If there was one thing that stood out during the creation of this magazine, it was that significant changes are currently underway across agriculture and ag retail. Both feature stories in this issue have themes of innovation, evolution and change.
The channels and means by which ag retailers connect and do business with their customers in an increasingly digital world are changing and evolving, with retailers of all sizes beginning to offer online services to customers.
As well, innovative tools and equipment are in development to help growers battle weeds while they face additional challenges like herbicide resistance and increased public scrutiny. In all sectors of agriculture, innovative strategies, evolving outlooks and changing practices are prevailing.
In the three years I have been working with CAAR, I’ve witnessed change myself as regulations, standards and practices have been revised and affected retailers even in a relatively short amount of time.
Through enlightening conversations with CAAR’s retail and supplier members during interviews and events, including the CAAR Conference, I’ve learned that ag retailers are not the sort to put their heads in the sand when change comes knocking.
Ag retailers are in a unique position in the value chain, one in which they both have to understand what a change in the businesses landscape means for their own company and employees, and then also help their grower customers to understand and embrace the change at the farm level.
The theme of CAAR’s upcoming 25th anniversary conference, “Embracing Innovation,” couldn’t be more perfectly timed as ag retailers help their customers navigate the current wave of industry changes, making adaptations to their own businesses along the way.
I hope all of our readers will join CAAR’s staff and board in Saskatoon from Feb. 11–13, 2020 to celebrate the progress Canadian ag retail has made in the past 25 years, and to welcome the next 25 years of innovation.
You can learn more about the events and speakers that are currently confirmed for the 2020 CAAR Conference by flipping to the Conference Registration Guide included at the centre of this magazine. Conference registration opens on October 14 and you can register online by visiting caar.org/caar-conference.
Until then, happy reading.
- Preparing for the Skills Revolution Industry players and academic institutions are building skills to take on the revolution. A fourth agricultural revolution is underway, and Canada needs to seize it.” This statement opens a report released by the...
- Ten Spots to Wine & Dine If you are hosting an important meeting or an outing with your team, try one of these popular spots in downtown Saskatoon, just steps from the CAAR Conference host hotel. 1. Chianti Café is famous for its deliciou...
- Embracing Innovation: The 2020 CAAR Conference Join us in Saskatoon, Feb. 11–13, 2020 for the 25th anniversary of the CAAR Conference, an event that will be equal parts celebration and education. KEYNOTE SPEAKER Dr. Steven Webb, Global Institute for Food Secu...
- The Value of Canadian Ag Retailing What many unfamiliar with Canadian agriculture production fail to recognize is the scope of annual purchases farmers undertake to grow major crops. These purchases significantly contribute to the regional, provincial...
- Weathering the Ups and Downs At the time of writing this article, weather continues to impact progress on a harvest that has seen its ups and downs. 2019 is a year we won’t soon forget. With the majority of the crop yet to be harvested, farmers...