In June 2017, IAF’s board and staff toured projects at UBC Farm and across Delta to deepen their understanding of the agriculture and agri-foods industry, and see the impact of the funding delivered by the Foundation.

A walking tour of UBC Farm offered the opportunity to see a variety of projects in action, including work to make organic production more environmentally sustainable; managing Spotted Winged Drosophila in blueberries without pesticides; evaluating low tunnels and different crop cover materials to help farmers extend their growing season; and seed trial experiments.

UBC researchers also presented on important innovations that are taking place beyond UBC Farm, including deficit irrigation work in Okanagan vineyards, pathogen detection in farm irrigation water, and a hand-held pathogen detection device to increase food safety.

On-farm research and innovation took centre stage again in Delta. A visit to the BC Cranberry Research Farm provided a field-level view of the variety trials and pest management experiments that will help shape the future of BC’s cranberry industry, while dairy farmer Jerry Keulen offered lessons learned from building and running an on-farm anaerobic digester.

Terry Bremner, founder of Bremner Farms, hosted a talk from the bottling line of their Delta production facility where they produce premium berry juices for the domestic and export market. He shared how his personal commitment to uncompromising quality (and a little help through the Buy Local and Export programs!) have built a loyal following that is slowly expanding around the world.