ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The Communicator

April Issue – See All

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.

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.

CAAR Can Help

It’s been a fast paced couple of months since I joined the CAAR team in January. Already, the 2018 CAAR Conference has been successfully completed, while other areas of focus, such as the negotiations with Transport Canada regarding anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks, continue at the time of writing.

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.

Retailer of the Year: Redfern Farm Services

Hearing they had won the 2017 Retailer of the Year award took manager Lane Wanless and his team at Redfern Farm Services, Virden location by surprise, but once it sunk in, they were thrilled. The prestigious award recognizes one CAAR member that went above and beyond to serve its customers, something the team at Virden pride themselves on.

Concerning Products of Concern

Agri-retailers can support market access by helping growers Keep it Clean.

Maximum residue limits (MRLs) are playing an increasingly important role in the acceptance of Canadian agriculture commodities in domestic and export markets. However, one of the challenges growers face is that the limits are not always uniform across markets, or they may not yet be established in export markets.

Canadian growers must continue to follow best application practices to keep residues within acceptable limits and markets open. To do so, growers need to know which products can cause concern in certain markets.

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Check your email inbox from Monday, Feb. 26 to find your CAAR conference survey, and complete it before Friday, March 9 for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! CAAR values your feedback, and your suggestions provide the direction for future CAAR conferences.

Five Canadian agri-retailers were recognized for their achievements at the 11th annual CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet. The winners took to the stage on Feb. 14, to receive their award in the company of their peers during the gala event, part of the 2018 CAAR Conference running from Feb. 13-15 in Saskatoon, Sask.

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.”