Q: What is your current role in the ag retail sector, and can you give us a little background on your ag retail journey?
Michael Gaumont: I am vice president of operations and partner at McEwen’s Fuels and Fertilizers, an eight-location independent retailer operating north of Edmonton. I am also the current chairman of AgLink Canada.
Russ Reich: I am the vice president of crop inputs at Richardson International. I have spent 19 years with Richardson, working in various roles within the Pioneer network, from grain merchant to area marketing rep. I have spent the last nine years in management as senior director for zone two (southwest Saskatchewan, southern Alberta), the assistant vice president for Richardson Pioneer based out of Regina, and now Winnipeg, in my current role.
Q: What does working in the agriculture sector mean to you personally?
MG: Providing a valued service to the agriculture industry and offering solutions to growers to allow them to be profitable and sustainable.
RR: Helping to feed the world is exciting and there is never a dull moment when you have a career in Canadian agriculture. I am grateful to be working daily with great people be it our valued customers, staff, suppliers or industry associations like CAAR.
Q: If you had the power to change one thing about agriculture in Canada, no questions asked, what would it be?
MG: Public perception of modern farming practices and the value our growers bring to society.
RR: Defunct the myths about Canadian agriculture production that many are led to believe.
Q: From your perspective, what is the role of CAAR in today's agriculture environment?
MG: Strive to advocate on the agricultural sector to allow us and our growers the ability to use tools and scientific technologies that will allow Canadian agriculture to compete on the world stage.
RR: To bolster collaboration amongst industry partners to continue to drive us ahead today and position ag retail for the future.
Q: Why did you join the CAAR board and how do you apply your industry expertise to the work you do with the board?
MG: As a new board member this year, I hope to contribute valuable input as an independent ag retailer to ensure other Canadian retailers feel confident that their operations will have a viable future.
RR: I joined the board to show Richardson's support of CAAR and to lend my perspective to CAAR to help ensure regulatory measures are in place to support our businesses.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your role on the board?
MG: Learn more about what can be done in Canada from the team of volunteers and CAAR staff.
RR: Developing a thorough understanding of all industry challenges, not just those that are unique to Richardson.
Q: Outside of your work in agriculture, what are you passionate about?
MG: Family is number one and with the seasonal demands we work under, it’s extremely important to spend time with them and be involved in their lives. We are very adventurous and enjoy active holidays and the outdoors.
RR: I have a wonderful family, my wife Breanna and our two children, Hudson, seven and Presley, four. Breanna and I enjoy taking kids to their activities and sports like dance, hockey, football and baseball.
Q: Do you have any other personal details you would like to share with your fellow members – family, fun facts, etc.?
MG: Next year I will celebrate my 25th year with McEwen’s Fuels & Fertilizers. This spring marked my 27th spring fertilizer season!
RR: In August, our family relocated to East St. Paul, MB from Regina, SK.
Q: Any final thoughts you would like to share with CAAR members?
MG: I look forward to serving the membership and will work hard to contribute input and perspective where I can.
RR: I would like to thank Mitch and team for all their efforts in supporting CAAR members.
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