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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Jessica Gregory

I was born and raised in West Lorne, a Southwestern Ontario farm town of 1400 people. I grew up on a dairy farm and have had a passion for both food and animals for as long as I can remember. I grew up surrounded by rescued animals, farm animals, my family, and food. My upbringing led me to enroll at Brescia in the Nutrition and Dietetics program, with plans to eventually work within the agriculture and food industry. During my first year I fell in love with Business1220, which opened doors into a world I had never considered before. This passion eventually led me to Ivey.

Additional Information

Personal Definition of Sustainability
To me, sustainability is not only about preserving the environment for our own future generations; it is about preserving the creatures who live within it now. Growing up on a farm on the outskirts of town helped me realized that human activities disrupt the lives of animals in order to better our own. I have seen countless animals whose homes have been destroyed, or who have been hurt, killed, or orphaned by the acts of humans. Since as long as I can remember I have felt a need to look beyond our needs and remember those around us.

Growing up, my family has always had our own vegetable gardens to promote local eating. We have also always had homemade compost and have been recycling even though our town does not offer it. When I was younger, I spent an entire summer replanting a section of field with my dad to help reforest our land. During my entire childhood, whenever an animal was abandoned or hurt in my neighbourhood, they would bring it to my family. We have raised tons of animals, from rabbits to piglets to raccoons (as can be seen above!).

In my final year of high school, I was Lead Coordinator for the West Elgin Senior Elementary School (WESES) Breakfast Initiative, where I provided elementary students with a balanced meal to begin their day. I approached the principal, set up a budget, and created promotional campaigns to raise funds to maintain the program's sustainability. I successfully raised $1000 through parental donations and managed the program for the school year.

This past summer, I worked as a research assistant for Monsanto to help find corn plants that will produce more food per plant, allowing for more food from less field space. This will help feed more people while disturbing less natural land.