DCS 2020- Agriculture & Climate Change

Agriculture is both a site of significant GHG emissions and is majorly impacted by climate change. What role can farming play in reducing emissions? What are the key paths to making agriculture a more climate friendly industry? Join our expert panel for a discussion on the important role of our food systems in reducing climate change.


Gillian Flies worked as a human rights investigator, aid worker, election observer and management consultant on four continents before finding her true calling as a farmer. In 2003 she and her husband, Brent Preston, abandoned successful careers in Toronto, packed up their two young children, and moved to a run-down farm outside Creemore, Ontario. Since then, they have built The New Farm into a thriving business and a leading light in the good food movement, providing vegetables to some of the best restaurants in Canada and raising over a million dollars to make local, organic food accessible in low income communities. Gillian is the President of the Canadian Organic Growers and is a leader in the organic and regenerative farming movement. She speaks often on food and farming issues

Melana Roberts is a federal and municipal food policy strategist and Chair of FoodSecure Canada, a pan-Canadian alliance working to build more equitable, just, and sustainable food and agricultural systems through federal policy, advocacy, and capacity-building within the food movement. Working from coast to coast, Melana’s work bridges social justice, equity, politics, and policy to democratize governance, access, and power in food and agricultural policy. She is currently Project Manager of Power Lab, is a former political staffer at Toronto City Hall, and has served as Canada’s United Nations Delegate for the Commission on Population and Development, addressing Global emergency food responses during COVID-19 in municipal and federal contexts. Most recently, Melana was named a 2020 Action Canada Fellow, where she is exploring the future of work in Canadian agriculture.

Darrin Qualman is Director of Climate Crisis Policy and Action for the National Farmers Union. He is the author of the 2019 report Tackling the Farm Crisis and the Climate Crisis and the 2019 book Civilization Critical: Energy, Food, Nature, and the Future. He farmed for two decades and has academic degrees in history, biology, and political studies.


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