Meet the Team

General Advisors

The general advisors of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors combine skills, education, and experience in science and agriculture to deliver relevant and practical information to producers. Based on your needs, a KBFA general advisor may connect you to an expert advisor.

Sarah Hirschfeld, MSc, PAg

Project Manager & Farm Advisor

Sarah is employed by Keefer Ecological Services Ltd as a Professional Agrologist and environmental scientist. She is an aspiring farmer who is well connected and informed about local food systems. Sarah’s current roles include newest KBFA Project Manager & Farm Advisor,  Environmental Farm Plan Advisor, Certified Nutrient Management Planner, and BC Climate Agri-Solutions Fund reviewer. She holds a MSc Plant Agriculture and BSc Environmental Science with a specialization in Biodiversity and Conservation. Her agriculture experience includes: 6 years in research & development for universities and the private sector, 5 years in horticulture production, 2 years providing operational and business development advice and planning as a consultant, and 2 years as the manager with the Golden Farmers’ Market. Sarah is passionate about and currently experimenting with small-scale regenerative agroforestry at Golden Way Farm. 

Email Sarah:

Rachael Roussin, MLWS, PAg

Farm Advisor

Rachael has been a farm advisor since 2017 and is passionate about connecting farmers to agricultural resources to help their businesses thrive. In her role as a farm advisor, Rachael visits farms, facilitates on-farm events and collaborates with agricultural researchers and organizations to build agricultural support services in the Kooteany region. Rachael is a professional agrologist, Environmental Farm Plan Advisor, and trained in riparian and biodiversity plans. With a Masters’ Degree in Land and Water Systems from UBC, she specializes in soil health, watershed management, and climate change impacts to agriculture. 

Email Rachael:

Andrew Bennett, MSc, PAg, CID

Program Development and Farm Advisor

Andrew has worked full time as a farm advisor since 2017, combining a background in ecology with on-farm experience. As a KBFA general advisor, Andrew is happy to take calls on any farm issue at all, and tries his best to find resources or experts who might help out. He is a professional agrologist, certified irrigation designer, an Environmental Farm Plan Advisor for BC, and works independently to provide maps and management plans to help farms address (and hopefully get funding to address) water security, irrigation, grazing, and riparian issues.

Email Andrew:


Mike Malmberg

Farm Advisor

Mike has a lifetime of farming experience and has worked as a professional in agriculture since 1971, including 30 years for the Province of BC as a District Agriculturist and Regional Agrologist. Since 1979, Mike has co-owned and operated Fort Steele Farms near Cranbrook with his wife Sharon. His expertise includes forage crop production, beef cattle production, farm business management and economics, and rangeland management. Mike believes that farm profitability is an essential element for success in sustainable food systems.

Email Mike:


Kylie Steedman, BCMM-PR

Communications Coordinator

Kylie has worked as Communications Coordinator for KBFA since 2020. Specializing in digital content, corporate communications, copywriting, and media relations, Kylie works to pull together news and resources for farmers on all of KBFA’s outlets. Stay in touch with KBFA by signing up for the bi-monthly Kootenay Farmer Newsletter, checking out upcoming events, and following our Facebook page

Email Kylie:

Program Advisors

KBFA’s program advisors provide senior oversight and also work as farm advisors in certain regions and agricultural sectors.


Michael Keefer, MSc, PAg

President, Lead Visionary

Michael is a visionary leader with expertise in a broad range of fields that include plant ecology, ecological restoration, ethnoecology, the management of large and complex projects, communication, curriculum development, and others.  A key theme in his career has been bridging knowledge sources and perspectives together to come up with positive solutions to complex environmental and social challenges. He is known widely as a top expert in the fields of ecological restoration, ethnoecology and native plant horticulture.

As an Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University he helped to create the Growing Our Futures native plant horticulture training program, a curriculum designed for First Nations learners. Michael has the start-up of businesses that include: Keefer Ecological Services, Twin Sisters Native Plants Nursery, Tipi Mountain Native Plants and Tipi Mountain Eco-Cultural Services. As a volunteer, Michael was part of the start-up of the Columbia Basin Environmental Educators Network, led the growth of the Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) BC to being SER Western Canada when he was Chair, and has sat on a handful of other volunteer boards as a director. 

Email Mike:

Program Support Keefer Ecological Services


Mike Kuruz, BBA

Financial Controller

Mike is a highly skilled business and administration coordinator with over five years’ experience working in financial and accounting environments. Mike completed his Bachelors of Business Administration at the University of Regina in 2008. From there he worked at Island Savings Credit Union, providing lending advice, operational support and accounting administration.

As an employee at KES, Mike coordinates and maintains the Occupational Health & Safety Plan; assists with purchasing, accounts payable and receivable, payroll and communications; and provides human resources support. Mike has been a member of an Occupational Health and Safety committee for over four years. He has maintained the highest level of performance standards within a diverse range of occupations. His education and experiences make him a uniquely qualified individual.

Expert Advisors

KBFA relies upon a large and expanding network of industry specialists to offer our producers the best available information. Expert advisors include university professors, government researchers, provincial agrologists, successful and experienced farmers and ranchers, and independent consultants.

Advisors and services will be added as the needs of sectors and geographic areas are identified, and as relationships are formed.

Get in touch with a general advisor to connect with an expert.


Keep in Touch!

Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and stay connected to free agricultural information, resources, and expertise to support you with technical production.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What services can the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors provide my farm? 

Farmers and producers in the Kootenay – Boundary region are able to access free services from KBFA including technical (pest management, soil management, land access), coordination (farm status applications, farm planning, research), and educational (field days, webinars, workshops). 

What regions do the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors serve? 

KBFA works with farmers and producers in the Kootenay – Boundary region within the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, East Kootenay, and Central Kootenay. 

Where can I find resources for my farm?

Find an ever-growing list of resources for farmers in the Kootenays here

How can my farm participate? 

Please reach out to us! We will start by connecting with you to understand your farm and any resources.