The CAAR Communicator

October Issue – See All

The New Clean Fuel Standard - How does it impact agriculture?

Soon to be part of our landscape to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Fuel Standard will affect every Canadian on the grid. CAAR provides information on how it came to be, and how it will work.


CAAR’s 27th Annual Conference
Currently CAAR is planning to host an in-person conference to be held February 8-10, 2022 in Edmonton. The theme of our 27th Annual Conference is Resilience: Adapt & Advance. CAAR staff and Conference Committee are continuing to finalize the agenda roster of speakers. Once finalized, this information will be shared in the CAAR Network at and via Twitter (@CdnAgRetail). Those interested in sponsorship opportunities or exhibiting at the conference, please contact Scott Van Alstyne via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Board of Directors Nominations Now Open
CAAR is now accepting nominations for its 2022-23 Board of Directors which will be confirmed during our AGM—date and time to be announced. Lending your time and expertise to the CAAR Board gives you an active and rewarding role in shaping your industry. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to nominate yourself or a colleague.

The 2022 CAAR Awards - Nominations Are Now Open
The CAAR Awards highlight the achievements and dedication of CAAR members who serve their community and the ag retail industry. The awards celebrate excellence in various areas of retail management, agronomy, 4R nutrient stewardship, and lifetime achievements. The categories for the CAAR Awards are: Agronomist of the Year; Retailer of the Year; 4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer Award; and the Retailer Hall of Fame. For more information about award nominating, contact Lady Gabilo at 204-989-9304, by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

2021 – 22 CAAR Membership
CAAR would like to thank all members who have already paid their membership fees for 2021-22. We would also like to welcome new CAAR Members, and Arva Grain Corp. CAAR is the only national association representing the interests of and addressing critical issues facing ag retailers today and is entrenched in the issues that impact your business—making a difference for our ag retailer and supplier members.

If you have not yet renewed your membership, payment can be made online or by cheque, sent to the CAAR office. For more details about CAAR membership contact Scott Van Alstyne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Province of Manitoba Engagement Session
CAAR staff participated in an Engagement Session for Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture. The object was to provide input and support of Manitoba’s preparation for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture July meeting.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
The CAAR Advocacy Committee initiated a direct meeting to better understand and provide retailer perspective to Potential Over-Formulation of N [Nitrogen] and P [Phosphorus] in Fertilizers sold or imported into Canada. CFIA has identified instances of over-formulation of product nutrients identified. The Committee reached out to better understand the rational and support the confirmation and breadth of the potential issue. CAAR Committee members will participate in the CFIA working group providing retail industry’s input to inform the environmental safety assessment and any ensuing risk management options that are deemed necessary.

Rural Broadband with the University of Guelph
CAAR is working on the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) project from the University of Guelph. We are reviewing its mandate and determining how CAAR can support the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Broadband Data Analytics.

Fertilizer Canada and CAAR Interaction
The two groups are working on a Liquid Storage Working Group and a 4R Working Group – Prairie and Ontario CCA board engagement. The groups are ensuring proper alignment of communications and advocacy support, and positioning 4R fertilizer management principles to address GHG’s from farm field applications.

CAAR Training Committee
Committee is working on the development of alternative training solutions (due to COVID-19 constraints), supporting continuing education and certification associated to ammonia handling.

Cereals Canada MRL Assessment Committee
This meeting assessed the trade risks for pest control products of interest proposed for use in the 2022 growing season as per the Canada Grains Council Domestic Use Policy. Another meeting of the committee will be organized in December 2021 to review additional pest control products.

CAAR Communicator: The Power of Technology

New study shows how advanced technology farming can provide environmental and financial benefits.

Employee Recognition: The why, how and importance!

Lack of recognition is one of the major reasons why employees quit. Employee recognition may become even more critical with the rise of teleworking.

CAAR Communicator: Alarm Bells are Ringing

An announcement by the Government of Canada of a delay in changing glyphosate MRLs and its new financial investment in PMRA has the agricultural community worried of a new slippery slope—politics.

Get to Know the CAAR Board: Blaine Cochrane

CAAR Communicator chatted with Blaine Cochrane, Sales Manager with Shur-Gro Farm Services in Brandon, Manitoba to learn about the person and career, his leadership within the ag retail sector, and why he decided to become a part of the CAAR Board team. Oh, and something about mountains.

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As Director of and, Kathryn Doan works on leading and developing companies’ business offerings and connecting people to career opportunities across the whole ag value chain.

Ms. Doan recently provided advice about how to connect and deliver what employees are looking for in a career, and how to attract employees to your organization by offering industry insights and various attraction and retention ideas.

“Even as the pandemic continues on, recruitment and employee retention still need to be a focus. Agriculture is an essential industry and can’t succeed without the people that make it run,” said Ms. Doan, “Many things have changed in the light of the evolving workplace due to the ever-changing world that we are living in.”

Employee recruitment and retention should be a focus of any organization. Over 43,000 job postings were made on in 2020 in the same time that the COVID-19 pandemic had a large effect on unemployment rates, rising over 60% in 2020 alone.

This raises many concerns for HR departments:

  • having to compete for talent
  • providing fair and competitive compensation systems
  • recruiting and retaining qualified employees
  • ensuring adequate training and development
  • maintaining a safe and healthy work environment, and
  • providing employee wellness and benefit initiatives.

In the current client, a common positive theme when recruiting for agriculture careers is the feeling that candidates are contributing to something bigger than themselves by helping feed the world. The agriculture industry is changing rapidly, and the available careers are also changing with it.

“What we as employers in agriculture have the opportunity to do is provide someone with a job that contributes to something that has really meaningful purpose,” said Ms. Doan, “But how does this evolution impact the food value chain? No matter where you’re located or what part of the industry you are from, you have a place and can contribute to the message, as it relates to working in agriculture. It means you and I need to evolve and innovate and adapt when it comes to the careers and the messaging around them to adapt to the evolution of the industry.”

The needs of employees today are extremely diverse, with pay not being the most motivating factor to many of today’s workers. Achievement, value, financial stability, growth and learning, safety and security, responsibility and expectations, freedom, flexibility, and connection all play a large role in employee satisfaction and overall performance.

Ideas to attract and recruit employees include job awareness and promotion initiatives, skills assessments, employee needs evaluations, and recruitment analysis. Ensuring that your organization offers competitive pay and benefits, flexibility, recognition opportunities, a respectful hiring process, and a positive work experience where employees understand how they contribute will go a long way in attracting high quality talent.

Once employees have been introduced to the organization, retention practices can be applied to provide job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover. Providing a safe environment is top of mind for many people in the current business environment and being able to provide opportunities for connection rather than just work will allow your organization to invest in its employees to create lasting careers

Retention efforts can include intentional communication, training and promotion, compensation and benefits evaluations, and strengthening organizational culture. Company culture can be improved by offering employees opportunities to use skills and abilities, creating a positive environment between co-workers, providing job-specific training, ensuring employees are recognized and appreciated, and offering growth and advancement opportunities to develop strong leaders.

Most importantly it is crucial to remain transparent and create trust with employees, facilitating dialogue and communication is one of the strongest ways to attract, recruit, train, and retain quality employees.

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