Roly Russell, President
Our region–the Kettle River Valley–has the potential to be a poster-child of sustainability. I grew up in Grand Forks, and after years away returned to raise my family. During my time away I spent my time in Vancouver (studying conservation biology and environmental science), Australia (studying conservation science), Oregon (researching the science of diverse systems), New Zealand (ditto) and in Manhattan (researching and teaching sustainability science). After spending years in all of these remarkable places, I chose to make this valley my home, and I want to do what I can to make sure that this ‘Sunshine Valley’ continues to be a beautiful and sustainable community. Splitting my time between academic research (big-picture science stuff), agrarian pursuits (small-scale organic farming of hops, grain, and chickens), and volunteer efforts (on boards such as this) is how I hope to help realize these efforts.
Sheila Dobie, Vice President
I am inspired by farming. Growing food – every part of it – even selling it, brings a deep reward. As a Director to the Agricultural Society I see my self as part of a local community movement that builds this kind of relationship to our land, its value and our role in making our own food- and the rewards found there. I have been a farmer in some way in various times of my adult life. I was a part of a land co-op in the 1970′s that cleared raw land to make a market garden of veggies and garlic. Later I tried my hand at ocean farming, with shellfish mariculture and rearing rainbow trout. Our current endeavour is the closest to what I have felt as truly being a farmer, now with a chunk of reasonable soil to work with, abundant water, and light. It feels like something of worth, for others to be nourished, appreciate and learn from. And is something that fits with the Ag. Society; working with community to expand this kind of use to the land, and taking leadership to ensure this value is sustained. Visit our website, Spencer Hill Orchard here.
Karl Lilgert, Treasurer
“Grow local, Buy local, Eat local, Grow a healthy community.” These words have inspired me to get involved with agriculture. Currently I sit on the Board of Directors For Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society (GFBRAS) and the Kettle Valley Food Coop (KVFC). I am also part of the certification committee for Boundary Organic Producers Association (BOPA) an extension of Certified Organic Association of British Columbia (COABC). I am involved with the Tool Registry through GFBRAS to develop a tool share program in the valley. I also sit on the certification commitee for the KVFC. My partner and I own and manage a small certified organic fruit and produce farm, Spencer Hill Orchard and Gallery, come visit us. We live in a healthy community. .
Lorraine has been inspired to bring agricultural into the lives of the local municipal population; she is the coordinator of Hanneke’s Place, the Kettle River Community Garden in an effort to increase the visibility of agriculture to local residents. This community garden is a GFBRAS project intended to enable community members access to garden space. Lorraine has always loved gardening but composting is her passion. She hates to see anything compostable go to the landfill.
Christy Luke, Secretary
Ralph brings a wealth of experience dealing with volunteer-run public service organizations to our board, as a retired police officer from Los Angeles and a past Director of James Doolittle USO Lounge (a nonpartisan nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization). He now volunteers his time across multiple local organizations aimed at bolstering local social welfare programs and strengthening the regional economy.