of the Canada-Cuba Farmer to
In ten years, 33
delegations have travelled to Cuba with The Holm Team: 487
Canadian farmers in 26 delegations and 86 students, scientists and
chefs in 7 delegations. In 1999, a delegation of 27 Cubans
(farmers,agronomists) visited British Columbia. These
Delegations - the relationship-building component of the work -
The Project began Phase Two of its work - cooperative capacity
building - in December 2004 with its first Project: Enhancing
Production Capacity in Cuba. Our Canadian partner in this
work is Sustainable
Cities. The Canadian
Development Agency (CIDA) supported the Pilot Project with $75,000
in funding. Project costs to date have been $225,000.
The remaining funds have been donated by farmers, other Canadians and
Canadian agri-business. We are fundraising to complete this work.
- Here's how it all began!
- June 1998
- On holiday in Cuba,
meets in Havana with Juan Jose Leon Vega, MINAGRI CUBA, idea of farmer
farmer exchange is first raised.
- August 1998
- Holm's Country Life
introduces idea of Exchange to BC farmers.
- September -
- Farmer interest
exchange planning process begins, funding brief prepared and
first BC farmer Delegation confirmed, tour/travel arrangements
farmers briefed, funding brief circulated.
- January 1999
- 20 BC farmers travel
Cuba for five province, 10 day farm tour and meeting in Habana with
Jose Leon Vega to mandate the Canada-Cuba Farmer-to- Farmer Project.
- February 1999
- Development of
Framework, Strategic Plan. Holm flies to Ottawa to seek support for
- March 1999
- Presentation to
Crossroads conference, presentation of BC's organic insp./certif.
to Cuban Trade Minister at Van. Board of Trade; Cuban Minister of
invites BC Ag. Minister Evans to Cuba to formalize Project; BC's
community invited to tour Cuba's agricultural universities/research
- April - June 1999
- Circulation of 100
of PHASE TWO FUNDING BRIEF to support Phase Two (Arrival of Cuban
in Aug.). June - July 1999 No funding. Phase Two announced June 6th at
Cafe, Cuban farmer's visit confirmed, $80,000 raised from farmers, farm
communities, churches, credit unions, labour, universities, Agrologists
government to support $90,000 to bring 27 Cuban farmers to BC.
- Twenty Seven Cuban
scientists and senior policy makers visit over 70 farms,
universities and research stations throughout BC (from Delta to Peace
to Vancouver Island) over a 3 week period.
- September -
- Wrap-up of Phase
Brief prepared recapping Phase 1/2 and requesting seed funding to
a Phase Three proposal. Phase Three Brief widely circulated. Holm flies
Ottawa to seek support for Phase Three; attends two conferences at
- November and
- Holm flies to Havana
2 weeks of meetings with MINAG/NGO's to discuss priorities for Phase
prepares bilateral Project One (Cdn support to Cuban dairy sector in
for Cuban expertise in commercial organic and urban agriculture). Holm
2 Winter 2000 Exchanges to launch Phase Three. Delta Municipality
- January and
- Thirty-five Canadian
(2 delegations) spend two weeks touring Cuban farms from Ciego de Avila
Santiago de Cuba. Jan. 17 - 31 and Feb. 7-21.
- March 2000
- Holm presents
to Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental
and Queens University's Forum on International Relations; travels to
to meet with CUSO, IDRC (International Development Research Council).
(Canadian International Development Agency). DFAIT (Dept Foreign
Trade), AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), and CSIH (Canadian
for International Health).
- April, May 2000
- Holm travels to
to meet with Physicians for Global Survival, Cdn Society for
Health, others, Project endorsed by Canadian and Cuban chapters of
for Global Survival, Cdn. Society for International Health, Cdn.
of Physicians for the Environment. Advisory Board appointed :
- Moura Quayle
- Former Dean, Fac.
Univ. of British Columbia;
- Dr. Evelyn
- Sch. of Res. &
Mgm't, Simon Fraser Univ..
- Dr. Ian MacPherson
- Head, BC Inst. for
Studies, Univ. of Victoria;
- Dr. Susan Babbitt
- Department of
Queens University; AND
- Dr. Warren Bell
- Pres., Canadian
of Physicians for Environment.
