Our Board

BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation Board of Directors

At BCAITC, we are led by a group of dedicated members of the agriculture industry, whose passion and expertise help bring BC’s agriculture to your students.

Our Board of Directors includes three members at large, as well as representatives from each sector of the agriculture industry: farmer/producer, agri-food business, education, and health.

Melanie Lantz

 

Melanie Lantz BSc (Ag), PAg — President

Melanie currently leads the regional Commercial Agriculture Team at RBC Royal Bank. Her passion for Agriculture has been lifelong, stemming from a rich family history deeply rooted in farming. She graduated from UBC in 2001 with major in Animal Science and earned her Professional Agrologist designation with the BCIA in 2004. She has spent much of her career in roles both supporting and directly involved in BC Agriculture. She is committed to supporting opportunities that both engage and educate the general public about the importance of domestic agriculture and food supply.

Julie Dickson-Olmstead

 

 

 

 

Julie Dickson Olmstead — Vice President 

In her capacity as part of the senior leadership team at Save-On-Foods LP, Julie's role as a decision-maker, strategist, brand ambassador, senior advisor and tactician is interesting and unique. With over 30 years of senior-level experience in communications, public relations, and marketing, Julie has led teams, created strategy, enhanced brands, and produced tangible results for a variety of retail and non-profits organizations in British Columbia. She is passionate about food and was instrumental in the development of BCAITC’s BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program. Julie is dedicated to spreading BC’s incredible food and agriculture story to those in our community.

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Kurt Bausenhaus, CPA, CA — Treasurer 

Kurt is a recently retired partner with KPMG, and had led the firm’s Fraser Valley agri-business practice, providing financial accounting and advisory services to private companies over the past 40 years. Kurt also serves as an active board member of the Abbotsford Community Foundation’s Agricultural Trust Fund. During Kurt’s tenure with KPMG, a significant portion of his clientele represented numerous private companies in the agriculture sector, specifically in the feather industry (egg layers and broiler operations), as well as in the greenhouse, dairy, and berry industry sectors. Kurt has also taught various accounting courses at the University of the Fraser Valley campuses in Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack.

Michelle

Michelle Johnsrude, BSc, BEd — Secretary

Michelle has lived most of her life in the Fraser Valley and is proud to be the granddaughter of dairy farmers.  Her background includes studying biology at UBC, owning a garden design business, and raising three children.  She lives in Chilliwack with her husband and has been teaching science for thirteen years.  She shares her passion for local products, food security, and sustainable, ethical living with her students and is thrilled to be able to manage her school’s garden.  She enjoys gardening, travelling, and having her dog, Huxley, take her for walks.  

 

Directors

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Donna Jack — Director 

Born and raised on the Saanich Peninsula, Donna has deep roots in agriculture — both her grandparents were farmers and she grew up on a farm that grew a mixture of field crops. Donna and her husband live on a family poultry farm, where they raise layers and broilers, as well as grow a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Donna is a 4-H leader as well as the current Agricultural Convenor for the BC Women's Institute. She enjoys educating anyone who is interested in agriculture. 

Carmen Gorlick

Carmen Gorlick, MPH, BSC, RD — Director 

Carmen is a registered dietitian and recently completed her master's degree in public health and social policy through the University of Victoria. Carmen is a consultant with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), where she contributes to promoting and protecting the health of the people living within the 35 member countries of the organization. Carmen’s work includes capacity-building efforts to help country stakeholders implement and strengthen nutrition policies to improve the food environment and health of country populations. In her spare time, Carmen loves exploring the outdoors and visiting local Farmers' Markets.

David Comrie

David Comrie, BA, MA — Director  

Recently retired, David has spent his career as a dynamic educator in a Distributed Learning (online) classroom. This style of learning increases student access, choice, and flexibility for study especially outside of regular classroom schedules. Always interested in healthy and nutritious foods for kids, David has prioritized time to serve as a member on the Board of Directors for Dedicated Action for School Health (DASH) and the Certified Organic Producers Association. David and his family live on a mixed farm with an organic apple orchard, livestock, and hay in Kamloops. They are involved in the community through 4-H.

Katie Low

 

Katie Lowe, PAg — Director

Katie Lowe is the Executive Director of the BC Egg Marketing Board. She has spent over 15 years in the in poultry industry working with both Chicken and Egg Producers. Her experience in the industry has taught her how important it is to teach children about agriculture and where their food comes from. Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in agroecology with a concentration in animal studies from UBC. She is well-versed in animal care as she served as a research assistant on the UBC Dairy Farm. In addition to her education, Katie received her Professional Agrologist designation in 2012 and PAACO certification in 2009.