Vaida Dzemedzionaite holds a bachelor's degree in Forestry from the University of Agriculture, Lithuania, and a master's degree in Agricultural Sciences with a specialization in Agroecology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden.
During her interdisciplinary master's program, she developed a robust knowledge with regards to agricultural practices, systems thinking and the importance of key actors in the food production chain together with other crucial tools related to sustainable food system improvements.
"I've learned that communication between farmer practitioners and researchers play a critical role and must be considered as a key aspect in sustainable food production" claims YPARD's new representative for Sweden.
Vaida's latest employment as a Research Assistant with SLU has given her valuable experience regarding agroecological practices, integrated pest management, connecting with farmers, and additionally has enabled her to develop great organizational and communication skills within international researchers team.
Furthermore, she has a range of experience working with farming and sustainability issues, including volunteer work within sustainable farming and food-sharing groups. These experiences have only given her more motivation to continue working in this field and she's keen to connect with more food systems organizations.
Foodsharing Stockholmis a community-based grassroots organization that fights food waste and promotes food saving/sharing. "We do this by collecting unsold products from food business such as grocery stores to share in public fridges or at distribution events. This way, we raise awareness of the scale of food waste and establish a concrete solution to the problem based on solidarity, while also eating delicious food, preparing meals together and having a good time," explains Vaida.
Currently she is enrolled in the 'Korta vägen' program, that is a diversity project and a labor market-training program for foreign academics that are new in Sweden. Vaida is keen to integrate into the Swedish job market and to obtain meaningful professional experience within agricultural sector.
Vaida is very excited to be a part of YPARD and bring youth in Sweden together to raise awareness about food production. She believes that each of us can contribute to a more sustainable agricultural system while exchanging ideas about food waste prevention, conscious food choices among other subjects.
In her words "working with a project that is focused on promoting the interest in food systems among young people excites me. I consider that this initiative could lead to successful improvements of the existing knowledge gaps in the current food production system, while critically bringing stakeholders together".