- June 2000
- Holm addresses CUSO
with Cdn Society for International Health presents Project to
representatives; travels to Havana to meet with Cuban government/NGO's.
application to measure human/ecosystem health effects of sustainable
- November 2000 -
- Holm leads five more
delegations to Cuba. Eighty-five farmers participate from B.C.,
- May to July 2001
- Wendy Holm is named
of the Year 2000 by the 1000+ member BC Institute of Agrologists in
her Canada Cuba work. Holm presents Project at BC Centre of Co-Op
conference, Univ. of Victoria, meets with CIDA, IDRC, CUSO in Ottawa to
encourage support for Project One (dairy), presents Project to Co
- Winter 2002
- Holm leads 3 Winter
Delegations of Canadian farmers (67 in all) to Cuba, ANAP (Cuba's 41
old national farmer association to which all farmers belong) and ICAP
Institute for Friendship with the People) become our formal Project
Holm is awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for her
work in Cuba and on behalf of Canada's farmers.
- Winter 2003
- Holm leads 2 Winter
Delegations of Canadian farmers to Cuba. This brings to
245 the number of Canadian farmers who have travelled to Cuba with the
since its inception in 1999. CIDA presents Project One Proposal
to MINVEC (Cuba's International Ministry of Economic Cooperation),
accepts project and refers to ANAP for potential partnership, a Spanish
is provided; in Canada, Holm meets with CIDA, Canadian Project One team
introductions facilitated by UBC's Liu Centre, a partnership is struck
with International Centre for Sustainable Cities (Sustainable Cities,
www.icsc.ca) to bring Project One forward for funding consideration by
Holm meets with CIDA, ICSC, ANAP. Dr. Nola-Kate Seymoar, CEO of
Sustainable Cities, writes to CIDA on behalf of the Project. A
ICSC-authored proposal - Enhancing Sustainable Dairy Production Capacity in Cuba - is developed and submitted for
leads two more Winter 2004
Delegations of Canadian farmers to Cuba. CIDA's Projects and Innovations
Branch puts out a call for
agricultural proposals. Holm meets with ANAP and
agreement is reached on budget and approach. The proposal Enhancing
Sustainable Dairy Production Capacity in Cuba is accepted by
CIDA and commences in November 2004.
2005 - 2008
delegtions continue, bringing to 432 the
of Canadian farmers who have travelled to Cuba with the Project
in twenty four Delegations since its inception in 1999. In 2005 our Cuban tour partners
become ANAP. A Cooks'
Tour of Cuba
is added in 2005 at the request of Cuisine Canada and is repeated in
2007. A Students'
is added in 2005 at the request of the University of British Columbia (AGSC
302 International Field Studies in Sustainable Agriculture Cuba, an
accredited UBC course) and is offered in 2005, 2006 and 2008. A
is organized for a group of Entomologists in 2006. On the
Dairy Project front, Gallagher Canada donates our
solar powered fencer and in August 2005, 16 ha
micropastures are constructed. Our one year pilot ends December
into The Completion Project to continue the inevitable "next steps". In 2007, our Project
wins the AMEC Award for
Sustainable Development of Natural Resources or Protection of the
Environment at CIDA/CME's 15th Annual
Canadian Awards for International Cooperation. In August
2007, 15 additional hectares of rotational pastures are built and a 100
HP verticle turbine installed to support on-farm ration capacity.
Farm and student tours continue in 2008.
2009 - 2010
farmer delegations bring to 487 the
of Canadian farmers who have travelled to Cuba with the project.
A strategic planning session in January 2009 sets a project completion
date of Dec 2010 for the Dairy Project. In July 2009, CPA
President Juan Sanchez Martell and Marta Suarez Rodriguez come to
Canada for 3 weeks to train at the farm of Gladys and Jim Millson,
Landomills Holsteins. Fifteen more students travel to Cuba for 3
week field studies course of sustainable agriculture (AGSC 302),
bginging to 50 the number of students who have participated from 13
universities in Canada, the US and South America.