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!

Expanded Roundtable Discussions

Wednesday, Feb. 12 | 8 – 9:30 a.m.

CAAR roundtables are back! After a positive response to these moderated discussions at last year’s conference, CAAR has expanded the roundtables to give attendees even more opportunities to learn from their peers and to share their own experiences.

This year’s roundtable discussions will feature four key themes relevant to ag retail: Retail Management, Sales & Customer Service, Safety & Training, and Technology & Services. New this year, each theme will now feature a choice of two discussion topics for participants.

“If you can get different people’s viewpoints and listen to their analysis on that issue, you will often get a more comprehensive understanding of that issue and how it may, or may not, affect your operation,” says NH3 consultant Glenn Dickson, who led the Safety & Training discussion during the 2019 CAAR Conference.

“It also puts you in a situation where you’re with at least a couple of people you haven’t already met, and now you’re discussing a business topic. You get feedback you wouldn’t otherwise get.”

If you forgot to select your discussion topic when you registered online, or you are registering onsite at TCU Place, you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to select your preferred discussion! Sessions are filling up quickly, so act fast.


Retail Management

  • Suppliers Ever Changing – How to Adapt & Succeed
  • Creating a Culture of Success with Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials

Sales & Customer Service

  • New Business Model Implementation
  • Building Your Online Presence

Safety & Training

  • Health & Safety – Building a Culture that Meets Standards
  • As Environmental Concerns Rise, Delivering Ag’s Message

Technology & Services

  • Precision Agriculture Utilization
  • Developing and Successfully Utilizing a CRM

Speaker Session

Adelle Stewart, Do More Agriculture Foundation
"Talk, Ask, Listen – Doing More for Mental Health in Agriculture"
Wednesday, Feb. 12 | 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Adelle Stewart, executive director of the Do More Agriculture Foundation (Do More Ag), hopes delegates will leave her presentation with tools to help their customers and themselves. Stewart says ag retailers can find themselves carrying double stress loads. Retail employees not only work in very demanding roles themselves; they often shoulder some of the stress their customers are dealing with.

“Agri-retailers are often on the receiving end of a potentially stressful phone call,” says Stewart. “Being on the front line, working day to day with the producers, and hearing a really stressful story can be really taxing on the person. Understanding self-care techniques is one of the things we’ll cover.”

Industry Updates

Session One: Canadian Seed Trade Association & CropLife Canada
Wednesday, Feb. 12 | 9:45 – 10:30 a.m.

CSTA Preview
Two topics will dominate Eric Gregory’s update for the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) at this year’s conference: value creation and the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project.

On value creation, Gregory will touch on the overall decrease in seed innovation and investment. Gregory thinks this is a concern both from the industry perspective, as well as from a retail perspective, as this could mean reduced access to new and better seed genetics for both growers and distributers.

“Most recently, Syngenta has announced that they are winding down their wheat breeding program here in Canada,” says Gregory, who serves as CSTA liaison on the CAAR board of directors.

Gregory will also share updates on the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project, a joint effort of the six major seed sector associations with goals to improve efficiencies among the collective membership and provide a united voice for the seed industry. Five industry organizations have proposed amalgamation, and members will soon receive information packages in preparation for an expected vote this July.

A representative from CropLife Canada will also present during the first Industry Update session.

Session Two: Transport Canada, Cleanfarms & Fertilizer Canada
Thursday, Feb. 13 | 8:10 – 9:10 a.m.

Transport Canada Preview
Transport Canada means of containment specialist Chris Nowak will present a wide range of B620 updates scheduled to come into effect in 2020. These updates include changes to training requirements and revised emergency protocols among others.

“We are happy to have worked with CAAR, Fertilizer Canada and other organizations that work in these and other areas. This type of collaboration can lead to tangible results for all,” says Simon Rivet, senior advisor for Transport Canada media relations.

Rivet says Transport Canada is committed to participating in an increased number of awareness events like the CAAR Conference to give registered facilities and transporters more notice about upcoming regulatory changes and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions about compliance requirements.

Cleanfarms Preview
Shane Hedderson, western region business manager for Cleanfarms, says consumers in all industries are moving away from using single-use plastic containers and embracing recycling. With increasing public scrutiny this is even more important in the agriculture sector.

In 2020, retailers in Manitoba and Alberta will have the opportunity to play a larger role in the ag plastic collection program by distributing collection bags to their customers. Hedderson said Cleanfarms relies on retailers promoting these programs to farmers, as well as being collection sites in some provinces.

“Cleanfarms end-of-life stewardship programs are a tangible example of how the agriculture industry is taking ownership of its plastics and packaging waste,” said Hedderson. “Our stewardship programs are based on the participation of the entire value chain.”

Catherine King, vice president of public affairs with Fertilizer Canada will also present during the second session of Industry Updates.

Panel Discussion

AgGateway eConnectivity
Thursday, Feb. 13 | 9:20 – 10:20 a.m.

As farmers and retailers adopt more precision agriculture tools and advanced technologies into their operations, “eConnectivity,” the ability for pieces of ag equipment to communicate with other equipment or with back-end office systems, becomes more important for profitability and productivity.

Improving eConnectivity among ag equipment and computer systems is the mission of Washington-based AgGateway, which is working to set an industry-wide standard for equipment and software manufacturers to follow.

Retail and distributor representatives from WinField United Canada, GROWMARK and Nutrien will participate in a panel discussion led by AgGateway staff to discuss how improved eConnectivity contributes to a retailer’s bottom line.

“These participants have experience with implementing connectivity tools and processes at a retail level and can speak directly to the needs and expectations of retailers,” says Brent Kemp, executive vice president and chief operating officer of AgGateway Corporation.

Kemp hopes the panel will show retailers why they need to use these connectivity systems and how it will add value to their business. He says not only will these systems help retailers become more efficient, but they could help retailers increase the value of their customer relationships.

Retailers can expect to have some questions answered during the panel, like the value and benefits of eConnectivity, and how they can implement it in their business.

NEW Format for the CAAR Pro-Ag Investments Auction

2:45 – 4 p.m. |  Wednesday, Feb. 12

Bring your competitive spirit to bid and buy at the annual CAAR Pro-Ag Investments Auction, now with an updated format!

What’s New?

Live Auction: Place your bids on the big-ticket items during the live auction portion of the event. Time will be tight, so be quick! You’ll lose if you snooze.

Silent Auction: Bidding for the great items in the silent auction lineup will be open throughout the duration of the Conference. Place your bids at the CAAR booth! Silent auction winners will be announced during the closing of the CAAR Conference.

Which items will be auctioned when? Items will be marked “Silent” or “Live” in your auction guide, available onsite in your conference padfolio. You can also view a PDF copy of the auction guide (after Feb. 11) here: Auction Guide.

Be sure to watch The CAAR Network, the news section of the CAAR website and conference emails for more information about the CAAR Pro-Ag Investments Auction!

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