Food Security and Community Economic Development

Food security has been a common theme for many years but it is only during a crisis that we really take it seriously.  In this presentation Ken describes the challenges of scaling up to meet the demand on short notice this past spring and then makes the economic case for a local food megaproject.  For too long, local food has been seen as a specialty market frequented by foodies and hasn't been taken seriously as an important local economic development initiative.  He calls on governments at all levels to develop the infrastructure to support these efforts and municipalities to change bylaws on land use policies.

Webinar Presenters - Ken Shaw and John Stevenson, PAg

Ken Shaw – Educator and Designer

Ken grew up on a small mixed organic farm on Vancouver Island during the 1970’s getting his hands dirty with everything from livestock to crops and was an active 4-H member.  He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Resource Engineering followed by a Masters in Agriculture Extension at UBC.  After graduation he initially worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in a number of departments before working in the Fraser Valley with a fertilizer manufacturer making crop recommendations. Since 1994, Ken has worked as a college professor at Coast Mountain College teaching a wide range of sciences, is a co-founder and program coordinator of the Applied Coastal Ecology program, and recently re-introduced the Sustainable Communities Associate Degree Program in partnership with other staff. He teaches Permaculture as part of that program and has studied with a number of leaders in the field in Australia, England, US, and Canada.

As a community activist, he organized the establishment of the first community garden in Prince Rupert through the Kaien Island Anti-Poverty Society in 2009, co-founded Transition Prince Rupert with now Mayor Lee Brain, and introduced the concept of placemaking with Mark Lakeman of Portland’s City Repair in the redesign of the McKay Street Park.  He was part of the team developing Prince Rupert’s 2030 Sustainable City Policies adopted in 2018, and is Chair of the College Pension Plan advisory committee which has $5.3 billion in assets. He is a passionate gardener with the largest most productive garden in Prince Rupert, verging on an urban farm, and has demonstrated for over 12 years the wide variety of crops that can be grown in the area.  He sees great potential in enhancing the local food industry bringing economic benefits, good quality food, and social cohesion to our communities.