Island farmer to head Agricultural Land Commission

Jennifer Dyson has been appointed as the chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

Dyson was as an ALC commissioner from 2008 to 2017. She was also chair of the Island panel, and has an ongoing role in operating a family-run water-buffalo dairy and direct farm market in the Alberni Valley.

Dyson has also participated in industry and government committees regarding agriculture and the environment, supporting and promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and workforce policy.

“I have a passion for agriculture, and to lead an organization with the mandate of preserving agricultural land, and encouraging farming in B.C., is truly an honour,” said Dyson. “There are challenges in agriculture today. B.C. farmers and ranchers are the unrecognized backbone of strong local communities and progressive regions. I am committed to working for an ALC that does its part to encourage agriculture for now and generations to come.”

Dyson most recently chaired the the nine-member minister of agriculture’s advisory committee. The committee led consultations with producers and other British Columbians throughout the province, to hear their ideas on how to revitalize the ALC.

The consultation took place from Feb. 5 to April 30, 2018, and heard from more than 2,300 British Columbians at stakeholder meetings in nine communities, through written and online submissions. Dyson stepped down from the advisory committee on May 11, 2018. Committee member Vicki Huntington, former MLA for Delta South, will take on the role of chair for the advisory committee.

Dyson succeeds Frank Leonard as ALC chair, who completed his term on May 14, 2018.

The ALC is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for administering the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve, and to preserve farmland and encourage farming.