Steering Committee

Chair: Colin Dring

Colin Dring is an advocate for ecological sustainability built through a collaborative network of intercultural change agents. He is a community developer, a change facilitator, a researcher, a connector, and a lover of the outdoors. He has over ten years of experience in the field of community food security, agricultural planning, community development, and agri-food policy.

Before pursuing his doctoral studies, Colin completed an undergraduate degree in Soil
Science (University of British Columbia, 2009) and a Master’s of Science in Rural Planning (University of Guelph, 2012). Colin has worked with multiple levels of federal government including Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as part of the Research Affiliate Program. He currently serves as Chair of the BC Food Systems Network, Secretary of the Sustainable Agricultural Education Association, and on the Working Group for Food Justice with the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Colin Dring is now pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia’s
Faculty of Land and Food Systems. His research project is titled: “(In)Visible Minority Farmers & Canadian Food Systems in Transition: Governance & Representation.” This work inspires Colin’s studies in the advancement of equitable food systems and greater civic engagement through food and agricultural planning. In his spare time, he climbs rocks, hikes BC’s rugged landscapes, and samples Vancouver’s cuisine and microbreweries.

Treasurer: Amanda Barney

Amanda, who grew up in Newfoundland, is no stranger to the importance of the ocean for the health and wealth of coastal communities. Building on her passion for fisheries, developed at such a young age, Amanda gained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University Of Washington.

Her Master’s work focused on sustainable development in coastal communities, and on linking social issues with resource management and policy. She is especially interested in the social side of management and how to create useful dialogue between scientists, managers, policy makers and the public.

Amanda currently works at Ecotrust Canada and has 10 years’ experience working on both coasts of North America in fisheries management, oceanographic research, and in tourism development and research. She has spent time in laboratories, as an editor, and at-sea as both a scientist and a fisheries observer.

Ione Smith

Ione is a Professional Agrologist (PAg) specializing in innovative policy and research in agricultural land use planning and climate change adaptation for the agriculture and food sector. She thrives in managing stakeholder engagement and technical aspects of multi-faceted food system planning projects. Her competence has been built on over 16 years’ experience creating complex deliverables that result in clear actions: combining the research abilities of a skilled scientist with the knack of a communications specialist, Ione ensures that projects are successful and effective.

In 2010 Ione founded Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd (, a consulting business specializing in agriculture and food system services. Since that time, she and her partner, Peter Doig PAg, have developed Upland into an award-winning enterprise serving clients in BC and beyond.

Ione is a past Board member of Community Futures Sunshine Coast and in 2017 she was appointed as a Commissioner to the South Coast Panel of the Agricultural Land Commission.