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.

Melanie Lantz

 

Melanie Lantz BSc (Ag), PAg — President

Melanie currently leads the regional Commercial Agriculture Team at RBC Royal Bank. Her passion for Agriculture has been lifelong, stemming from a rich family history deeply rooted in farming. She graduated from UBC in 2001 with major in Animal Science and earned her Professional Agrologist designation with the BCIA in 2004. She has spent much of her career in roles both supporting and directly involved in BC Agriculture. She is committed to supporting opportunities that both engage and educate the general public about the importance of domestic agriculture and food supply.

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John Munro, BSc, BEd — Vice President

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.

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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.

Michelle

Michelle Johnsrude, BSc, BEd — Secretary

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.  

 

Directors

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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. 

Julie Dickson Olmstead

Julie Dickson Olmstead — Director 

In her capacity as part of the senior leadership team at Save-On-Foods LP, Julie's role as a decision-maker, strategist, brand ambassador, senior advisor and tactician is interesting and unique. With over 30 years of senior-level experience in communications, public relations, and marketing, Julie has led teams, created strategy, enhanced brands, and produced tangible results for a variety of retail and non-profits organizations in British Columbia. She is passionate about food and was instrumental in the development of BCAITC’s BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program. Julie is dedicated to spreading BC’s incredible food and agriculture story to those in our community.

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Sydney Massey, MPH, RD — 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.

David Comrie

David Comrie, BA, MA — Director  

Recently retired, David has spent his career as a dynamic educator in a Distributed Learning (online) classroom. This style of learning increases student access, choice, and flexibility for study especially outside of regular classroom schedules. Always interested in healthy and nutritious foods for kids, David has prioritized time to serve as a member on the Board of Directors for Dedicated Action for School Health (DASH) and the Certified Organic Producers Association. David and his family live on a mixed farm with an organic apple orchard, livestock, and hay in Kamloops. They are involved in the community through 4-H.

Amy Chow

 

 

 

 

Amy Chow, BSc, RD, CDE — Director

Amy Chow is a registered dietitian in BC and is passionate about empowering families with knowledge and confidence about food and nutrition.  She has a Bachelor's degree in dietetics from McGill University and is a co-founder of Find BC Dietitians - an online directory website to connect the public with registered dietitians across BC. She is currently working as a private practice dietitian offering services in pediatric nutrition, eating disorders recovery, and food allergy management.

Katie Low

 

Katie Lowe, PAg — Director

Katie Lowe is the Executive Director of the BC Egg Marketing Board. She has spent over 15 years in the in poultry industry working with both Chicken and Egg Producers. Her experience in the industry has taught her how important it is to teach children about agriculture and where their food comes from. Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in agroecology with a concentration in animal studies from UBC. She is well-versed in animal care as she served as a research assistant on the UBC Dairy Farm. In addition to her education, Katie received her Professional Agrologist designation in 2012 and PAACO certification in 2009.

Marc

 

 

 

 

Marc Schutzbank, MSc BC, BSBM — Director

Marc is a graduate of the MSc Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program at the University of British Columbia. He has worked with the local organization, Fresh Roots, to develop a green thumb business model that does social good. Marc and Fresh Roots were awarded the BCBusiness 30 Under 30 and the BC Social Innovation Youth awards. 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.