Human Resources
Manitoba Agriculture shares farm safety reminders in an effort to reduce the number of accidents during harvest season. 
Published in Harvesting
Bayer has partnered with The Do More Agriculture Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on raising awareness and promoting mental well-being for farmers inCanada. As part of the partnership, Bayer's Crop Science division has contributed$20,000to the Foundation to support its mission of providing support and resources to farmers seeking mental health assistance.
Published in Corporate News
Mary Robinson wants to help more women take advantage of job opportunities on Island farms and she's hoping a proposal by the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture will help make it happen.

The federation submitted a written funding proposal in January to Status of Women Canada. The three-year project would explore the needs of women seeking jobs on farms, and with an eye on barriers that are getting in the way. | READ MORE


Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Corporate News
The 28th Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission was held January 30 at the FarmTech Conference in Edmonton. Following the Annual General Meeting, the board elected Renn Breitkreuz from Onoway as the new chair, and John Guelly of Westlock as the new vice-chair.

Alberta Canola is pleased to welcome two new directors to the Board:
  • Andre Harpe of Valhalla Centre, replacing Greg Sears in region 2
  • Ian Chitwood of Airdrie, replacing Steve Marshman in region 8
The board of Alberta Canola would like to thank outgoing directors Greg Sears and Steve Marshman for all the hard work they have done on behalf of Alberta’s canola farmers.

Greg joined the Board in 2012 and held many positions including Alberta representative to the Canola Council of Canada. Greg was chair for the last two years and the board has greatly appreciated his steady hand at the helm and his unflappable demeanor.

Steve joined the Board in 2015 and represented farmers’ interests at the Clean Air Strategic Alliance. Steve brought a wealth of business experience to the board and this will be missed.

Both Greg and Steve were also heavily involved in presenting farmers’ opinions to the Alberta government during Bill 6 consultations.

Visit albertacanola.com/about for more information on the board of directors, the committees that guide the board, and Alberta Canola’s regions.


Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Business Management
Ag Growth International Inc. recently announced it has acquired CMC Industrial Electronics and Junge Control Inc.

CMC is a leading supplier of hazard monitoring sensors and systems used in agricultural material handling applications. CMC also manufactures commercial bin monitoring sensors and systems. Founded in 1997, CMC has locations in Burnaby, B.C., and Minneapolis, MN. CMC has strong relationships with domestic and multinational customers and provides AGI with new products to better serve its customers in an environment of increasingly stringent safety standards.

JCI is a leading manufacturer of automation, measurement and blending systems for the agriculture and fuel industries. Founded in 1979, JCI is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. JCI's precision blending and measurement systems, focused primarily on liquid fertilizer blending, are highly complementary to AGI's fertilizer product offering and further broadens AGI's fertilizer platform.

The acquisitions of CMC and JCI add significant strength to our applied technology platform, and continue to evolve our product and solution portfolio enabling us to serve current and future customers with broader solutions. AGI is proud to welcome the teams from CMC and JCI to the AGI family.
Published in Corporate News
Farmers know the importance of keeping the land, water and air healthy to sustain their farms from one generation to the next. The Government of Canada is making strategic investments to help farmers and young Canadians adopt innovative practices and develop skills for a cleaner more prosperous Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay recently announced that the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative is now taking applications for 2018. Under the initiative, support is available to fund youth internships, both on the farm and with organizations engaged in the agriculture and agri-food sector for activities that are environmentally beneficial to the agriculture sector.

Since the initial launch of the Agricultural Green Jobs Initiative in April 2016 there have been 392 new jobs created nationally. This initiative follows through on the Government of Canada's commitment made in 2015 to help create good, well-paying jobs and to support young Canadians as they transition into the workforce.

"The overwhelming support and the great success of the program has benefited a number of agricultural businesses and led to more farm employers and young people benefiting from the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative. The expanded Initiative has provided youth with meaningful work experiences in the agriculture and agri-food sector, while providing benefits to the environment. A win-win for all," said Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Published in Corporate News
The Honourable Alan McIsaac recently announced that he is stepping down from his position as Prince Edward Island’s minister of Agriculture and Fisheries effective immediately. He will continue to serve as a member of the Legislative Assembly for District 5, Vernon River-Stratford.

McIsaac was first elected in October 2007. Following re-election in 2011 he was appointed minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and minister of Justice and Public Safety and attorney general. During that time he served as the vice-chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). He was appointed minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2015.

Robert Henderson, MLA for O’Leary-Inverness, will be the new minister of Agriculture and Fisheries for P.E.I.  and was sworn into the new position on January 10.
Published in Corporate News
A pilot project connecting Prince Edward Islanders in need of jobs with work on farms has had an added bonus.

The Harvest and Prosper Project ended in December, but some of the participants have been offered full-time employment this winter, helping fill a void on P.E.I. farms.

The Harvest and Prosper project helped newcomers, people on social assistance or disability support, to find short-term work in the agriculture industry without affecting any benefits they were receiving. For the full story, click here
Published in Corporate News
In a watershed moment for agriculture in Manitoba, the five commodity groups that in May of this year began exploring an amalgamation are pleased to release a summary report highlighting the potential path towards a new, grassroots and farmer-driven organization.

The release of this report launches a consultation period for farmer members of the organizations to become involved in the process.

