Our Board

BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation Board of Directors

At BCAITC, we are led by a group of dedicated members of the agriculture industry, whose passion and expertise help bring BC’s agriculture to your students.

Our Board of Directors includes three members at large, as well as representatives from each sector of the agriculture industry: farmer/producer, agri-food business, education, and health.

IMG_6097-3-01.png

Gerry Kasten, MSc, RD, FDC – Vice President (Acting President) 

Gerry Kasten loves food! He was born to a farming family & still helps his brother bring in the harvest each year. He has an Honours Diploma in Commercial Cooking, has both Bachelor’s & Master's degrees in Nutrition and is a Fellow of Dietitians of Canada. He has worked in Public Health all around BC for the past twenty-eight years and is also an Adjunct Professor in UBC’s Dietetics program. Gerry wants to live in a world where people celebrate food, sharing it with those they love, taking its pleasure without restraint because its flavour saturates their most sensuous appetites.

IMG_6081-3-01.png

 

Kurt Bausenhaus, CPA, CA — Treasurer 

Kurt is a partner in KPMG’s agri-business practice, providing financial accounting and advisory services to private companies. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Kurt also serves as an active board member of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee and the Abbotsford Community Foundation’s Agricultural Trust Fund. A significant portion of Kurt’s clientele represent numerous private companies in the agriculture sector, specifically in the feather industry (egg layers and broiler operations), as well as in the greenhouse, dairy, and berry industry sectors. Kurt has also taught various accounting courses at the University of the Fraser Valley campuses in Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack.

 

Directors 

IMG_6103-3-01.png

Gurinder Cheema, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. — Director

Gurinder is a teacher with the Abbotsford School District and co-owner with her husband of their family farm: Creekside Hothouse. Her work on the farm and in the agriculture sector inspires her to share her knowledge with her three children and students. As a middle school classroom teacher for the past 10 years, Gurinder has taught a variety of subjects, in which she integrates concepts of healthy living and local food production and engages her students in debates around sustainable farming practices, the Agricultural Land Reserve, and environmental impacts of food miles, bringing the connection between consumers and the producers of food closer together.

IMG_6084-3-01.png

 

Donna Jack — Director 

Born and raised on the Saanich Peninsula, Donna has deep roots in agriculture — both her grandparents were farmers and she grew up on a farm that grew a mixture of field crops. Donna and her husband live on a family poultry farm, where they raise layers and broilers, as well as grow a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Donna is a 4-H leader as well as the current Agricultural Convenor for the BC Women's Institute. She enjoys educating anyone who is interested in agriculture. 

IMG_6095-3-01.png

Chantal Keely, B.Sc. — Director 

Chantal currently works as a Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada in Abbotsford. Growing up on a small farm in northern Saskatchewan inspired her to pursue an education in Agriculture. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and has been working with FCC since graduating in 2013. Everything to do with agriculture and innovation interests Chantal, and she has a passion for learning and helping others. She lives in Mission, BC, with her husband and dog Louie, where she enjoys meeting new people, gardening, and spending time outdoors.

IMG_6091-3-01.png

Sydney Massey, M.P.H., R.D. — Director 

As Director of Nutrition Education at the BC Dairy Association, Sydney contributes to promoting health in BC through leadership and innovation in nutrition education. This includes developing, evaluating, and presenting programs and resources to teachers, health professionals, and the general public throughout BC. Sydney brings knowledge about working with BC's school systems to her work with the board, as well as a commitment to teaching others about the importance of using local foods to maintain a healthy food system.

IMG_6086-3-01.png

John Munro, B.Sc., B.Ed. — Director 

John is a seasoned educator, with over 20 years of science teaching experience. He is also a published author, having contributed to science textbooks and resources that are widely used in classrooms across BC. He initiated an after-school horticulture club, involving a partnership between his school and the University of the Fraser Valley, as a means of introducing his students to modern agriculture technology and career opportunities in agriculture. John has been recognized for his work both nationally and internationally, and he has been awarded the AMGEN Award for Science Teaching Excellence and the NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge.

Michelle

Michelle Johnsrude — Director

Michelle has lived most of her life in the Fraser Valley and is proud to be the granddaughter of dairy farmers.  Her background includes studying biology at UBC, owning a garden design business, and raising three children.  She lives in Chilliwack with her husband and has been teaching science for thirteen years.  She shares her passion for local products, food security, and sustainable, ethical living with her students and is thrilled to be able to manage her school’s garden.  She enjoys gardening, travelling, and having her dog, Huxley, take her for walks.  

Marc

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Schutzbank, M.Sc. — Director

Marc hails from the United States, coming to Vancouver as a Fulbright Scholar. As a graduate of the M.Sc. Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program at the University of British Columbia, he investigated the economic viability of urban farming – exploring how urban farmers are developing their businesses in Vancouver. One of those farms was Fresh Roots. Marc has worked with Fresh Roots to develop a green thumb business model that does social good. Marc and Fresh Roots has been awarded BC Business’ 30 Under 30 and the BC Social Innovation Youth Award. Marc has a background in genocide prevention policy and finance – issues that he worked on at the University of Pittsburgh when exploring ethical institutional investment. Marc loves to grow, cook, eat, and share – come on over for dinner! When Marc is not on the farm, you can find him running along the beach or checking out a new recipe.

Asia

 

 

 

 

 

Asia Van Spronsen B.A., B.Ed., M.A.(English) — Director

Asia is an academic at heart. For over a decade, she taught elementary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary (K-12 in BC, special needs in the South Bronx, and Literature at Douglas College). Asia has published on Imagination in Education with Kieran Egan and was awarded a SSHRC from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada. In 2010, she left teaching to purchase a commercial bell pepper greenhouse with her husband, a grower. In recent years, the Van Spronsens erected new glass greenhouses in Surrey. Asia loves living in the country: reading, writing, cooking, and whittling away hours in hobby gardens with her two young children. Work on this board marries her passions for youth, education, agriculture, and social change.