2020 CAAR Conference Preview

A lot has changed since 1995, but Canadian ag retailers continue to drive innovation in their own businesses and with their customers. Celebrate all your association has achieved over the past 25 years with friends and colleagues at the 2020 CAAR Conference! We’ll see you in Saskatoon from Feb. 11–13!

CAAR's Year in Review

Focusing on strategic objectives drove the association forward in 2019. 

By all accounts, 2019 was a trying year for Canadian agriculture. Between trade barriers, extreme weather and drought, and a seemingly endless harvest, no one along the value chain was immune from adversity. Though it was difficult to see the industry struggle, Mitch Rezansoff, CAAR’s executive director, says that the industry’s collective strength was also on display.

The Year Ahead

A look at CAAR’s plans and priorities for 2020.

CAAR’s staff, board of directors and committee groups are putting in the work to ensure the association is well-equipped at all levels to provide valuable services and dependable support to its members in the next year, and throughout the new decade.

25 Years of Embracing Innovation and Change

1995 AN ASSOCIATION IS BORN:
The Western Fertilizer and Chemical Dealers Association (WFCDA) unanimously votes to dissolve the organization and transfer its funds to a new national association. With that, the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers, headquartered in Winnipeg, Man., is born. Randy Wogelmuth is elected president of the CAAR board of directors; Jacqueline Ryrie is the association’s first executive director.

The 2019 CAAR Conference

Ag retailers from across the country gathered in Winnipeg, Man. for education, inspiration and unbeatable networking opportunities at the Ag Retail Event of the Year.

Retailer of the Year: South Country Co-op

South Country Co-op (South Country) prides itself on its commitment to creating safe and productive workplaces. The company is known for investing highly in its staff and empowers team members to take ownership and make decisions in the best interests of their fellow employees and their customers. This has paid off enormously for the organization, through staff retention, customer loyalty and, now, winning CAAR’s 2018 Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Agronomist of the Year: Taralea Simpson

Taralea Simpson is a farmer, a mother, an entrepreneur, a passionate “agvocate” and CAAR’s 2018 Agronomist of the Year. Sponsored by Simplot, the award recognizes a CAAR member agronomist who consistently exceeds expectations through dedication to their field and their agronomic knowledge.

Retailer Hall of Fame: Wayne Deschouwer

CAAR’s 2018 Retailer Hall of Fame award, sponsored by Univar Canada, was presented in memory of Wayne Deschouwer, who was taken from family, friends and Manitoba’s agriculture community far too soon when he passed away on Oct. 1, 2018, at the age of 63.

Chairman's Award: Grant Larocque

When selecting the 2018 Chairman’s Award recipient, CAAR board chair Don Kitson knew the award needed to go to Grant Larocque, a long-time board member and ardent association supporter.

CAAR's Year in Preview

Thinking strategically, acting tactically.

Behind every successful endeavour is a well-thought-out strategic plan. In order to make effective short-term gains, forward-thinking companies and organizations base everything they do on eventually reaching milestone goals. CAAR is no different.

The 2019 CAAR Conference

It’s conference time and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome delegates to Winnipeg, Man. for two-and-a-half days of networking, professional development and industry insight.

This year marks CAAR’s 24th conference and, along with crowd favourites like the Pro-Ag Investments Auction and CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet, we are pleased to introduce some exciting new additions to the conference agenda, including Roundtable Discussions.

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 recognizes one CAAR member that went above and beyond to serve its customers, something the team at Virden pride themselves on.

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 nutrition, crop protection and everything to do with agronomy,” says Mankewich, who has been working as an agronomist with GJ Chemical Company Ltd. at their Arnaud, Man. location since 2006.

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 way that is good for their farmer customers.

“Farmers have been using 4R practices for a long time, we just haven’t had a name for it,” says Meyers. “The 4R program gives us a way to quantify what farmers are doing and lets us be in the driver’s seat to tell our good news story.”

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 excellence in business, participation on numerous boards, including multiple terms on the CAAR board, and unwavering dedication to agriculture advocacy have earned her the 2017 Retailer Hall of Fame award.

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 impressive, it is his commitment to giving back to the industry and his active, vocal and passionate support for CAAR that earned Bob McNaughton the Chairman’s Award.

CAAR’s 2018 Year in Preview

Developing a comprehensive strategy for the future of CAAR.

With a new year comes new opportunities for CAAR to better serve its membership, craft solutions to industry challenges and reach new stakeholders across the agri-retail industry. To accomplish that goal, CAAR is calling on all members to submit their feedback, priorities and ideas to shape the association’s focus in 2018.