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’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 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

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, 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.

Get to Know the CAAR Board: Blaine Cochrane

CAAR Communicator chatted with Blaine Cochrane, Sales Manager with Shur-Gro Farm Services in Brandon, Manitoba to learn about the person and career, his leadership within the ag retail sector, and why he decided to become a part of the CAAR Board team. Oh, and something about mountains.

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.

CAAR Communicator: Alarm Bells are Ringing

An announcement by the Government of Canada of a delay in changing glyphosate MRLs and its new financial investment in PMRA has the agricultural community worried of a new slippery slope—politics.

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Banner for Disentangling the Disinformation Landscape

In today’s age of advanced technology and connectedness, disinformation has become a product with a market, competing for your knowledge and expertise no matter who you are or where you work.

Disinformation affects agriculture’s operations all across the value chain, Cami Ryan, PhD, Social Sciences Lead of Regulatory Scientific Affairs for Bayer, recently spoke about the differences between misinformation and disinformation, understanding the disinformation landscape, and how it affects the business environment.

“We found that just because science says that something is safe or beneficial, doesn’t mean that the public agrees,” Ms. Ryan said. “Bridging the divide in this industry helps us to continue to build a world that has plenty of safe and diverse food, and it’s produced in ways that we can all trust. Misinformation and disinformation are nothing new to agriculture, but how disinformation is driven, incentivized, and shared today certainly has.”

Misinformation is referred to as inaccurate or incomplete information that misleads through honest mistakes, negligence, or unconscious bias.

Disinformation is qualitatively different, in that it is a product of a carefully planned and technically sophisticated deceit process with an expected outcome such as shares, likes, or financial gain.

Disinformation can be shared as misinformation by someone with a lack of knowledge or through negligence, and while this is most likely an unintentional act, it still perpetuates the spreading of disinformation.

In the same way, misinformation may also be weaponized into disinformation by influencers with agendas or motives, making it increasingly important to verify and seek out credible information sources.

The increasing popularity of social media has created opportunities and challenges for science, business, and societies as a whole, with attention becoming the limiting factor of seeking out information. Ms. Ryan suggests that people only have so many hours in a day and there are countless pieces of media that are competing for their (your) attention. In this way, the media may not tell people what to think, but it certainly shapes the way that people think through unconscious bias and selective reporting.

According to Ms Ryan, humans tend to seek out information that confirms our biases, and we are more apt to ignore information that does not align with our opinions and beliefs in favour of information that supports them. She explained that information overload has left no time or incentive for critical thinking, it is much easier to tweet and share status updates because they tend to confirm our biases. This can create echo-chambers where competing information is disregarded and can potentially lead to irrational action and conspiracy theories.

In 2005, less than 5% of adults in the US used some form of social media, this number has grown to over 65% in 2015, and in 2021 it is expected that over 50% of humans living on this planet will have access to some form of digital social network.

Why should the agriculture industry care?

“Whether it’s about greenhouse gases and livestock production, or GMOs, or COVID-19 vaccine issues, these issues are symptoms of deeper problems that we have.” Said Ms. Ryan, “We have gaps in information because science is always outpacing society, and disinformation has just made all of these issues worse.”

Ms Ryan cautions that it is important to be aware of disinformation because it has become a product for trade that competes with expert knowledge. This disinformation divides us and has social and economic impacts from public health effects to shelved products, technologies, and lost innovations. People increasingly tend to view themselves as experts, and disinformation vendors take advantage of data voids by providing readily discoverable information that is not necessarily scientific or accurate. For this reason, communication is necessary to retain the discoverability of accurate information.

Disinformation can achieve economies of scale in a way that science cannot. She concluded her presentation by urging the agriculture industry to reduce the spread of disinformation by sharing credible, scientific sources and engaging in productive communication and discussion.

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