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2023 BCFT- Speaker's Night Event

  • 26 Jan 2023
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PST)
  • Hybrid - Zoom & BCIT Burnaby Campus

2023 BCFT- Speaker's Night Event

Join us for our annual BCFT Speaker Night event on Thursday Jan. 26. This year’s annual BCFT speaker’s Night, organized by BCIT Student Representatives, will explore the advantages and challenges associated with vertical and modular farming within the food industry and how it will impact the future of food production. This year’s speakers are Mackenzie Rowat, Horticulture technician for Growcer and Laila Benkrima, Director of Innovation and Technology, BC Centre for Agritech Innovations, SFU.

Mackenzie Rowat is a horticulture technician working closely with customers to get them growing using Growcer’s modular farms from coast to coast. She is passionate about empowering others to grow their own food, whether it be home gardening or vertical farming. Even before Growcer, Mackenzie always worked in horticulture from growing microgreens for high end restaurants in Whistler to launching a business to teach people how to start gardens.

Dr. Laila Benkrima is the Director Innovation and Technology at the BC Centre for Agritech Innovation at Simon Fraser University. She provides technical leadership and entrepreneurial direction to industry clients to support the piloting, development, production and marketing of Agritech products at SFU. Prior to joining SFU, Laila was an instructor and researcher at various Canadian universities, including UBC, UVIC, BCIT and UFV. Over the past 20 years, Laila has also been working as an entrepreneur providing technical expertise and training services to Canadian farms and Agritech companies. Laila also holds a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Paris-Orsay, France, specializing in Plant Breeding. Dr. Benkrima has been involved in many research and development projects on vertical growing systems.

This is a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual meeting via Zoom option. Dinner will be provided to those attending in person. Come and join us for a fun evening of learning, socializing, and networking.

When: Thursday Jan. 26, 2023 - 5:30 - 8:30pm (6:00pm Dinner, 6:30-8:30pm Speaker Presentation & Networking)

Where: BCIT Burnaby Campus, Town Square D, 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby

Parking: On-site pay parking available

Food & Drink: Provided to in-person attendees

Itinerary: 5:30 PM: Check-in/Registration / 5:45 PM: Networking / 6:00 PM : Dinner

6:30 PM: Speaker Presentation #1 / 7:00: Small break/Networking / 7:15 PM: Speaker Presentation #2

7:45 PM: Door prizes, wrap-up / 8:00 PM: Closure


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