BC) - Jordan is a 26-year-old self-titled "wanna-be farmer" who has been visiting farms throughout BC hoping to learn more about the practical and political aspects of farming. In the span of five years, Jordan has, as he says, gone from being a suburban kid completely clueless about food to a smug university student convinced he knew everything about food, to a humbled farm apprentice who realized he knew very little about it. In 2006 Jordan graduated from a bachelor program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, and then apprenticed for seven months on an organic farm in Nova Scotia. Today, Jordan is considering farming as a career.