generic speaker image
Jane Rabinowicz - USC Canada. Ottawa, ON, CA

Jane Rabinowicz Jane Rabinowicz

Executive Director / Directrice générale | USC Canada

Ottawa, ON, CANADA

NGO leader with expertise in seed, agroecology and nonprofit management / Leader d'ONG avec expertise en semences, agroécologie, et gestion.





loading image loading image Jane Rabinowicz, as featured on CBC's We Are Canada (2017) loading image





Jane Rabinowicz is a dynamic nonprofit leader working to advance food sovereignty in Canada and 11 countries around the world. In 2016, she was named one of the 53 most influential people in the food system in Canada by The Globe and Mail.

Jane has extensive experience communicating in English and French. Her expertise lies in civil society initiatives to support food sovereignty, ecological farming (agroecology), seed diversity, farmers' rights, and farmer-led plant breeding. She can speak firsthand of the growing movement to reverse agricultural biodiversity loss in Canada and globally. She can also comment on the geopolitical implications of seed and farming policies and of trends in the global seed market.

Through her work, Jane has access to direct examples of successes and challenges in Canada's ecological farming sector as well as in 11 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Jane is currently Executive Director of USC Canada, one of Canada's longest-standing nonprofits. Prior to this role, she led the organisation’s domestic field program, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. The Initiative is Canada's most comprehensive seed program, working to rebuild the diversity, quality, and quantity of Canadian seeds. It also supports innovation by farmers and researchers to encourage environmentally- friendly and socially just farming practices.

Jane has an extensive network among Canadian farmers, researchers, civil society partners, business, and government. She splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa.
Jane Rabinowicz travaille pour promouvoir la souveraineté alimentaire au Canada ainsi que dans 11 pays du Sud. En 2016, elle figurait sur la liste du Globe and Mail des 53 personnes qui ont le plus d’influence sur le système alimentaire canadien.

Jane s'exprime couramment dans les deux langues officielles sur les enjeux reliés à l’alimentation, l’agriculture et les semences.

Elle possède une grande expertise sur les initiatives citoyennes pour soutenir la souveraineté alimentaire, l’agriculture écologique (agroécologie), la diversité des semences, et les droits des paysans, fermiers et agriculteurs. À partir d’USC Canada, elle peut offrir des exemples concrets parvenant du secteur agricole au Canada et dans 11 pays d’Asie, d’Amérique latine et d’Afrique.

Jane est Directrice générale d’USC Canada, une organisation à but non lucratif fondée en 1945 qui gère le plus grand programme relié aux semences au Canada.

Industry Expertise (8)

Agriculture and Farming

Food Production

International Trade and Development

Public Policy

International Affairs




Areas of Expertise (38)

Ecological farming (agroecology)

ecological seed production and conservation

Farmer-saved seeds

Local Food Systems

Food Sovereignty

Food Security

Small-scale farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia

Global South food issues and farming

Food and farming policy

Organic farming

Small-scale farming

Heirloom seeds




Burkina Faso









Timor Leste

Production et conservation des semences agricoles

Semences du patrimoine

Agriculture écologique (agroécologie)

Agriculture de proximité

Agriculture locale

Agriculture biologique

Circuits courts de commercialisation agricole

Souveraineté alimentaire

Sécurité alimentaire


Genetically engineered (GE) foods

Organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM)

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Accomplishments (1)

Recognized as one of Canada's Food "Thinkers" by the Globe and Mail (August 2016) (professional)


Recognized as one of Canada's 8 most influential "Thinkers" when it comes to Canadian Food, as part of the Globe and Mail's "Food 53" series (2016). The article highlights previous work leading The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, USC Canada's program to rebuild the diversity of Canadian farmer-saved seeds. Jane has since become USC Canada's Executive Director.

Education (1)

McGill University: B.A., Environmental Studies 2003

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Media Appearances (3)

We Are Canada

CBC  tv


Jane Rabinowicz is one of 18 young Canadians featured by WE ARE CANADA, a six-part documentary series that celebrates the next generation of passionate Canadian changemakers. Narrated by Sarah Polley and conceived and produced in collaboration with Ken Dryden, WE ARE CANADA featured 18 stories selected from across the country. It celebrates the accomplishments of young Canadians who are groundbreakers, creators and visionaries, making new discoveries and connections across many disciplines, including science, technology, politics, business and the arts. 36-year-old Jane Rabinowicz from Montreal, whose mission is to conserve and advance seed biodiversity, keep seed in the public domain, breed new varieties of grain, and promote ecological seed production, was featured in the series' final episode on May 14, 2017 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC. A French-language version of the series will air on ICI Radio-Canada Télé and ICI RDI this summer. The full episode is available online:

view more

La Semaine Verte

Radio-Canada  tv


(Entrevue avec Jane Rabinowicz débute à 5:05 min) Depuis 12 000 ans, des générations de paysans ont sélectionné les semences afin de domestiquer des plantes sauvages. Encore aujourd’hui, l’essentiel de notre alimentation provient d’une semence. Mais leur diversité diminue à un rythme alarmant. L’humanité ne compte plus que sur une dizaine de plantes pour se nourrir. Le contrôle des semences par les multinationales de l’agrochimie accélère le déclin de la biodiversité cultivée. Comment sauver ce qui reste de semences? La réserve mondiale du Svalbard située au cœur de l’Arctique, en Norvège, parviendra-t-elle à protéger le patrimoine semencier de l’humanité? Devant les défis que posent les changements climatiques, la diversité génétique des semences est plus que jamais essentielle pour notre sécurité alimentaire.

view more

Food 53

Globe and Mail  print


Recognized as one of Canada's 8 most influential "Thinkers" when it comes to Canadian Food, as part of the Globe and Mail's "Food 53" series (2016). The article highlights Jane Rabinowicz's work leading the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, USC Canada's program to rebuild the diversity of Canadian farmer-saved seeds. Series description: "This summer, the Globe names, and celebrates, the most influential people in Canadian food – chefs and CEOs, farmers and winemakers, plus researchers, restaurateurs and, of course, eaters."

view more

Event Appearances (5)

Terroir Symposium

Panel: Breeding for diversity and seed security  Toronto, ON


Organic Seed Alliance

Panel: Building Resilient Seed Systems  Corvallis, OR


Canadian Climate Forum

Panel: Food Security, the North, and the Challenge of Seeds  Ottawa, ON


Seed Savers Exchange

Keynote, with Susie Walsh: From Seeds of Survival to Seeds of Resilience  Decorah, IA


International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

Panel: Sowing Seeds of Knowledge  Istanbul


Articles (3)

The Greatest Story Never Told - Building Seed Security in Canada

The Canadian Organic Grower Magazine


"(...) Local food does not necessarily mean local seed. In fact, most vegetable seed planted on farms in Canada comes from beyond our borders. It is not bred for Canada’s diverse growing environments, or organic production systems. These facts have not yet made it to the forefront of the local food movement, in part I believe due to the fact that seed producers are that extra step removed from the consumer."

view more

Changing dynamics in the Canadian voluntary sector: Challenges in sustaining organizational capacity to support healthy communities.

Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. Vol. 126 No. 6 pp 275-279 Nov. 2006

Co-authored by Jane Rabinowicz and Eric Steedman

view more

The Santropol Roulant & Alternatives Rooftop Garden: Reflections on an Innovative Collaboration.

Recipes for Success


Co-authored by Alex Hill and Jane Rabinowicz

view more