Langley, B.C. – For the longest time, Samantha Graham wanted to become a dietician, a role she saw as a perfect fit with her passion for nutrition and fresh, healthy food.
After learning how modern agricultural practices impact nutrition in the foods we eat, the D. W. Poppy grad decided to take her passion all the way to the root of healthy living and eating: sustainable agriculture.
“Since then, I have become particularly interested in the universal accessibility of fresh, nutritious food and the development of agricultural education programs in elementary and secondary schools,” said Graham, a lifelong Langley resident who was one of the first graduates of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) sustainable agriculture degree program.
Graham’s cohort was the first to go through the program, which teaches students to critically analyze the many aspects that make up our food systems, from urban gardens, to government agencies, to agricultural education programs for school-aged children.
The Richmond-based program also overviews the science of agro-ecosystem design, innovative crop production methods, sustainable farm business management and the current economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in the 21st century.
“Seeing the multitude of avenues to explore upon graduation is very exciting,” said Graham, who spent part of her degree working with elementary and secondary students in their schools’ gardens, teaching them about gardening and nature.
While long-term she would love to work with a local organization that contributes to community, Graham is currently focused on applying her degree in Australia, where she hopes to engage in farm work, and learn about agricultural practices in a climate that differs from B.C.
“I’m going to use this opportunity to learn about the advantages of farming in a warmer climate, and also about the challenges associated with it,” said Graham, adding that she’s particularly interested in citrus fruit farming and drought adaptation. She will be Down Under for a year on a work-holiday visa.
Applications are still being accepted for the program's September intake. For more information on KPU’s sustainable agriculture degree, visitkpu.ca/agriculture/program.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.