[Webinar recording ] A conversation on agroecology in Canada

A conversation on the current state and future prospects of agroecology in Canada

The conversation shed light on agroecological practices, policies, and initiatives across the nation that are driving resilience, equity, and sustainability in food systems. It included:

Agroecology - Slides 1




Stuart Oke

#5 (19)Raised just outside of Kingston, Ontario Stuart grew up in a non-farming family but has been farming full time  since 2009. After several years working throughout Ontario on a wide range of farms, in 2017 he co-founded Rooted Oak Farm, an agroecological CSA and Market farm serving customers in Eastern Ontario.

Stuart is a proud member of the National Farmers Union and has worked as an organizer and advocate at the grassroots, provincial and national level of the organization. He served as the National NFU Youth President for three years and co-authored the NFU report Who Will Feed Us: New Farmer Perspectives on Agriculture for the Future. He is a past Vice-President of Canadian Organic Growers and is a passionate advocate of ecological and organic production. He currently represents the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario on the Policy Working Group  for the farmer coalition Farmers for Climate Solutions and is the Eastern Ontario Land Access Coordinator for the National Farmers Union – Ontario. In the winter months and when not otherwise working you can hear him on the Sow and Grow Podcast where he is a producer and co-host.


Toyin Kayo-Ajayi

#5 (21)Toyin Kayo-Ajayi is the founder of the Kara-Kata Afrobeat Society and the Canadian Black Farmers Association—the only Black agricultural association in the country. After settling in Canada, Mr. Kayo-Ajayi ventured into dairy farming, gaining extensive knowledge of local farming practices and the agricultural business landscape. He has since mentored other Black farmers and newcomers to the industry. In 2019, he began the Kara-Kata Africa Village Project, introducing African cultural vegetables and herbs to the country and further supporting culturally appropriate food sovereignty. As part of this project, he has conducted extensive research on various agroecological farming practices that can benefit both the Canadian and African agricultural industries by maximizing productivity, extending growing seasons and promoting natural/organic growing processes.


François D’Aoust

#5 (20)François D’Aoust founded Les Bontés de la Vallée, an organic market garden farm located in Havelock, in the Montérégie-Ouest region. Since 2006, he and his partner Mélina Plante have been dedicated to local farming, primarily selling their produce through organic produce baskets and a local farmers’ market. Inspired by the example set by Temple-Wilton Community Farm in the USA, they recently decided to transition their farm into a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model for the 2024 season, integrating their community into a participatory financial support model where partners are fully involved in the farm’s mission. This initiative emphasizes their goal to promote sustainable agriculture that feeds the community while respecting the environment. Through their efforts, François and Mélina illustrate how a mindful, community-focused approach to farming can truly contribute to a more equitable and sustainable food system.


Celeste Smith

#5 (24)Celeste Smith is the Founder of 2 Indigenous Social Innovation Startups, a Food Justice Advocate, Professional Speaker, Teacher, and Seed Steward. As a member of the Oneida Nation, Celeste Smith has the responsibility to uphold the Dish with One Spoon Wampum agreement which binds her to steward and protect the land for the next 7 generations. She recently graduated from the Fireweed Fellowship, the 1st Indigenous Women’s entrepreneurship accelerator in Canada and is the winner of the 2020 Desjardins Cooperathon for Indigenous Social Change Competition. Her mission is to help Indigenous Women, Gender Diverse Persons and Youth reclaim their traditional agricultural heritage through Rematriation of seeds and knowledge sharing. Learn more at culturalseeds.com and wewillplantlodge.com.

Faris Ahmed

#5 (22)Faris Ahmed, with over 20 years in sustainable food systems and international development, specializes in agroecology, biodiversity and climate resilience.  Notably, he led the “Growing Common Ground: Pathways to Advance Agroecology Policy in Canada” report, focusing on enhancing agroecology policies and practices. Faris works as an independent consultant on policy, research and strategy with international organizations, foundations and governments. His roles have spanned numerous civil society networks, including the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism of the CFS (CSIPM), Food Secure Canada, and the Food Security Policy Group. Faris holds a Master’s in International Development from the University of Toronto. Learn more about Faris here.

Related resources

Our article, “Agroecology in Canada: Cultivating a Sustainable Food Revolution, looks at the core principles that make up agroecology and its current state in Canada – shedding light on agroecology’s role in developing resilient and equitable food systems across the country.