Planting seeds of change

Planting seeds of change

Bishop’s University appoints new Research Chair in Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Action


By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative


Bishop’s University’s (BU) Dr. Vivian Valencia was announced as the new Research Chair in Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Action (SACA) at a press conference at BU’s educational farm Sept. 7. The Record attended and spoke with Valencia a few days later for the particulars.

A BU press release states that Valencia’s, of BU’s Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAFS) program, new role involves establishing a “lighthouse network”: a collection of innovative and inspiring examples within agri-food systems. This initiative is proudly supported by TD Bank Group, through its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment.

The release goes on to say Valencia is dedicated to tackling the pressing challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. Her research primarily revolves around identifying and analyzing exceptional success stories referred to as “lighthouses”. These are remarkable instances that introduce ground-breaking alternatives to conventional food and farming systems.

Through in-depth analysis of these outstanding cases, she aims to uncover the key factors contributing to their success. Her objective is to formulate strategies that can amplify their positive impacts. By spotlighting these pockets of exceptional innovation and progress, her intention is to also create optimistic narratives for the future. This approach seeks to inspire constructive actions aimed at establishing resilient and sustainable food systems in Quebec and beyond.

The SACA Research Chair will investigate sustainable land use practices that both foster ecological health and support the agricultural sector as it transitions to a low-carbon economy. By generating knowledge and educating students, farmers and the public, the Research Chair will actively contribute to the culture change needed to meet these sustainability objectives.

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