Thursday, March 11, 12:00 – 1:30 PM Pacific
Agroecology is a way of farming, and a way of thinking about farming. It takes seriously the idea that a farm is an ecosystem, made up of plants and soil organisms, powered by the sun, subject to disturbances, and resilient, or not. Agroecology encourages us to take a whole-system approach, to look to biology rather than industry, to diversify and to close loops, and to see nature as exemplar, not nuisance.
But what does agroecology look like in practice? …across Canada and other nations? Can it be practiced over tens of millions of acres? Can it form a viable alternative to current industry-led and industry-fed production systems? And can it be a practical way to reduce input use in, and greenhouse gas emissions from, food production?
Dr. Jennifer Blesh will take a deep dive into agroecology and help us think about what it might look like on the Canadian farm landscape.
Dr. Jennifer Blesh is an agroecologist and Associate Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. She conducts ecological and interdisciplinary research to understand the outcomes of different cropping systems and management practices. Her work focuses on increasing crop diversity, including identifying how cover crops and perennials affect soil health and nutrient cycling processes, especially legume nitrogen fixation. She also studies social processes that lead to food system transformation, from food production through consumption. Prior to her current position, she held appointments at the Federal University of Mato Grosso in Brazil and at Cornell University.
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Note: We encourage those interested in French interpretation to register at least 48 hours in advance.