A Message from the Dean

A Message from the Dean

Rickey Yada

I hope this issue of ReachOut provides you a little distraction from the events happening currently.

You can read many stories related to our work in animal welfare, including research dedicated to improving conditions for animals living in shelters. Also, we are excited by a new research chair in animal welfare for Assistant Professor Alexandra Protopopova.

This year, we celebrate the history of the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre. The centre has housed the university’s dairy cattle for the past 25 years in Agassiz, B.C., working in cooperation with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

If you feel nostalgic, read about Agora Café – our grassroots, student-led business that gives hundreds of volunteers a first-hand experience in managing a food operation on campus. For 15 years, Agora has been a special meeting place for LFS students and I feel like it’s our ace in building a strong community in LFS.

We introduce new faculty members who bring diverse experience to LFS – from political science to plant pathogens to dietetics. We are excited to build our expertise in these areas that play a large role in food security, and health and wellbeing.

We are living in an unprecedented time with COVID-19. For most of us, making such swift adjustments in both our personal and professional lives in order to adapt to a pandemic has been eye-opening. We’ve had to pivot to what UBC calls ‘work-life integration’ as our kitchen tables become our new offices or as we home-school our children. For some of us with small businesses, it’s about adapting in order to keep our livelihoods.

Also, the Black Lives Matter movement reminds us to re-examine our processes, our systems and our personal unconscious biases. At LFS, we are currently building our new strategic plan, and within it, we will be embedding a new way of thinking that will embrace equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s important that we support actions that create a fair playing field for everyone. We can always do better, and we will.

Sincerely,

Rickey Yada

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems