CAAR Communicator

Quarterly At-A-Glance (January – March 2022)

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CAAR was busy in the first quarter of 2022 - we know it's hard to keep up with everything. Learn about CAAR's activities in our first Quarterly At-A-Glance of 2022, providing an overview of how we represented and advocated on behalf of ag retailers across Canada from January to March 2022.

Executive Director's Message: Green Climate Plan Hits at Synthetic Fertilizers

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From the April issue of CAAR Communicator: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada chose to release a discussion document: Reducing emissions arising from the application of fertilizer in Canada’s agriculture sector, on end of day March 4, 2022. The discussion document progresses the next steps of the December 2020, Government of Canada Strengthened Climate Plan, “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy.”

Get to Know Taylor Olsen

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It’s no secret that CAAR Board team members seem to like the Great Outdoors, and this issue’s all-star is no exception. Taylor Olsen, Operations Manager of Olds Fertilizers & Agri Services in Olds, Alberta, talked with the CAAR Communicator where we learned more of himself and career, ag retail leadership, his role with the CAAR Board and why a relaxing time for him involves doing something non-relaxing.

AgTech: It’s Here. Get Used To It.

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Agricultural technology shapes the way our farmers go about their business—and you need to be up on current and future trends to serve your customers. Learn about some of the newer technologies being offered within our ag industry…

Get to Know CAAR Volunteers: Daren Carlson, P.Ag, Licensed to Ag

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Daren Carlson, P.Ag is the Vice President, Sales and Marketing with McEwen’s Fuels & Fertilizers at the Willow Springs head office in Sturgeon County, Alberta. Prior to that, he was retired. Rather than have you believe he is living his life in reverse, the affable Carlson is on his second lifetime in the ag industry he just can’t seem to get enough of. And should it ever arise, if offered a martini cocktail he probably prefers it “Shaken, not stirred.”

By The Numbers

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2 - HR guru Stacy Brownridge, CPHR with Winfield United Canada offers some must-do advice−just two simple things−to ensure your new hire is a long-term hire.

4 - Rather than just holing up for the winter awaiting a groundhog to see its shadow, here are four huge takeaways for the ag retailer to consider ensuring a prosperous new year and beyond.

5 - Five helpful tips to becoming more than just a seller of products. It’s how to be an ag advisor and go-to solution provider for your customer base.

13 - A baker’s dozen of the latest innovative technologies every ag retailer should familiarize themselves with to provide a heads-up to their customer base or to diversify their own product line.

715 - It’s either one career homerun more than Babe Ruth clobbered, or it’s how many kilometres our featured CAAR Board member paddled on his trek down the Yukon River.

∞ + 1 - That’s the level of thanks owed to: Jim Barclay, Hensall Co-op; Taylor Olsen, Olds Fertilizers & Agri Services; Stacy Brownridge and Taryn Milton, both of Winfield United Canada, for their time and effort in helping CAAR get this issue to our association members.

 

CAAR News

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CAAR recently participated in the Pulse Value MRL Working Group, a meeting to review the market risk of new pesticide products coming to market, and/or products currently on the market that have experienced an MRL change in a major export market. The results of the review are communicated through the Keep it Clean product advisory for the 2022 growing season.

By The Numbers

 

3 - A three-person panel discussed the MRL challenges, changes and government actions during CAAR’s 2022 conference. This article provides an overview of the discussion between stakeholders Gord Kurbis of the Canada Grain Council, Teri Stewart of CropLife Canada, and ADM Manon Bombardier of the PMRA.

5 - The number of suggestions from HR guru Derek Rolstone of Stone HR Strategies, on how your agri-retail company can ensure employee retention coming out of the pandemic.

11 - The number of Canadians dying every day by suicide. The Honourable Mike Lake MP provides his views on mental wellness issues that need to be discussed within the farm sectors and agri-retail workplace.

23 - The pesticide and fertilizer jug size (23L) that the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba state that agri-retailers must now collect after customer use for proper disposal by Cleanfarms.

42 - A percentage of ag businesses that have reported normal sales—a peek inside the disruptive presence of Covid-19 on the Canadian economy.

384 - This is the percentage increase NH3 fertilizer saw over a 15-month span. Josh Linville of StoneX Financial provides a detailed analysis of the global factors that drove the price of nitrogen fertilizers through the proverbial roof

30,000,000 - This number reflects tonnage of Canadian crop production lost in 2021 over the previous year due to drought, heavy rains, etc. For the western economy, this resulted in a loss of ~$11.5-billion.

 

CAAR News

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 www.caar.org 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
www.caar.org/caar-conference/caar-honour-roll.

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, Farms.com 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.

By The Numbers

2 - The number of key ways employers can better motivate employees.

4 - This is the average percent increase in crop production gained by farmers that use
precision agriculture technology.

6.9 - The billion-dollar amount of revenues in the Canadian organic market.

12 - As in the number of grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule, the expected amount of greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 via Canada’s upcoming Clean Fuel Standard.

34,318 - The total ascent distance—in metres—CAAR Board member Blaine Cochrane has achieved while mountain climbing around the world. That is “ascent” only. He still had to climb down.

42,000,000 - The amount of money the Government of Canada recently invested in the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, raising concerns that the regulatory process has become politicalized.

65,472,516,904 - Total operating costs for all Canadian farms in 2019.

Continued Evolution of Canadian Agribusiness and Associations

The business environment is changing for Canadian agribusiness, and so too membership associations are being driven to change to accommodate members. Agribusinesses are increasingly beginning to scrutinize which associations they choose to be part of and support. This has more to do with their time constraints and value added, rather than annual dues and participation costs. Selection of membership associations is now more based on alignment with members’ strategic goals and representation and support of the ag industry.

Attracting New Employees

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