Key highlight: The AVF's international board members have been working closely with Canadian, North American, & United States partners and Queen's University to expand their activities in North America with a new and exciting chapter. The Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) is pleased to announce its expansion with its first chapter in North America.
As of July 15th, 2022, The Association of Vertical Farming- Canada, representing North America, was incorporated under the expert leadership of Dr. Saeid Mobini and Mr. Richard Gibson, with assistance from Christine Zimmerman (Chair AVF International) and Dr. Joel Cuello (Vice Chair AVF International), in partnership with Queen's University's Dr. Mobini in collaboration with multiple departments at the University.
Dr. Saeid Mobini serves as Phytotron Manager at Queen's University, Ontario, Canada. Saeid has over 20 years of experience working in both indoor cultivation R&D and CEA industry production fields. Saeid is a Senior Plant Physiologist, researching the practical concepts of light, soilless culture, and plant nutrient implementation. He has served as a Horticultural Consultant for over 12 years in Canadian greenhouses and vertical farms.
Richard Gibson, M.Sc. (Plant Pathology), has over 30 years of agricultural innovation experience in private, multi-national, and government R&D organizations with leadership roles in field research, enterprise and information architecture, bio-industrial innovation, investment attraction, and product and business development. He is an enthusiastic advocate for advancing Controlled Environment Agriculture in Canada.
The Board members at AVF Canada, representing North America, are excited to bring their extensive experience, to bring together with a vast network of companies, universities, and policymakers, together to educate the public and share ideas to strengthen the future of the Vertical Farming industry. When asked about taking on the role of Board Chair, Saeid stated, "Working with the scientific and technical talents across Canada and around the world to increase local food security, nutritional value and mitigating climate change is a fulfilling challenge. I welcome others to join me in this journey."
Under Saeid's leadership, the organization has already been approached by multiple engineering and biology students seeking to help and learn more about the future of farming and food (Our Team | Queen's Vertical Farming Team (qvft.ca). "Vertical farming is an opportunity for local food production, rewarding jobs, and global partnerships in germplasm and technology development. I am excited to be part of it," says Richard Gibson, AVF board member located in Calgary, Alberta.
The Board will work with Queen's University to host a series of round tables in the coming year to hear the public's questions, narrow down national research projects and operational challenges, and seek funding in cooperation with AVF members and provincial stakeholders to advance the sector.
To that end, AVF-Canada, representing North America, is focusing this year on growing its membership and building a consortium to increase the understanding of the public, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions on the burgeoning research and business opportunities available in vertical farming.