A Tribute to Pete Spencer

Most of the people I have met in my life have not left an impression. Our encounters now reside in the back corners of my mind as a face or name that is disconnected from where or when we interacted. Others, for better or worse, or sheer volume of discourse, have resonated with me. And then there are a select few, for whom I’m a better person for having known.

Pete Spencer was such a man.

I first met Pete years ago when I facilitated the British Columbia Agroforestry Initiative. He had moved from ranching and logging in Vanderhoof to an acreage in Kelowna. He was planting Christmas trees and was looking for advice and connections. I soon realized that he knew a great deal more about agroforestry than his initial questions implied. And, from this first meeting onwards, I came to know Pete as someone who was humble, wise and giving.

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Agricultural Water Policy

The need for a clear agricultural water policy in British Columbia has never been greater. Without access to water, there will be no agriculture. But that does not mean that the agricultural community should not work towards improving food security with efficient and responsible water use.

This video is of a panel discussion I partipated in looking at agricultural water policy in the Cariboo and Okanagan regions of British Columbia.

In the panel we discussed some of the challenges of meeting the goals of the Water Sustainability Act. I emphasized the need to be proactive and develop integrated, ‘win-win’ solutions. Policy should focus on education and incentives for water conservation and climate adaptation. Policy focused solely on a regulatory approach will not solve British Columbia’s water challenges, nor any other complex social issues of our time.

This discussion was part of a series on agricultural water policy challenges in a changing climate. This webinar series was sponsored by UBC Okanagan and the Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network.

Agriculture water policy in the Cariboo and Okanagan, BC

Soil Tilth and Organics for Water Conservation

Adapting to a changing climate will be one of the key factors to the future success of agriculture. Water conservation in farm settings should start with building the capacity of the land to capture and retain precipitation. Improving tilth and adding organic matter to soils are effective tools for water management. Enhancing water capture and storage in the soil can be a cost-effective solution to minimizing drought impacts in dryland farming.

This video presentation was the final of three that I made to the 2020 Water Management Strategies for Dryland Agriculture Webinar Series. The webinar series was sponsored by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. It was delivered as part of their regional adaptation program.

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Agroforestry for Water Conservation

Water Conservation

Adapting to a changing climate will be one of the key factors to the future success of agriculture. Water conservation in farm settings should start with building the capacity of the land to capture and retain precipitation. Agroforestry methods have been proven as effective tools for water management. Enhancing water capture and storage in the soil can be a cost-effective solution to minimizing drought impacts in dryland farming.

This video presentation was the second of three that I made to the 2020 Water Management Strategies for Dryland Agriculture Webinar Series. The webinar series was sponsored by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. And, was delivered as part of their regional adaptation program.

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