I’m beyond thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a 2023 Nuffield Canada Scholar!

This generous scholarship is an opportunity of a lifetime, giving me the chance to travel to some very exciting countries over the next two years. My study topic is to take a global lens in exploring the power of the world’s farmers’ markets to build sustainable, resilient, and adaptable local food systems right here at home.

First and foremost, I’d like to stress that we have an incredible farmers’ market sector in Nova Scotia. Our markets are absolutely world class, but through my work with Farmers’​ Markets of Nova Scotia, Canadian Farmers’ Markets, and the World Farmers’ Markets Coalition, I’ve come to realize that there’s still so, so much to learn, and so many opportunities to explore.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Leveraging the Nuffield international community, I’ll travel to hand-picked farmers’ markets around the globe and bring best practices and new opportunities back to Nova Scotia, while sharing all of the incredible work that our cooperative’s members are doing with the rest of the world. Because the innovation and hard work our markets and vendors do day in and day out is not lost on me!

Through both Farmers’​ Markets of Nova Scotia and my work with the Centre for Local Prosperity, I’ve grown still further convinced that we need to think global and act local. Small and medium scale businesses and regionalized economies are the backbone of our communities. They hold the key to building the resilience, adaptability, and diversity needed to endure, change, and flourish as we face increasing economic and environmental pressures. Farmers’ markets are the anchors to make this happen. They’re small business incubators, economic engines, social and cultural hubs, community gathering places, and critical local food infrastructure.

My travels will take me to regions that will likely include Portugal, France, Lebanon, Syria, Mexico, Japan, and possibly more. Deepening my knowledge base, building further connections, and pulling best practices from around the world will enable me to bring these learnings back to Nova Scotia, further bolstering our thriving farmers’ market sector and local food movement.

I’d like to give a sincere thank you to my scholarship sponsor, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. I’m deeply appreciative of their support as I get ready to kick off my journey in early 2023.

And last but not least, for those of you wondering: nope, I’m not going anywhere! My heart is firmly planted in Nova Scotia and I consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to take several weeks off here and there while continuing to work with our amazing staff and board here at FMNS, and to continue supporting our member farmers’ markets and vendors. My travels will be in fits and spurts, allowing me to spend the majority of my time here in Nova Scotia focused on continuing to build our sector, develop new projects, and build more partnerships with key organizations across the province.

I can’t wait to find the best that the world has to offer and bring it back to Nova Scotia. But let’s also not forget that I wouldn’t be in a position to become an international scholar if it wasn’t for my opportunity to learn from each and every one of our member farmers’ markets and our vendors.

So on that note, thank you!