About Us

IAF is an industry led, not for profit that delivers government funded programs to the agriculture and agri-food sector of British Columbia

Board of Directors


Arzeena Hamir

Represents Emerging Sectors
Region Vancouver Island
Board Member Since 2014

Vice Chair,

Don Low

Represents Tree Fruits & Grapes
Region Kootenays
Board Member Since 2015


Glenda Gesy

Represents Pre Farm Gate
Region Thompson-Okanagan
Board Member Since 2017


Angela Groothof

Represents Poultry
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2018

Board Member

Kalpna Solanki

Represents Post Farm Gate
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2014

Board Member,

Kiren Sihota

Represents Field Vegetables, Berries & Mushrooms
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2018

Board Member,

Walter Fritsche

Represents Grains & Oilseeds
Region Peace River
Board Member Since 2014

Board Member,

Dennis Lapierre

Represents Community Agriculture
Board Member Since 2015

Board Member,

David Zehnder

Region East Kootenay
Board Member Since 2017

Board Member,

Ralph VanDalfsen

Represents Dairy
Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019

Board Member,

Mike Soth

Represents Other Livestock
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019

Board Member,

Jim Pratt

Represents Post Farm Gate 
Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019

Board Member,

Jos Moerman

Represents Greenhouse, Floriculture & Nursery
Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019


Comprised of nine industry associations, our Members are responsible for the Foundation’s highest level of operations, including the nomination of our Board of Directors and the appointment of auditors.

We work hard to recognize the varied and unique needs of BC’s agricultural sectors, relying on an equally diverse membership to ensure broad representation on the IAF Board.

BC Cattlemens Association

Mission: To maintain a healthy cattle industry that provides quality beef products to consumers and is guided by strong volunteer membership, environmental stewardship, respect for stakeholders and excellent business practices.

BC Fruit Growers Association

Mission: To represent BC fruit growers’ interests through activities which include lobbying governments for positive change to risk management programs and providing services and products to growers.

BC Grain Producers Association

Mission: To improve the viability of the grains and oilseed industry in the BC Peace River Region and encourage all farmers to participate within their industry so that their voices may be heard.

BC Greenhouse Growers Association

Mission: To deliver services and research programs to our members to help keep them globally competitive and to keep a vibrant and sustainable greenhouse vegetable sector in BC, while providing high-quality and safe greenhouse vegetables to consumers.

BC Landscape & Nursery Association

Mission: To promote the global recognition of British Columbia as a leader in landscape horticulture and provide an effective organization for meeting the needs of nursery growers, landscape professionals and garden centres.

BC Dairy Association

Mission: To ensure dairy farming delivers a positive impact on our community and to preserve a sustainable, valuable and ethical industry in British Columbia.

BC Pork Producers Association

Mission: BC pork… high quality, specialty pork products, proudly grown close to home

BC Poultry Association

Mission: To lead the regulated BC poultry associations on common issues that strengthen and improve the well-being of regulated poultry farmers.

Horse Council of BC

Mission: To collaborate with business, industry and government on behalf of equine welfare, sports, recreation and the individual rider/driver.


IAF’s Strategic Framework states three goals, one of which is for “IAF to be an enduring resource for the sector”.

Within this goal, the second strategic priority is: “IAF must have a Board and Membership that reflects the agriculture and food sector of BC” where agriculture and food are defined as the “production, processing and marketing of all farm, food and agri-based products.” The IAF Board and Staff have begun implementing a tactical and operational plan that addresses this strategic priority.

To date IAF has stood up a new Governance and Nomination Committee that will be working and consulting with IAF members throughout Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 to determine how this priority should be realized within the lifespan of the Strategic Framework. We will post further information as it becomes available.

In 2018, IAF’s membership ratified a series of changes to IAF’s Constitution and Bylaws, in keeping with the new BC Societies Act, which requires all societies to amend their constitutions and bylaws by the end of 2018.

Our Board of Directors represent the broad agriculture and agri-food industry and are appointed by the nine industry associations that comprise our Membership. Our Members are also responsible for the appointment of auditors and the approval of our Annual Reports and Financial Statements every year at our AGM.

The Board is governed by a constitution and set of bylaws updated during our 2018 Special General Meeting, in keeping with the new BC Societies Act. This document outlines the general operational policies of IAF, clarifies director duties and responsibilities, addresses director liability and conflict of interest guidelines, and offers mechanisms for member complaints.

Under its bylaws, the Board’s role is to ensure effective governance by providing strategic direction, developing policy, and hiring and supporting senior management. Directors are also responsible for envisioning the future of IAF and ensuring that it is progressing towards its goals, while staying within legal limits and using resources efficiently.

In carrying out their responsibilities, directors owe fiduciary duties to IAF, which can be broken down into two categories:

  • The duty of loyalty – this duty requires that a director act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of IAF
  • The duty of care – this duty requires that a director act with a level of skill and competence that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances

Currently IAF is responsible for delivering close to 20 funding programs. Our Board of Directors convenes regularly to review applications for project funding, which must be guided by the funding parameters and eligibility criteria specific to the programs entrusted to us by the Province of BC.

Certain programs address broader issues or strategies and reflect priorities set by government. While it is the Board’s responsibility to deliberate on applications within these guidelines, it also has the latitude to determine merit based on industry priorities. Examples of such programs include the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program and the Agri-Food Futures Fund.

The Board also adjudicates funding applications through programs that are much narrower in scope and designed to meet highly specific issues or strategies, such as the Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative and the Poultry Biosecurity Program. In these cases, directors must review applications and allocate funding according to clearly (and externally) defined eligibility criteria.

In situations where there are gaps in funding or issues that cannot be resolved with existing industry resources, IAF may develop specialized programs to address specific priorities which fall within our mandate and funding principles, such as the Agricultural Area Planning Program. Board-led initiatives allow more flexibility in offering funding tailored to current industry needs.

During adjudication meetings, the Board has the authority to:

  • Approve all, or parts of, a project
  • Reduce or increase the requested funding
  • Set conditions for approval
  • Defer an application until more information is available
  • Decline an application, with reason (reconsiderations are granted to applicants)

Our directors are farmers and food processors from a variety of sectors who bring valuable expertise to the table. Rest assured your application will be considered by a knowledgeable panel of industry peers!