October marked my first year as the Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. It’s been an incredible year and I feel lucky to be working in such an incredible Faculty, with such wonderful faculty members, staff and students.
October also marked the launch of our Faculty Action Plan. The Plan was an almost year long process, one that involved consulting with our many stakeholders. I’m grateful for all the input we received and I’m looking forward to implementing the plan, along with a committee of faculty and staff, beginning in January 2016.
As we move forward, it’s also important to honour where we came from. This year UBC is celebrating 100 years of learning, research innovation, and community engagement. The Faculty of Land and Food Systems is one of the university’s three founding Faculties – originally named the Faculty of Agriculture – and we are also home to Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm. Although its size, location and purpose have changed over the years, a farm has been a part of UBC’s Vancouver campus since the university was established in 1915.
The UBC Farm is the place where a great community of citizens, learners, and mentors come together to stretch their minds and get their hands dirty. By focusing on food production and the stewardship of our land and water, today’s Farm is a key part of UBC’s emergence as a global leader in sustainability. The proposed UBC Farm Centre, which you can learn more about in this issue of Reach Out, will be an unprecedented learning and research facility, a space where we can study and learn about developing safe and economically viable food systems.
Also in this issue, you’ll learn more about some of the important research, teaching and learning happening in our Faculty. Professor Emeritus Hans Schreier, for example, whose research in land and water interactions are especially relevant, given the drought British Columbia faced this past summer. Or Alison Vaughn, a PhD student from Scotland who is taking a rather unique approach to improving the lives of dairy cows through her research at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre.
Our Faculty is full of stories – way too many to contain within the pages of one newsletter. To read more about what’s happening in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, I invite you to check out our our blog at reachout.landfood.ubc.ca
Rickey Yada, Dean
Faculty of Land and Food Systems