CAAR Communicator

Weathering the Ups and Downs

At the time of writing this article, weather continues to impact progress on a harvest that has seen its ups and downs.

2019 is a year we won’t soon forget. With the majority of the crop yet to be harvested, farmers and ag retailers continue to prevail, moving forward with the challenges they can only manage but not control.

Innovation, Evolution and Change

If there was one thing that stood out during the creation of this magazine, it was that significant changes are currently underway across agriculture and ag retail. Both feature stories in this issue have themes of innovation, evolution and change.

The channels and means by which ag retailers connect and do business with their customers in an increasingly digital world are changing and evolving, with retailers of all sizes beginning to offer online services to customers.

Building Business Intelligence

“Business Intelligence” is one of the key strategic pillars that CAAR recognized as vital for its membership. CAAR is embarking on its first major undertaking toward developing this pillar by helping to facilitate the 2019 Canadian Precision Agriculture Dealership Survey, developed in partnership between the University of Guelph and Purdue University with input from CAAR.

Invaluable Conversations

Every year, I come away from the CAAR Conference with my head spinning. It takes a bit of time to process all of the information, all of the implications and simply take a breath after the fast pace of the event.

Developing Deeper Relationships

When a customer looks to you, their retailer, as a trusted resource, opportunities are created to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both parties. You help them, and they help you.

The 2019 CAAR Conference

Ag retailers from across the country gathered in Winnipeg, Man. for education, inspiration and unbeatable networking opportunities at the Ag Retail Event of the Year.

Retailer of the Year: South Country Co-op

South Country Co-op (South Country) prides itself on its commitment to creating safe and productive workplaces. The company is known for investing highly in its staff and empowers team members to take ownership and make decisions in the best interests of their fellow employees and their customers. This has paid off enormously for the organization, through staff retention, customer loyalty and, now, winning CAAR’s 2018 Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Agronomist of the Year: Taralea Simpson

Taralea Simpson is a farmer, a mother, an entrepreneur, a passionate “agvocate” and CAAR’s 2018 Agronomist of the Year. Sponsored by Simplot, the award recognizes a CAAR member agronomist who consistently exceeds expectations through dedication to their field and their agronomic knowledge.

Retailer Hall of Fame: Wayne Deschouwer

CAAR’s 2018 Retailer Hall of Fame award, sponsored by Univar Canada, was presented in memory of Wayne Deschouwer, who was taken from family, friends and Manitoba’s agriculture community far too soon when he passed away on Oct. 1, 2018, at the age of 63.

Chairman's Award: Grant Larocque

When selecting the 2018 Chairman’s Award recipient, CAAR board chair Don Kitson knew the award needed to go to Grant Larocque, a long-time board member and ardent association supporter.

An Exciting Time for The Communicator

Diving headfirst into producing the February issue of The Communicator after a holiday break is the perfect project to kick off the new year. Maybe it's the chill in the air, but I feel energized and eager to get to work on the five issues of the magazine we publish each year.