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Become a Community Partner

Community engaged projects prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders in the agri-food sector through experiential learning, while providing partner organizations with a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team to work through a challenge identified by the partner.

2018-2019 Projects

Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Maple Leaf is committed to offering alternative protein sources to consumers. What alternative proteins should Canadians be eating and which ones are the most sustainable for the future of the planet? The graduate team is examining a number of sustainable proteins and assessing each protein's environmental impact vs. its nutritional value or quality. 

Nutrition Resource Centre with the Ontario Public Health Association

NRC is focusing their efforts on food literacy and is working with the group to conduct a scoping review of the state of food literacy in Ontario. Group members are doing the review on four key areas: current education methods and strategies, current policies related to food literacy, current food skill programs, and current social marketing campaigns.


The SEED approached the group with the desire to create a social enterprise: Upcycle Kitchen. Group members began extensive research on products, equipment and viable recipes that could be used with upcycled products. The group plans to provide the partner with a community tool kit to inform future organizations on the steps required to start an upcycle kitchen.

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario

EFAO is interested in finding out how a farmer’s experience reflects climate change. Through extensive interviews with local farmers and examining weather pattern data, the group is compiling qualitative data through farmer interviews and examining local weather patterns to answer that question.

Provision Coalition

Provision Coalition empowers manufacturers with the tools and resources to embed sustainability into their business. The group members have been charged with creating another tool for PC to utilize: an awareness campaign for employers to alert them to the true value of their food waste and to motivate them to sign up for PC’s initial assessment.

Apply to a be Community Partner in Fall 2019

We are looking for organizations that are facing a challenge, and are interested and willing to collaborate with a group of students to find solutions to the challenge. Partners have the opportunity to engage emerging leaders, who bring diverse academic perspectives, to co-create solutions that benefit their organization. 


Partnership Requirements

To ensure a mutually beneficial experience for the partner and for the students, projects must fit the following guidelines.

The challenge has the potential to create a project that results in some demonstrable output by April 2020 (report, new product, event, demonstration, toolkit, etc.)

The project is of appropriate scope (4-5 students committing ~8-10 hours per week for 6 months).

Topic of the challenge is in agri-food and relates to the following goals and objectives:

Global scale – to transform agriculture’s impact on biodiversity
Landscape scale – to sustainably intensify food production
Micro-scale – to enhance food safety and livestock health

The partner organization has a “point-person” who is interested and dedicated to working closely with the student team. This person will be able to commit to regular check-ins with student team, and with the AFI Education Coordinator.

For more information, please contact:  Jeanna Rex, Education Coordinator at