Julia Laforge is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Lakehead University. Originally from Saskatchewan, Julia completed a B.Sc. at the University of Saskatchewan in Land Use and Environmental Studies with a focus on Physical Geography. She later moved to Ottawa to do a M.A. in Human Geography at the University of Ottawa. Her research here focused on how farmers in 1930s Saskatchewan migrated out of areas that were hardest hit during the drought to areas that more moisture but were less established in the Aspen Parkland. After finishing her degree in Ottawa she worked for Just Food and SeedChange (formerly USC-Canada) before academia called her back to start a PhD in Winnipeg. She used interviews from Ontario and Manitoba and a national survey to explore the formal and informal ways that new farmers learn and share knowledge as part of this work. Julia also has a small farm in rural Saskatchewan and the pictures on this blog are mostly from there.
Currently, Julia is currently studying agroecology in Canada. She organized an Agroecology Field School in 2018 with participants from across Canada and around the world. You can read the report and watch videos of the event here. She continues to work with new farmers from across Canada to learn more about their experiences. In 2020, she is conducting a follow up to her 2015 National New Farmer survey.
Laforge, J. M. L. and Levkoe, C. Z. (2018) Seeding Agroecology through New Farmer Training in Canada: Knowledge, Practice, and Relational Identities. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 23(10), 991-1007.
Laforge, J. M. L., Fenton, A., Lavallée-Picard, V., and McLachlan, S. (2018). New farmers and food policy in Canada. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l’alimentation 5(3), 128–152.
Laforge, J. M. L. and McLachlan, S. (2018). Learning communities and new farmer knowledge in Canada. Geoforum 96, 256-267.
Laforge, J. M. L., and McLachlan, S. M. (2018). Environmentality on the Canadian Prairies: Settler-Farmer Subjectivities and Agri-Environmental Objects. Antipode 50(2), 359-383.
Laforge, J. M. L., Anderson, C., and McLachlan, S. (2017). Governments, Grassroots, and the Struggle for Local Food Systems: Containing, Coopting, Contesting, and Collaborating. Agriculture and Human Values 34(3), 663-681.
Laforge, J. M. L. and McLeman, R. (2013). Social capital and drought-migrant integration in 1930s Saskatchewan. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 57 (4), 488-505.