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View the Conference Agenda 

Wednesday, February 14

Panel Discussion: Understanding Farmers' Needs and Expectations
Wednesday, February 14  |  8:45 - 9:45 am

As a trusted advisor for farmers, agri-retailers serve as an essential resource for information, goods, and services.
Gain some insight from our farmer panel on their needs and expectations from retailers to help build and continue their success, and in return your success.


Thomas Benson
Raymore, SK


Ian McKillop
Argyle Farms, Dutton, ON


Kevin Serfas
Serfa's Farm, AB


Lane Stockbrugger
LDS Farms, Leroy, SK


The Innovation Showdown
Wednesday, February 14  |  11:15 am – 12:00 pm

The Innovation Showdown is back! Get ready to be wowed by the presentations from the CAAR Conference exhibitors at this exciting and fast paced session. Participants will be announced shortly!

Click here for more information about The Innovation Showdown.


Industry Updates - What You and Your Growers Need to Know
Wednesday, February 14  |  1:00 – 2:00 pm

Strengthen your competitive edge from three industry speakers updating you on current and upcoming issues affecting agri-retail and gain insight you can share with your customers, reinforcing your role as their trusted advisor.

1:00 pm - Rigas Karamanos, Koch Fertilizer Canada, ULC
With fertilizers and high-efficiency plant nutrient technologies grounded in science, Koch Agronomic Services makes things grow. By examining and understanding the science that affects crops, they create technologies that can optimize their customers’ fertilizer investments. Through their global team of chemists and agronomists, working together with universities and government researchers, they are committed to developing and delivering products their customers can trust. Products backed by scientific data and validated by independent research.

1:20 pm - Susie Miller, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC)
Formed in 2013, the CRSC facilitates cross-commodity collaboration on sustainable agriculture issues and opportunities facing grains sector participants. Comprised of grower, industry, customer and consumer organizations, the CRSC is a national, industry-led forum engaging value chain stakeholders in assessing and responding to marketplace demands and showcasing Canada’s performance in the area of agriculture sustainability.

1:40 pm - Dr. Karen Churchill, Cereals Canada 
Maintaining access to international markets is essential for Canada’s farmers. Cereals Canada, will discuss market access issues such as MRLs and their impact on farmers as well as Canada’s global customers. Keep It Clean, a joint initiative of Cereals Canada, Pulse Canada and the Canola Council of Canada, supports getting timely and accurate information into the hands of farmers. The presentation will highlight how Canadian agriculture is working across value chains to Keep It Clean while meeting commitments to our customers.


Dave Hemstad

Dave Hemstad: CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet EntertainmentWednesday, February 14  |  9:00 – 10:00 pm

Voted 'Best Comedian in Canada', Dave Hemstad is a three-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee who began performing on national television in 2002. In addition to his own half hour Comedy Now Special on CTV and his Gala performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal he has taped appearances for both the Halifax and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals for CBC.

Dave has many acting credits to his name including having starred in the Showcase comedy series Almost Heroes. Dave is currently a regular on CBC's smash hit The Debaters for both television and radio.

In addition to his many international appearances, Dave is proud to have performed in every province AND territory in Canada.

Thursday, February 15

Possibility Thinking
Thursday, February 15  |  8:30 - 9:30 am

sponsored by Farm Credit Canada

Evolve your marketing mindset to stand out in a crowd through social media and other channels. Challenge yourself to think differently about how you market yourself and your business and learn how to use those skills to help you stand out from your competitors. (It may be easier than you think.)

Agriculture More Than Ever engages with people across the industry to help them be a voice in the food conversation, build trust, and improve perceptions of Canadian agriculture. Since 2012, thousands of agvocates and groups have added their voices to the conversation.


Candace Hill
Agriculture More Than Ever


Isaac LeClair
Agriculture More Than Ever


Panel Discussion: Selling the Business of Agronomy
Thursday, February 15  |  11:00 am - 12:00 pm

sponsored by ADAMA

There is value in knowledge, but putting a price on an advisory service like agronomy can be a challenge.
This panel consists of 3 retailers who have had success building a business model that includes agronomy as a for-fee service and focusing on selling and designing the business of agronomy.


Aaron Breimer
Veritas Farm Business Management


Dennis Bulani
Rack Petroleum


Remi Schmaltz
Decisive Farming


Donald Cooper

Keynote Speaker, Donald Cooper: Accelerate Your Business
Thursday February 15  |  12:45 – 1:45 pm

sponsored by Global Ag Risk Solutions

Managing any business today is tough... and getting tougher. We’re all faced with more demanding customers, more and stronger competition, increased complexity, faster change and shrinking margins.

So, as business owners and managers, where do we begin? Our first job is ‘clarity’ about the compelling value we commit to deliver, the extraordinary future we commit to create, how we’ll get there, the extraordinary bottom line we commit to generate...and the values and standards that will guide us along the way. Most businesses lack this kind of clarity… and it’s hurting them badly.

Then we must implement flawlessly, create world-class operating efficiency and deal more effectively with non-performance. Lack of clarity and failure to deal with non-performance are two of the biggest challenges facing many businesses today. So, we must all manage smarter and more courageously. Finally, we must achieve some kind of balance in our families and our lives. We have customers at home too!

In this insightful, inspiring and entertaining closing Keynote Donald Cooper will inform you, challenge you, disturb you and leave you with a new and powerful understanding of your business, your customers and your life!

Donald earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, followed by 18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business. If you grew up playing sports in Canada, you’ve probably had Donald’s last name on some part of your body.

At age 43 Donald left the family business and in just 3 years he fundamentally redefined the customer experience, for which he was voted Canada’s Outstanding Innovative Retailer.

Now, drawing from his real-life experience as a world-class manufacturer, retailer and business coach, Donald helps companies rethink and reinvent themselves to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.
FEBRUARY 13 – 15, 2018   SASKATOON, SK