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You are in for a treat this week as Kenton Lobe joins our Living Lightly hosts Connie Heppner Mueller and Ted Enns-Dyck. Kenton is the rare person who combines the rigour of deep intellectual thinking on food and justice, with the practical experience of literally getting his hands dirty in the process of growing food. Enjoy and expect to be challenged.
Kenton comes from rural Saskatchewan, and spent the late 70s in Kolkata, India as a kid with parents working for Mennonite Central Committee. He settled back on the prairies, completing undergraduate work in theology at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg, and a BA in Classics and Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. After completing his teacher certification at Goshen College in Indiana, Kenton moved to Hong Kong for three years where he taught middle school geography and history at the Canadian International School. Upon returning to Canada, he completed an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. His research in Kerala, India explored the social and ecological impacts of globalizing shrimp markets on a small-scale fishing community.
Kenton is a teacher/practitioner at heart and is as likely to be found at the farm as in his office. He brings a background in international advocacy work on agriculture and hunger to his work in the classroom. His six years as Policy Advisor at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an international development NGO, examined the structural injustices that surround hunger, focusing in particular on international agricultural trade, the human right to food, and development assistance for small-scale farmers in the global South. The politics of people and place, particularly the discourse of food justice, continue to shape Kenton’s imagination and academic interests. Closer to the ground, he is a founding member of CMUs community garden, continues to participate in local food justice initiatives, and worked with students and alumni to form the Metanoia Farmers Worker Cooperative at the on-campus CMU Community-Shared-Agriculture Farm (www.metanoiafarmers.ca).
Kenton is married to Julie Derksen, from Wymark, Saskatchewan. They have two children: Sophia and Simon. They are members of Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg.