Regan is completing an MSc in Rural Planning and Development with a specialization in One Health under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Sarapura and Dr. Wayne Caldwell.
Spending time at her grandparent’s farm in Ariss, Ontario, Regan Zink grew her passion for rural agriculture and food systems. She later worked as farmhand and for several independently owned food retailers. Through these experiences, Regan came to realize that smallholder farmers, including peasant and indigenous producers, are critical and undervalued actors in achieving global food security and food sovereignty. Regan sees the importance of supporting agricultural communities and the natural environment by studying and understanding the relationship between the two.
Her passion for the sustained vitality of rural communities has been a key driver in her research where she investigates how knowledge is created, captured, and used in local governance. Regan contributes to a number of research projects including projects with the Greenbelt Foundation and OMAFRA here in Ontario and with the International Potato Centre, located in Lima. After graduation, Regan plans to pursue a PhD in a related field of study and will continue to emphasize the importance of smallholder farmers.
Regan comes from the University of Waterloo School of Planning after completing her specialization in Urban Design and foundational courses on research methods, statistical analysis, climate change, resource management, and food systems. She gained experience taking courses in Rome on International Food Policy, in Amman on Culverting and Daylighting Urban Streams, and in Sweden on International Law, Greening the Economy, Sustainable Food Systems.
Her experience and background led her to the University of Guelph and the Arrell Food Institute, which she recognized as being world class leaders in food and agricultural research. Her program, Rural Development and Planning, and the AFI scholarship, has allowed her to explore her interests in food systems while building on her existing planning knowledge and experience and working with likeminded researchers.