Weiler A. M., Dennis, J.E., Wittman, H. 2014. Growing Good Agricultural Jobs in British Columbia. Paper presented at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Good Jobs Economy Conference, Vancouver, BC.  Growing Good Agricultural Jobs in British_Columbia_2015-02-25

Dennis, J. E. and Wittman, H. 2014. Farmland Access in BC – Research Summary. Farmland Access in BC – Research Summary 07:14

Wittman, H. 2009. Community farms in BC: Building local food systems for sustainable communities. Vancouver: FarmFolk/CityFolk.  Click here to access report.


Planning for Farmland Access: Sustaining an Actively Farmed Land Base for Food Security
University of British Columbia, March 19, 2014

Jessica Dennis will present on her Master’s thesis research with Dr. Hannah Wittman on findings on farmland demand and mechanisms of farmland access in British Columbia. The presentation will include results from a survey of prospective and beginning farmers focusing on land access and opportunities and challenges faced by beginning farmers. We will also present findings from interview and community-based research on alternative models and mechanisms of farmland tenure and access. We will identify and discuss policy needs for further operationalizing alternative models of land tenure and access for farmland protection and to support the successful establishment of farmers on the land.


Community Farms Research and Farmland Trust Visioning
Community Farms Roundtable, O.U.R. Ecovillage, Shawnigan Lake
February 21, 2014

Jessica Dennis will present an update on research that she and Dr. Hannah Wittman have been carrying out in conjunction with Heather Pritchard and the Community Farms Program on farmland access and community farms in British Columbia.  The presentation will report on findings from a survey on the type of land access young farmers are seeking and will review a selection of community farm and alternative land access models in practice in BC.  The presentation will then focus in on the current, and limited, context of land trusts for agricultural land protection and access in BC and will transition into a visioning session on the potential for the development of a new farmland trust organization in the province.


Farmers, Foodies and First Nations: Getting to Food Sovereignty in Canada
Islands Agriculture Show, Duncan
February 8th, 2014
Hannah Wittman, Jessica Dennis and Robin TunnicliffeDennis, Hannah, Robbin

Hannah Wittman will begin the session by discussing how the concept and framework of food sovereignty has been incorporated in food policy agendas across diverse sectors of Canadian society.  I will report on our research which suggests that the wide range of actors using food sovereignty language in Canada hold a shared aim to reclaim a public voice in shaping the food system.  These actors also demonstrate a growing convergence around ideals of social justice, environmental sustainability and diversity.

Jessica Dennis will give a presentation called “Beyond the Market: accessing farmland for regional food systems on public land, land trusts and community farms”.  Agricultural land that                                                                                                            is actively farmed and farmers that can make a fair Islands Ag Show Lineuplivelihood on the land are foundational to regional food production and food security.  Yet young farmers are on the decline, there are continued threats to farmland preservation, and beginning farmers face many challenges to successful establishment and continued viability.  This talk will report on research on the role of farmland trusts and community farms in British Columbia as drivers of farmland access for new and beginning farmers.

Robin Tunnicliffe has been farming organically on Vancouver Island for the past 15 years, now with 6 acres of vegetables in production.  She holds an MA from UVic in food policy and has studied the economic viability of small-scale agriculture.  Along with two other farmers, she runs Saanich Organics, an all-local produce distribution company. Robin will talk about how she sees the role of farmers into the future, and what food sovereignty means to producers.


Scaling innovation in community land trusts for farmland access and affordable housing
BC – Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance: Scaling Innovation For Sustainability Project
Webinar, April 9, 2014

See presentation notes and listen to presentation here.


Beyond the market:  accessing farmland for regional food systems on public land, private trusts, and community farms
Canadian Association of Food Studies, June 2013
University of Victoria, British Columbia

Jessica Dennis, MSc student, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia and Hannah Wittman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Community farms – or systems of collaborative, cooperative, and non-market land tenure – are increasingly emerging in response to the rising interest in local and regional food systems, especially in peri-urban markets where farmland access through the market is cost-prohibitive for new and transitional farmers.   This presentation reports on a study conducted through the Community Farms Program of BC, identifying a diverse range of pathways to farmland access in British Columbia.  The research analyzes both the tensions that regional food system have with a speculative land market as well as the challenges of institutionalizing alternative or grassroots land tenure models.


Wittman, H., A. Desmarais, and N. Wiebe (eds). Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just andFoodSovCanWittman Sustainable Food Systems. Halifax; Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. 2011.


For Dr. Hannah Wittman’s other journal and book publications on food sovereignty, local food systems, and agrarian reform please click here to visit her Faculty webiste.