Mark Bomford grew up in a farming community in Canada. Now he’s coming to oversee an American farm as director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project, the University announced in a press release earlier this week.

A native of the Canadian Great Plains, Bomford comes to Yale from the University of British Columbia. During his time at UBC, he founded the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, an organization consisting of a farm where over 3,500 UBC students and faculty members work with people in the local community to recreate and retain the university’s existing farms and forest lands into a center for sustainable agriculture, forestry and food systems.

He said he believes such farming systems can act as catalysts for change because farms have the power to inspire people to take control of their own food supply. He hopes to show people that even urban farms like the Yale Farm can affect tens of thousands of people.

“We’re looking at ways to change the world view of someone who has no experience on a farm,” Bomford said.

As an undergrad at UBC, Bomford studied agroecology, an interdisciplinary academic discipline combining elements of agricultural sciences, ecology and environmental thought within a socioeconomic context.

The Yale Sustainable Food Project, now in its second decade, has been at the forefront of a national movement on several college campuses to change people’s perception of food.