David Thompson (right) accepts the Chairman’s Award from CAAR board chair, Martin Kiefer, at the CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet.

David Thompson, Atlantic Director of CAAR’s Board of Directors

He began his career with a stint in the department of agriculture in P.E.I., but quickly moved on to private industry where his career took off in crop protection, sales, marketing and providing technical support to producers in the Maritime provinces, Quebec and Maine.

David Thompson was presented with this year’s Chairman’s Award to honour his continued dedication to the agriculture industry and his years of service and commitment to CAAR.

Much of the experience Thompson has had throughout his career has been working hands-on with producers and retailers, addressing their specific needs and looking for solutions to their challenges.

“I’ve worked with government and many other talented individuals in all areas of agriculture,” he says. “Among the people I enjoy working with the most are the retailers and the farmers.”

Martin Kiefer, the chair of CAAR’s Board of Directors, recalled his first experience working with Thompson as he presented him with the Chairman’s Award at the 10th annual CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet.

“When I joined the fertilizer industry at Agrico seven years ago, I had the opportunity to meet David Thompson,” he said. “He was very welcoming, very open and very generous in his support of me, of our company and of our industry. He’s a forward thinker in agriculture, he’s always been attentive to environmental issues and as a result has implemented many stewardship initiatives.”

In retirement, apart from being involved in his local community, Thompson continues his agricultural stewardship by working and volunteering with numerous organizations.

One of those organizations is CAAR. Thompson has been a longtime board member, helping steer the association with input based on his extensive experience, and is currently serving on the membership value committee and the board of directors.

“I’ve worked in many areas of agriculture for a long time and I now try to do my part with CAAR,” he says. “I really enjoy the work I do with the people in this organization.”

As a board member with CAAR, Thompson appreciates opportunities to continue helping members across Canada and to learn from the expertise of various members.

“My biggest learning experience was seeing how things are done out west. There is a difference in the east, the markets are smaller,” he says. “Working with CAAR has been very informative, especially seeing how agriculture business is conducted in Western Canada.”

Despite the differences, Thompson says in many ways the industry is very similar from coast to coast.

“A lot of the issues we face in the Maritimes are almost identical to issues in the West. We both need to deal with resistance in weeds, fungus and pests,” he says. “My main background is in potato crops. The grain crops in the West may be different, but the retailers and the farmers are still facing the same challenges wherever you go.”

Thompson says CAAR is well equipped to support retailers across Canada and do their part to help tackle these common issues.

“We try to support retailers in any way we can, whether that’s communicating with government, with researchers or with others in the industry,” he says. “CAAR is a great organization with great people. They’ve got a strong board and Delaney (Ross Burtnack, president and CEO of CAAR) and the crew are helpful, working hard and doing an excellent job.”

Reflecting on receiving the Chairman’s Award, Thompson’s reaction was both thankful and gracious.

“It is a great honour, and I really do appreciate it. It’s always a good feeling when you’re recognized for the work you’re doing.”

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