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Daily Archives: November 5, 2018

2019 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security. – Scholarship and Grants Opportunities

2019 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security. – Scholarship and Grants Opportunities

Now on its 5th edition, the Agropolis Fondation Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize was created in 2009 to recognize the exemplary contribution of scientists in the field as well as to inspire young promising researchers to work towards excellent science in the service of society.

Three Prizes are at stake in the 2019 edition of the Prize.

  • The “Young Promising Scientist Prize” which is awarded to a junior scientist with at least five years of professional experience ; and
  • The “Distinguished Scientist Prize” is given to a senior scientist with at least 15 years of professional experience ;
  • The “Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development” is handed to someone whose professional career is devoted to agricultural development, be it in the field of agriculture and food research, innovation, capacity building, development or policy.
  • The Distinguished Scientist and the Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development Prizes come with a €20,000 cash prize.
  • The Young Promising Scientist Prize comes with a €5,000 cash prize and a €15,000 worth of scientific mobility grant to any of the 41 research labs that are part of Agropolis Fondation’s scientific network.

The Prize is a tribute to Professor Malassis, a French agronomist, agro-economist and ardent supporter of farmers’ cause. In 1986, he founded Agropolis, an international campus based in Montpellier which brings together research organizations and institutes for higher learning in agriculture.

For the 3rd time, the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security, given by leading agri-business Olam International, is awarded in conjunction with Agropolis Fondation’s Malassis Prize. It recognizes an innovative scientific research project for its potential impact on the availability, affordability, accessibility or adequacy of food.

The winning research project will receive US$ 75,000.

Every other year, Agropolis Fondation and Olam International launch a Call for Candidates. Entries are evaluated and selected based on the scientific excellence, impact of their contribution to sustainable development, and quality of partnerships they have developed and established, notably with the civil society.

An independent jury composed of internationally recognized individuals is appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Agropolis Fondation. This group deliberates and selects the winner in each category.

Application Deadline: 28 February 2019, 23:57 (CET, French time).

The search is on for the 2019 Agropolis Fondation Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food as well as the 2019 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.

Creating Food Security through Urban Gardening

Creating Food Security through Urban Gardening

Nicole Landers Community Healing Urban Gardening

Nicole Landers at Community Healing Gardens

Women Changing the Landscape of Our Cities

“Every patch of soil is an opportunity to grow food,” says Community Healing Gardens Co-Founder Nicole Landers. In the greater Los Angeles area, where the 365-day-a-year growing season means that there are abundant opportunities for everyone to be an urban gardener, Nicole is member of a pioneering group of women transforming the modern cityscape.

There are a number of good reasons to grow your own or to participate in community gardening efforts. You have an intimate relationship with the soil and can even contribute to soil remediation. You know where the seeds are coming from (and can even join groups like the Seed Library of Los Angeles) and can go even better than organic by controlling what is sprayed on the plants.

Community Healing Gardens

Urban gardening is a great way to bring communities together. Just ask Nicole Landers of Community Healing Gardens (CHG). The nonprofit started with garden boxes in the city spaces along the streets of Venice, where she resides. The raised beds offer opportunities for growing food that are open to the community that wanted — or more importantly needed — these opportunities. Now three years after founding the organization, there are 66 boxes sprinkled throughout Venice accompanied by after school programs developed to teach kids about gardening.

Nicole learned about urban gardening at UCLA where she studied under the Sustainable Certificate Program. Her interest sprouted as a kid, when she learned to grow tomatoes, herbs, basil, oregano, chives, onions, and spinach. Her father had a plot of land at a community garden space along the Westside Highway in NYC. She’s brought this passion to her present-day home community to address areas of food insecurity and food deserts throughout the southland. For example, CHG has partnered with the nonprofit St Joseph’s Center to use product harvested by CHG in the culinary program of the Center’s work experience kitchen, where they feed upwards of 100 homeless and transitioning men and women a day.

In Watts, CHG has stepped in to build an innovative relationship with the community’s only public middle school. They’ve cultivated the earth in one acre of land to grow food with their school farm and orchard program. CHG is teaching kids about the importance of growing their own food, showing how fun it is, and then giving that food back to the community. Anyone can participate through harvesting the food or joining in on community planting days. People can also adopt a box or a tree and learn about the beauty and necessity of urban gardening. “The one thing that binds us all is food. We all need nourishment and the food we put in our body fuels us.”

For more information, visit: .

Urban Gardening Q & A with Nicole Landers

What does gardening mean to you?

Nicole Landers: Farming means strengthening community through urban gardening. We can build connection, community, and jobs, and shift the consciousness on planetary and human health by growing food locally, especially in urban areas in need. Our soil can save us.

What is your favorite thing to grow?

NL: My favorite season is spring into summer and growing tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, herbs, kale, and arugula.

LA Urban Farms Urban Gardening

LA Urban Farms

LA Urban Farms

If you’ve always wanted a garden, but don’t have the space, a vertical garden may be for you. LA Urban Farms has created state-of-the art, patented, vertical technology that allows you to farm in an urban setting using 90% less land and 90% less water.

Wendy Coleman is the founder of LA Urban Farms with partners Jennifer Crane and Melanie Dorsey. These three women share a passion for farming and helping others grow their own healthy food. Wendy found her work passion with the help of her daughter who was majoring in sustainability and environmental awareness.

Wendy came across vertical gardens growing right in the middle of a parking lot in front of a café. She inquired about buying one for her daughter Jess’s birthday. One vertical garden turned into three in the family’s backyard. “We had never had our own edible garden before; we even had fake plants in our house.” Wendy and her family couldn’t believe that in only 21 days they had the most delicious leafy greens and herbs for their smoothies, salads, and grilled vegetables.

