Dave Friend – Founder and Executive Director ExecDirector@gyfs.ca
Growing up in a small farming village in Yorkshire England and then raising his own family with mainly store bought produce, in the 70–80s, Dave Friend re-discovered his organic roots in the 1990s. He started visiting organic farms in the UK and soon became a WWOOFF-er (Willing Worker On Organic Farms), which eventually brought him to Victoria in 1998. Blending his earlier business experience with organic farming, Dave started to professionally consultant to other farmers, restaurants and grocery stores–including Thrifty Foods. That is when his focus shifted to the threat of food insecurity on Vancouver Island in 2011.
There are many reasons why I created the Growing Young Farmers SchoolProgramand subsequently founded the Growing Young Farmers Society (GYFS). One reason was due to a dependency on imported food we find ourselves in a ridiculous and frightening food insecurity situation...we have only 72 hours of food supply! Therefore, we really do need more people growing more food in a community for a community. Young people are very much part of a community and therefore, GYFS is very proud to be directly involved in educating, encouraging and empowering students, from preschool to university, to grow health-friendly organic food. And the students are doing so in their community for their community!