Read more to hear from current board members on the professional and personal rewards serving on the CAAR Board.
CAAR can best represent the needs of Canadian ag retailers when it has a strong representation of retailers on the Board of Directors to provide their input. Volunteering on the CAAR Board is good for the industry, and good for you!
Blaine Cochrane, Shur-Gro Farm Services Ltd. – CAAR Finance Committee Chair
Don Kitson, International Raw Materials Ltd. – CAAR Board Chair
Taylor Olsen, Olds Fertilizer and Agri Services – CAAR Conference Committee Chair
Drew Taylor, AGI Yargus – CAAR Membership Value Committee Chair
Would you say serving on the CAAR Board has been a rewarding experience?
DON KITSON: Personally, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to serve as Chair of the CAAR Board. It has given me a much more detailed level of insight into the inner workings of the association, and it has given me a lot of confidence in CAAR.
Coming to the CAAR Conference every year is a great opportunity for networking and meeting with farm retailers. If you’re thinking about getting involved with CAAR, I encourage you to come to the conference. Chat with the board members. There many opportunities to get involved with the CAAR committees or even join the board.
TAYLOR OLSEN: Sometimes, in our small part of the world, in Olds, it can feel like our business is a little passed over. It's really positive to be a part of a bigger organization that has the ear of lawmakers and that can sit at the table with organizations like CropLife and Fertilizer Canada.
BLAINE COCHRANE: It's a great feeling to be part of a Canada-wide association. The national scope is very important, it's not just a provincial based group. CAAR is a national-based organization looking out for the best interests of its retailers across Canada.
Why do you think it is important for independent retailers to volunteer their time with CAAR?
TAYLOR OLSEN: CAAR plays an important role for all ag retailers, not just independents, but I think CAAR is especially important for independent retailers.
There's not a lot of people that can really spread the word or have a voice to represent independent ag retailers. CAAR is the best organization to do that.
DON KITSON: We made a conscious effort to increase the percentage of retailers that are members of CAAR, and ensure retailers are the majority group represented on the Board. All retailers are a very important part of that and CAAR has struct a good balance of having independent retailers and larger retail organizations involved so retailers are well represented in our industry.
CAAR spends a lot of time with CropLife and Fertilizer Canada and other associations to make sure that the retail needs are being communicated to them.
What are you looking forward to about the future of CAAR?
TAYLOR OLSEN: We really defined our priorities this fall, what our organization stands for, where are we at. I think we have a lot of really good direction going forward.
DREW TAYLOR: Since I’ve been involved, we’ve seen a good evolution of CAAR. There have been challenges along the way, but we're poised for strong performance in the coming years.
We've developed a solid Board of new people and are actively trying to engage younger, new retail-based Board members, and association members, to position CAAR for the future.
In context of the broader industry and regulatory landscape as we kick off 2020, why is now the right time to get involved with CAAR?
DREW TAYLOR: The fact that there's so much industry consolidation and, basic challenges for agriculture production in Canada, means that there continues to be a big need for advocacy.
Having strong ties with members who can provide the boots on the ground perspective, to relay and empower the message, is very important. We need the industry to be involved with CAAR and carry the message.
BLAINE COCHRANE: Time is precious, but, it’s always a good time to support your industry and get involved. I think everyone can do their part by getting involved with CAAR.
New board members will be voted on during the AGM during the CAAR Conference. Click here to view the full conference agenda.
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