Shortly after that harvest, they collaborated with the developer of the vertical garden technology, Tim Blank. Tim worked for 12 years as the chief horticulturist and greenhouse manager at Walt Disney World’s attraction The Land at Epcot Center. There, they grew hundreds of different food crops from all over the world in many different hydroponic and aeroponic systems. Wendy felt that her team’s enthusiasm combined with Tim’s expertise was a recipe for success. Thus, LA Urban Farms sprouted.

They created their first aeroponic farm on the rooftop of the old Google building in Santa Monica. It was the first of its kind on a commercial office building in LA. Now, almost five years later, their urban gardens are found in backyards, greenhouses, and with top chefs at restaurants, resorts, universities, and businesses throughout LA and beyond. They’ve even installed a garden at LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home.

For more information visit: .

Urban Gardening Q & A with LA Urban Farms

What does farming mean to you?

Melanie Dorsey: Farming is about making a personal connection to your food while also connecting to people who are passionate about growing their own food. My hope is that more people connect to how their food is grown and become inspired to make healthier choices for themselves and the environment.

What is your favorite thing to grow?

MD: My favorite thing to grow is cucumbers. I have three daughters and my six-year-old Ellie adores pickles!  She loves to grow her own cucumbers and educate everyone she meets about how to grow your own food. I enjoy teaching in my girls’ schools and seeing the joy on the children’s faces when they eat food that they’ve grown. They feel so proud. Another favorite is edible flowers. My girls love putting them in ice cubes for their lemonade stand, and also making soap with them.

Malibu Farms Urban Gardening

Chef Helene Henderson of Malibu Farms

Malibu Farms Restaurant

If you just want to enjoy the bounty from area farms, try the incredible farm-to-table meals in a magical setting at Malibu Farms Restaurant on the Malibu Pier. Chef Helene Henderson started with cooking classes and farm dinners out of her home and backyard. Now, her backyard is on the Malibu Pier and includes a casual counter service café at the end of the pier and a full service restaurant and bar at the beginning of the pier. She also has locations in Orange County, Hawaii, and Florida.

Helene loves the simplicity of both gardening and cooking. The heart of her business is to serve simple, healthy, homestyle cooked meals without becoming too fussy. Where she grew up in the northern part of Sweden, Helene was always gardening. The family had their own potato community garden plots and strawberry pots on their city balcony. When she moved to Hollywood, Helene would manage to find space for a small garden, and even raised backyard chickens. Helene says, “Gardening is easy and gardening is hard. Some seasons are a breeze and others are a struggle. There really isn’t any right or wrong. Hopefully most times, you reap what you sow, and eat what you grow.”

For more information, visit:

Urban Gardening Q & A with Chef Helene Henderson

What does farming mean to you?

Chef Helene Henderson: Farming means everything. Farming even on the smallest scale, means the ability to feed yourself and others. Food does not come from the market. If we can forage food, and if we can grow food, we can grow.

What’s your favorite thing to grow?

HH: My favorite thing to grow is arugula, because snails don’t eat it, rabbits don’t eat it, coyotes don’t eat it; so it is all for me to eat with a squirt of good olive oil, a sprinkle of coarse salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Growing Your Own

As Chef Helene Henderson says, food does not come from the market. Food comes from the soil, even if it’s in a pot on a windowsill or balcony. Urban gardening can lead the way for families to eat better. Planting some seeds wherever you can find a small plot to call your own or sharing a space with your community are good places to start.

And there are many ways you can become more involved in urban gardening. Sponsor a Community Healing Gardens box. Volunteer or participate in a harvest. Exchange seeds. Take a gardening class. Look into building your own raised beds. Call LA Urban Farms. Or find ways to support local farmers and gardeners who are innovating organic and local farming. Join these women and be part of the next wave planting the seeds of change in backyards and communities.

Koch, Babiuk to lead Global Institute for Food Security – RealAgriculture

Koch, Babiuk to lead Global Institute for Food Security – RealAgriculture

Two very familiar names within the agriculture industry in Western Canada now lead the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

This month, Alanna Koch was elected chair of GIFS, while Dr. Lorne Babiuk was elected vice-chair, by the board of directors.

Koch was unanimously welcomed back by the GIFS board back in June of this year after taking a leave of absence from her position as Deputy Minister to the Premier of Saskatchewan during her bid for leadership of the Saskatchewan Party.

Alanna Koch, GIFS chair

“As one of the longest serving agriculture deputy ministers in Saskatchewan and Canadian history, Alanna brings a great deal of wisdom and knowledge to the board,” Karen Chad, University of Saskatchewan vice-president, research, says in a news release.

Before joining government, Koch was president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, a director with Agricore United (a predecessor of Viterra), and executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

According to the release, Dr. Babiuk is described as “a world leader in Canadian vaccine and infectious disease research.” He has devoted his career to Canadian-based research aimed at advancing the health of humans and animals in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Lorne Babiuk, GIFS vice-chair

Dr. Babiuk was instrumental in building the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) where he led the organization to become an internationally-recognized research powerhouse. He also helped launch the $140-million bio-containment facility—the International Vaccine Centre, the only one of its kind in Canada. Vaccines Dr. Babiuk was involved in developing have reduced mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases in animals and have had a significant impact on the economy.

GIFS, located at the U of S, is a partnership of Nutrien, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the U of S.