Young Agrarians: Environmental Impact Dashboard

Group Blog

Final Report

Project Summary

Young Agrarians would like to create an environmental impact dashboard which can be used to assess future climate impacts on organizational members. Students involved in this project will be responsible for interviewing young agrarian members and reviewing existing research and literature on assessing the environmental impact of agroecological farm operations in order to identify potential indicators and baselines for the dashboard. This project is especially relevant for students in the global resources program or majoring in applied plant and soil sciences and food and the environment, and/or who want to learn more about using developing indicators and assessing climate impacts.

Organization Information

Name

Young Agrarians and FarmFolk CityFolk Society

Mission

Young Agrarians (YA) is a network for new and young ecological and organic farmers in BC. Since we started January 2012, the network has grown across Canada from coast to coast through farmers organizing events (mixers, farm tours & potlucks, apprentice meet-ups, etc.), contributing to the blog, adding resources to the U-Map, and more! Since we started January 2012, the network has organized 110 events with over 5500+ participants.
We are rural and urban farmers, market gardeners, seed savers, food activists, bee keepers, community gardeners, food/farmer organizations and more - working with seed, plant and animal and choosing with our hands to steward land and soil.
We recognize Indigenous title to all lands in Canada, and believe it is our responsibility to care for and respect the land that we live on and depend upon for water, food and shelter. In a time of worsening climate change, we must all do our part to nurture resilient food systems (local, ecological and equitably produced) choosing with our dollars, values and hands to consume and produce foods that are healthy for us and future generations.

Primary Contact

  • Name: Sara Dent
  • Email: theyoungagrarians@gmail.com
  • Phone: 778-968-5518
  • Website: youngagrarians.org

Project Description

Students are to collaborate with Young Agrarians and create an environmental impact dashboard in which to measure the climate impact of farmers in our network (relating to climate change).
Premise: Farms and food production are powerful leverage points to support climate adaptation and climate change mitigation strategies.
Goal: Help us tell the powerful story of environmentally successful farming operations (linking economic success and positive climate change initiatives undertaken).
Project Scope: Students and Young Agrarians to come up with metrics to test. Project will be a combination of research and interviews (Young Agrarians to support the connection to the interview participants). Project deliverables to create and feed into a framework for ongoing environmental indicator research (future groups). A review of existing research and literature on assessing the environmental impact of agroecological farm operations will be essential. There may be existing student / masters level research to help qualify farms in B.C. that can be adapted.
Example: a spread sheet that could contain information like “90% of these farmer’s experience drought like conditions from month X to month X)”, a means to assess carbon sequestration based on soil management practices, etc.

Skills Preferred

  • Ability to review existing literature and logic around climate change indicators and assessment pertaining to agroecological farming in BC (and potentially Canada, there may be literature from other places like the U.S. where the climate is similar that we could draw from)
  • Basic understanding of agroecological farming practices
  • Ability to create a spreadsheet
  • Students can work independently on an agreed upon timeline and consult collaboratively to develop project logic


Project Location

Project will take place by computer wherever you are. We can meet in person 1-2 times at the UBC campus and otherwise work by phone, skype or google hang-out.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

To be determined, based on student availability.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Young Agrarians needs support with organizing local community building events, research and data entry, and outreach and blogging.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn about how to create a case for the purposes of fund development.
  • Students will be able to begin to assess the climate impact of agroecological farm operations in B.C.
  • Students will gain experience reviewing literature and interviewing participants in order to build a communications narrative to convey a story to the public, members, funders and the public.

Organizational Outcomes

  • gain an invaluable fundraising tool
  • deepen our capacity to tell the story of agro-ecological farming as a method for mitigating climate change
  • further be able to support the programs and resources we provide for the network we coordinate.
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/2015T2/youngagrarians