ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The Communicator

April Issue – See All

Retailer Hall of Fame: Pattie Ganske

When she first started working part-time at Parkland Fertilizers in Wetaskiwin, Alta., Pattie Ganske didn’t know she was paving the way for woman in agri-retail and agriculture.

More than three decades later, her excellence in business, participation on numerous boards, including multiple terms on the CAAR board, and unwavering dedication to agriculture advocacy have earned her the 2017 Retailer Hall of Fame award.

The 2018 CAAR Conference: Insight. Focus. Growth.

Hosted in the heart of the Prairies at TCU Place in downtown Saskatoon, Sask., the 2018 “Agri-retail Event of the Year” featured two and a half days of invaluable networking opportunities, professional development and education.

4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer: Co-operative Retailing System

Trish Meyers, knowledge and innovation manager at Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), believes that 4R Nutrient Stewardship allows agri-retailers to steer the conversation about sustainability in agriculture in a way that is good for their farmer customers.

“Farmers have been using 4R practices for a long time, we just haven’t had a name for it,” says Meyers. “The 4R program gives us a way to quantify what farmers are doing and lets us be in the driver’s seat to tell our good news story.”

Panel Discussion: Understanding Farmers' Needs and Expectations

Four Canadian farmers share their insights into the relationship between farmer and retailer at the 2018 CAAR Conference.

A Growing Problem

Herbicide resistance has been increasing across Canada for the past four decades, with resistant weeds now found on an estimated 38 million acres of cropland in Western Canada.

According to Hugh Beckie, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the rising percentage of cropland affected by herbicide resistant weeds is showing no signs of slowing down.

Beckie was part of a team that conducted three rounds of prairie weed surveys in 2001-2003, 2007-2009 and 2014-2017. During each period, the team surveyed one of the three Prairie provinces per season. “Across the Prairies, we quickly found that the more we looked, the more resistance we discovered,” he says.

Agronomist of the Year: Barry Mankewich

The winner of the 2017 Agronomist of the Year award has worked in a variety of roles in his 40-year career, but Barry Mankewich has always been happiest when helping his customers in the field.

“I love plant nutrition, crop protection and everything to do with agronomy,” says Mankewich, who has been working as an agronomist with GJ Chemical Company Ltd. at their Arnaud, Man. location since 2006.

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CAAR is pleased to congratulate our member Munro Farm Supplies on celebrating 60 years in business in 2018!

CAAR extends a warm welcome to its 2018-19 Board of Directors, including new members Taylor Olsen from Olds Fertilizers & Agri Services Ltd., and Catherine Douglas from Federated Co-operatives Ltd.

This #CAARCON update is brought to you by InterAg.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, Pro-Ag Investments Auction donors, exhibitors and planning committee members who helped make the 2018 CAAR Conference an immensely successful event! We could not have done this without you. 

Because of your contributions, CAAR was able to craft and execute a conference lineup that provided valuable insight for everyone in attendance. Our informative speakers addressed a wide variety of industry and business challenges; including changes in regulations, developments in technology and reinforcing relationships with customers to be considered a trusted advisor.

This #CAARCON update is brought to you by InterAg.

We’ve reached the end of another CAAR Conference! The final day was full of thought-provoking discussions that left the audience with ideas to ponder long after they’ve returned home.

Possibility Thinking

Sponsored by Farm Credit Canada

During the Possibility Thinking session, Candace Hill and Isaac LeClair from Farm Credit Canada challenged the audience to think about how they market their business, including shifting their focus “from selling to helping,” echoing themes from yesterday’s “Understanding Farmers’ Needs and Expectations” Panel Discussion.

“Marketing and Canadian ag are both changing rapidly. In order to keep up, you may have to do things differently,” says Hill. “Companies that take risks, try new thing and try to connect with their customers in different ways will benefit by showing that they’re willing to take a chance.”

When Hill had sparked the audience’s creativity, the presentation then moved into how to present innovative marketing ideas on social media.

“Social media, when used strategically, can have a snowball effect. Think of it as word of mouth on steroids,” says LeClair. “You don’t want to use social media to tell people about your business. Use social media to get other people to tell people about your business.”

This #CAARCON update is brought to you by InterAg.

The first full day of the 2018 CAAR Conference was a smashing success. The first full day of the 2018 CAAR Conference was a smashing success! Thank you to all sponsors, speakers and attendees who made this day possible.

Panel Discussion: Understanding Farmers' Needs and Expectations

This discussion was the perfect event to start our conference speaker program – four farmers from across Canada addressed their considerations when choosing which retailers they partner with.

“As much as possible we try to use agronomy services from retailers,” says panelist Kevin Serfas. “The kinds of sales representatives I like to deal with are the ones who will honestly tell me ‘we have something that might work for you, but there are better options out there.’ Those are the people I want to build a long-term relationship with.”

The hour-long discussion sparked conversations among the audience, and left conference with lots of information to take back to their teams.

“The gold standard in ag retail today is to become a trusted advisor for farmers – that’s what we’re training our staff to try to achieve,” says Eric Sievers, sales manager with International Raw Materials. “Every panelist came back to relationships. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of the service we’re providing, and how we can build those trusted advisor relationships.”

This #CAARCON update is brought to you by InterAg.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Icebreaker Cocktail Reception to kick off the 2018 CAAR Conference while raising a toast to Canada’s Agriculture Day.

There’s no better way to celebrate the industry we love than in the company of the friends and colleagues who share our passion. It was truly a pleasure for all the CAAR staff and board members to have the chance to meet and greet so many new and familiar faces.

“This is my second CAAR Conference. I’ve really enjoyed the Icebreaker both years. It’s a great networking opportunity and it’s been great to catch up today with some acquaintances I haven’t seen in awhile,” says Aaron Kirk, Territory Sales Manager with NexusAg.

We'll see you bright and early tomorrow for the first full day of the conference, which includes an unbeatable lineup of speakers and events. Here are some of the events you won’t want to miss out on tomorrow!

Conference attendees have the invaluable opportunity to tap into the minds of their customers at the Understanding Farmers’ Needs and Expectations panel discussion, and to learn about changing their marketing mindset to make a big impact with their customers at the Possibility Thinking speaker session. These are just two of the engaging and informative presentations you can expect to see at the 2018 CAAR Conference.