General advisors combine skills in coordination and communication with general knowledge in science and agriculture to get relevant and practical information to producers. Based on your needs, a KBFA general advisor may connect you to a specialist advisor.
Rachael Roussin, MLWS
Program Coordinator and General Advisor
Rachael has a Masters' degree in Land and Water Systems from the faculty of Land and Food at UBC and brings over nine years’ experience with program coordination. Her technical background includes soil science, soil capability for agriculture, watershed management and climate change impacts and opportunities for agriculture. Rachael is an Environmental Farm Plan Advisor for BC, is an educator on soil health and agricultural land, has operated a market garden, managed her local farmers' market for over four years, and sits on several food and agriculture boards and committees.
Email Rachael: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Bennett, MSc, PAg, CID
Program Development and General Advisor
Andrew combines his technical background in agroecology with practical experience as the owner of a small mixed farm since 2011, direct-marketing meat, eggs, and vegetables in Rossland. Off-farm, he works as a writer, editor, and educator. His recent work includes compiling and editing the Salatin Semester manual (Acres USA, 2016). He also speaks at local food events, gives workshops on farm skills and design, is an Environmental Farm Plan Advisor for BC, and is a Certified Irrigation Designer with the Irrigation Industry Association of BC.
Email Andrew: email@example.com
Patrick Steiner operates Stellar Seeds, an organic seed company specializing in heirloom, rare, and locally adapted seeds. He teaches seed growing, has worked in Canada and abroad on seed security issues, and wrote Small Scale Organic Seed Production. Patrick is a board member of the BC Eco Seed Co-op, and also works in Kaslo as the Food Security Coordinator for North Kootenay Lake Community Services. Patrick seeks opportunities to put his experience to work building strong and resilient food systems in the Kootenay-Boundary region.
Email Patrick: firstname.lastname@example.org
KBFA’s program advisors provide senior oversight and also work as farm advisors in certain regions and agricultural sectors.
Michael Keefer, MSc, PAg
KES Owner and Strategic Program Advisor
Michael has over 20 years’ experience managing large and complex projects in ecology, agriculture, First Nations traditional knowledge, economic development, and environmental assessments. One of Canada’s top experts on the use of native plants to restore degraded landscapes and Aboriginal ethnobotany, Michael has led the start-up of three native plant nurseries and is actively engaged in the start-up of two mixed nursery businesses primarily focused on food production. Michael also consults for the BC Farm Business Advisory Services Program.
Email Mike: email@example.com
Mike has a lifetime of farming experience and has worked as a professional in agriculture since 1971, including 30 years for the Province of BC as a District Agriculturist and Regional Agrologist. Since 1979, Mike has co-owned and operated Fort Steele Farms near Cranbrook with his wife Sharon. His expertise includes forage crop production, beef cattle production, farm business management and economics, and rangeland management. Mike believes that farm profitability is an essential element for success in sustainable food systems.
Email Mike: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keefer Ecological Services
Keefer Ecological Services
Myra Juckers, BSc, PAg
Myra's passion for ecological restoration and community involvement developed at Trent University where she specialized in ecosystem management and indigenous environmental studies. Her skills in planning and executing field studies, data collection, and analysis resulted in key contributions to two scientific studies. As an ecologist at KES, Myra has been involved in a wide range of projects including terrestrial ecosystem mapping and rare plant surveys. She has managed several projects, including invasive plant management on a First Nations reserve and native plant revegetation research.
Jessica Lowey, BSc
Jessica is an environmental scientist with an extensive background in environmental consulting. She completed her undergraduate thesis in soil science with a certificate in geomatics, and is completing her MSc in Environmental Practice through Royal Roads University exploring the use of compost to promote the establishment and productivity of native plant species. Jessica has worked in the oil and gas and forestry industries, performing environmental assessments and wildlife surveys, sampling and identifying soils and vegetation, and sampling and monitoring water.
Mike Kuruz, BBA
Mike is a highly skilled business professional with over ten years’ experience working in financial and accounting environments. Mike completed his BBA at the University of Regina in 2008, and currently provides research, budgeting, scheduling and project management for land management and ecological restoration projects as well as all aspects of financial management for Keefer Ecological Services. Mike has also been a member of an Occupational Health and Safety committee for over ten years.
KBFA relies upon a large and expanding network of industry specialists to offer our producers the best available information. Specialist advisors include university professors, government researchers, provincial agrologists, successful and experienced farmers and ranchers, and independent consultants.
Advisors and services will be added as the needs of sectors and geographic areas are identified, and as relationships are formed.