Mitch Rezansoff has a love for agriculture, a strong personal drive and an innovative spirit.
Having spent significant early life on his family’s farm in the Swan River Valley, Man., Mitch Rezansoff began developing a passion for agriculture at a young age. “I love watching animals, crops and the industry itself develop,” he says.
“There’s an amazing, innovative spirit in agriculture. Looking at the past 30 years, the only consistent thing is change,” he says. “What do the next 10 years look like? I don’t know. But I’m looking forward to being a part of it, because I know it won’t be the same.”
In the face of constant change, Rezansoff is proud of the industry’s ability to adapt and thrive. “How the industry has embraced change is phenomenal,” he says. “We meet these challenges daily, one way or another –find a solution, and make it work.’”
Rezansoff has always strived to embody that practical, solutions-focused attitude throughout his 34-year career, and now brings that same drive and
energy to his new role with CAAR.
A Fresh Perspective
In his first year, Rezansoff looks forward to meeting with as many CAAR stakeholders as he can to cement his understanding of the issues and opportunities facing members.
“My first goal is to listen,” he says. “A lot of this first year will be about listening and asking questions, and then developing a comprehensive plan for 2019.
“What are the most important issues you think CAAR should focus resources on?” he asks. “Where can we make improvements to increase awareness of CAAR’s activities to both members and potential members? Who are we not reaching today that we should be?”
These are the questions Rezansoff is starting his journey with, and invites all members to reach out and share their thoughts with him.
“I intend to work with CAAR board members, staff and stakeholders to evaluate the direction CAAR has gone and challenge the status quo while also recognizing and retaining what has been done very well,” he says.
“The retail sector is instrumental in introducing and transferring knowledge to farmers to help improve their business, and by extension, quality of life,” he says. “Likewise, it’s important the information CAAR provides is sound and reliable, and we’re effectively communicating it to help our members build the success of their businesses.”
A Wealth of Experience
Rezansoff has extensive experience in the crop-inputs industry and direct experience working with Canadian agri-retailers from his 23 years at BASF.
“When I started full-time with BASF in 1984, I managed a territory from Brandon to The Pas (Manitoba),” he says. “At the time, pesticide warehousing standards were being developed and implemented. I took a leadership role with CropLife Canada, informing west Manitobans, including retailers and municipalities, of what the legislation and rules meant and how they would be impacted.”
In 1995, Rezansoff moved to Toronto to take a marketing role with BASF which saw him in multiple roles including product, market and account management of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in Canada.
“That experience was beneficial to developing an understanding of stakeholder input and value, communication with head offices and distributors, marketing products and ensuring the industry as a whole understood the relevant challenges and opportunities,” he says.
The last six years as Integrated Solutions Manager with Enns Brothers gave Rezansoff a new understanding of how agricultural technology and agronomics can be combined to improve all aspects of agriculture production.
“Use of technology on the farm is expanding rapidly,” he says. “There are still untapped opportunities for agri-retailers to provide value in the role of trusted advisors.”
Rezansoff is always working toward a goal – even in his downtime. Two of his hobbies, cycling in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, keep him active, focused and committed to his personal well-being after a severe ankle injury.
While in physio, he discovered his passions for cycling and cross-country skiing. To challenge himself, Rezansoff set a goal to log 5,000 km of cycling every summer and 500 km of skiing every winter.
“I reached my skiing goal once in 2013. For cycling, I’ve made it to about 3,500 km, but 5,000 is still my goal,” he says.
When he isn’t hitting the trails on wheels or skis, Rezansoff propagates hop plants and aims to have a five to seven acre hop grove established in the next two to three years.
“It comes back to agriculture at heart” he says. “There is a sense of pride and satisfaction from watching something grow from an idea into a reality.”
CAAR is pleased to welcome Rezansoff to the team, and the staff and board are eager to see where his leadership, drive and vision will take the association in the years to come.
“I can’t wait to get started. I’m excited to engage the overall industry, and work toward solutions to our challenges. Not everything will be a quick fix, but let’s get to work today,” he says.
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