ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The CAAR Communicator

October Issue – See All

Employee Recognition: The why, how and importance!

Lack of recognition is one of the major reasons why employees quit. Employee recognition may become even more critical with the rise of teleworking.

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.

How European Farming Influences Canadian Farmers – whether they like it or not

The UK and EU have issues with its organic farming that threaten to eat itself. Who’s to blame and why? European standards are driving reductions in residue limits which will have major impacts on Canadian farming, so it is important to understand what is going on in Europe.

It is Time to Stop the Fear Mongering

Growing with marketing campaigns of agriculture food products in Canada and internationally is the increased utilization of fear as a marketing weapon. Statements of non-GMO, grass fed only, organic and antibiotic-free create doubt and fear in the minds of the consumer. Are the products I purchase and consume less nutritious or harmful to our families?

Agroecology: Who's definition is it?

Despite being the trendy buzzword in agriculture, agroecology is defined differently by country and organization. Even Canada has multiple visions.

CAAR Communicator: The Power of Technology

New study shows how advanced technology farming can provide environmental and financial benefits.

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Banner for CAAR Congratulates Jeff Holmes
CAAR Congratulates Jeff Holmes

The Retailer Hall of Fame award was established in 2008 as the “lifetime achievement award” for our industry. This award recognizes an individual who has consistently demonstrated exceptional performance and dedication over time. Jeff Holmes of Holmes Agro is this year’s winner of the CAAR Retailer Hall of Fame Award. 

Holmes Agro is an agricultural crop inputs retailer, supplying products and services in the areas of seed, fertilizer, crop protection and agronomic advice. He received the award during the 2021 Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers Conference.

In 1995, general manager Jeff Holmes entered into a joint partnership agreement with Agrico Canada, and Holmes Agro was born. The company celebrates being in business for over 25 years and continues to be one of the local area leaders in the industry.

The company’s main office is located just west of Orangeville, Ontario, and has satellite locations in Redickville, Stayner, and Flamborough. The company currently employs more than 15 full time employees and 15 seasonal employees.

Holmes Agro strives to be a service-oriented company, which sells commodities through value added techniques, thus differentiating ourselves from others to enhance the profitability of our growers.

Jeff was a member of CAAR’s Board of Directors from 2000 to 2003 and served as Chair in 2002.

While accepting the award, Jeff said the following, “I believe that if this was in person, I would have to have my family and over 25 co-workers in front of me to receive this award. Anyone involved in ag retail knows that it takes a depth of people and a strong culture to be successful in today’s environment.” He went on to thank a number of key partners in the industry, as well as his team at Holmes Agro. “The last and biggest reason for where we are today. I want to recognize our growers. The growth of our business has all come from the success of our customers.”

Jeff continued by saying, “My passion 25 years ago, is still the same today: to be involved with grower success and align with a team of people with that same passion.”

He concluded by thanking CAAR, “CAAR do a great job defending us on issues, allowing us to do our business day to day.”

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