Nestled in the picturesque Canadian Rockies, the 2017 CAAR Conference hosted at the Fairmont Banff Springs offered an unforgettable experience for agri-retailers. The conference provided attendees with valuable opportunities to enhance their expertise and network with their peers over three days at the only national conference tailored to the business of agri-retail.
The Tradeshow Floor
The tradeshow floor was a hub of activity throughout the conference, where attendees networked with colleagues and visited the 41 exhibitors displaying the latest innovations in technology and service across the industry.
Speaker Sessions & Panel Discussion
The conference’s impressive lineup of speakers brought their first-hand knowledge and insight to the issues affecting the retail industry today. Agriculture journalist Kevin Hursh kicked off the conference by delivering an engaging presentation that addressed carbon tax, the public perception of agriculture and more. Three industry stakeholders shared their experience with the Canadian Field Print Calculator during a conference panel discussion on sustainability.
J.P. Gervais of Farm Credit Canada examined the industry’s economic forecast, including trade relations between Canada, the U.S. and China. Bill Keogh of Experiata helped attendees understand how to build a strong customer base through utilizing data. Capping off the conference, Michelle Ray from the Lead Yourself First Institute encouraged attendees to adopt the latest technology to further serve their customers.
Nine exhibitors took to the stage for the first-ever Innovation Showdown and put everything on the line, competing to win the favour of the audience with a presentation about their products or services in two minutes or less.
This friendly competition featured a variety of presentation styles, including a TV commercial-style skit acted out in real time, a pre-recorded infomercial, a guessing game called, “Can it Be Done With A Drone?” and more. The Innovation Showdown was laugh-out-loud funny and original for everyone involved. It was close, but in the end, Markus Weber from LandView Drones was declared the winner.
CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet
Five retailers were honoured for their impressive accomplishments and commitment to the agri-retail industry during the 10th annual CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet. An enthusiastic audience gave each winning retailer a roaring round of applause following a delicious banquet meal.
After the awards program concluded, comedian Darrin Rose took to the stage for the evening’s entertainment. He had the audience in stitches with his standup routine and later brought attendees onstage to play a hilarious round of “Match Game.”
Click here to read exclusive interviews with each of this year’s CAAR’s Choice Awards winners.
- Chairman’s Award: Bob McNaughton The winner of CAAR’s 2017 Chairman’s Award has been a force in the Ontario fertilizer industry throughout his career, which has spanned more than 40 years. Although his business achievements are numerous and impressi...
- Retailer Hall of Fame: Pattie Ganske When she first started working part-time at Parkland Fertilizers in Wetaskiwin, Alta., Pattie Ganske didn’t know she was paving the way for woman in agri-retail and agriculture. More than three decades later, her ex...
- 4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer: Co-operative Retailing System Trish Meyers, knowledge and innovation manager at Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), believes that 4R Nutrient Stewardship allows agri-retailers to steer the conversation about sustainability in agriculture in a ...
- Agronomist of the Year: Barry Mankewich The winner of the 2017 Agronomist of the Year award has worked in a variety of roles in his 40-year career, but Barry Mankewich has always been happiest when helping his customers in the field. “I love plant nutriti...
- Retailer of the Year: Redfern Farm Services Hearing they had won the 2017 Retailer of the Year award took manager Lane Wanless and his team at Redfern Farm Services, Virden location by surprise, but once it sunk in, they were thrilled. The prestigious award re...