“Commodity groups need to be farmer-driven. They need to be run by their grassroots,” says Myron Krahn, President of Manitoba Corn Growers Association. “This report shows how amalgamating would not only maintain our connection to farmers from across Manitoba, but also how it would improve it. From better research capability to a greater potential to leverage research investments, we’ll have more impact as an amalgamated group. Together we can be better.”

The potential board structure, governance structure, core functions, legal process and timeline of this potential amalgamation are all laid out in this summary report, which changed and adapted as the steering committee received feedback from their farmer members over the past few months.

The report is the result of nine months of meetings between board and staff representatives from Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers, the National Sunflower Association of Canada, Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers and Rob Hannam of the consulting firm Synthesis Agri-Food Network. It serves as a roadmap, the destination of which is a farmer-driven, grassroots organization that will reduce overlap, increase impact and deliver more value to Manitoba farmers.

Regional meetings and presentations are planned for January 2018 so that farmers across the province have an opportunity to hear the proposed plan and ask questions, in-person.

Dates and Locations for meetings and presentations are as follows:
  • St. Jean Farm Days presentation Jan. 10 at 1pm
  • Dauphin, MB meeting Jan. 11 at 1pm
  • Stonewall, MB meeting Jan. 12 at 10am
  • Brandon Ag Days presentation Jan. 16 at 3pm
In addition, this report will be discussed at each involved commodity group’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held during the CropConnect conference on February 14 and 15, 2018.

Manitoba farmers who grow the crops represented in this amalgamation process are encouraged to get involved and “have your say.” The report will be available at the following temporary website set up for this consultation period: www.mbcrops.ca. Feedback from farmer members is welcome and encouraged through email directly to Rob Hannam at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

RELATED: Manitoba commodity groups develop amalgamation roadmap
Published in Corporate News
The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 board of directors. The election for the new board took place at the 22nd Annual General Meeting held on December 7, 2017 in Guelph, Ont.

The AAC’s 64 member organizations annually elect 16 directors to serve on the AAC board. They are joined by two, non-voting, liaisons from the federal and provincial government. The AAC board has approved over $276 million in federal and provincial funding to support over 3,450 projects since 1995. READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
Ron Davidson has officially been selected as the new executive director of Soy Canada. The association’s board of birectors recently announced that Davidson will start in the new role in Soy Canada’s Ottawa office beginning November 1st, taking over from interim executive director, Dale Adolphe.

“We are thrilled to have Ron as the new head of the association,” said Mark Huston, chair of Soy Canada. “Ron has a tremendous understanding of domestic and international regulatory environments and their impact on agriculture policy in Canada. The breadth of experience he brings with him will help advance the strategic direction of Soy Canada and the soybean sector, while delivering on the issues and priorities central to our mandate.”

Davidson has held multiple senior positions in professional organizations in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he has served as the senior vice-president, international trade and public affairs with the Canadian Meat Council.

Davidson was previously the chief liaison officer, governmental affairs with the Canadian Wheat Board and has extensive international and diplomatic experience working for the Government of Canada in various diplomatic postings including Canada’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen; Consul General of Canada in Brazil; and other senior diplomatic positions in Japan, France and the U.S. Davidson also held senior roles in both the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

“I am very honoured by the opportunity to join Soy Canada at this exciting moment in the evolution of this country’s soybean industry,” said Davidson. “Soy Canada has proposed ambitious, but achievable goals for the next decade and I look forward to participation in the development of an inclusive value chain roadmap for the conversion of today’s visionary aspirations into realized achievements of the future.”

Over the coming weeks Davidson will be working with the Soy Canada board of directors and association staff on a transition process. With a full-time leader now in place, Soy Canada looks forward to continuing its work to facilitate industry co-operation and represent the industry on domestic and international issues affecting the growth and development of the sector.
Published in Corporate News
The Scoular Company recently announced that Bryan Wurscher has joined Scoular's senior leadership team as vice president, division manager and general manager of the company's special crops business. He is reporting to CEO Paul Maass and working from Scoular's office in Minneapolis, Minn.

Wurscher will oversee all aspects of the company's operation that sources and processes special crops in Canada and U.S. for use around the world. Scoular's special crops offering includes various pulses (lentils, whole and split peas, edible beans, and chickpeas) as well as canary seed, flaxseed, and sunflower seed.

"Bryan is a strong leader, and I'm thrilled to have him bring 20-plus years of diverse experience and talent to this critical role," said Maass.

Wurscher came to Scoular from Cargill where he most recently served as President and Managing Director Cocoa & Chocolate, Cargill North America. Wurscher joined Cargill in 1995 and held a variety of general management, commercial, merchandising and business development roles with Cargill's Trade and Structured Finance, Sugar, Corn Milling and Cocoa & Chocolate businesses. His roles included assignments in the United States, Singapore and Mexico.
Published in Corporate News
Harvest and Prosper is a program supported jointly by the Prince Edward Island government and provincial industry groups, that helps to meet the agriculture sector’s workforce demands during its busy harvest season. It has opportunities for up to 50 newcomers and social assistance and disability support clients, and also coaches and mentors participants to overcome future barriers to employment.

“There are great jobs available in farming, with the sector employing over 3,800 people in peak periods,” says Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Alan McIsaac. “With seven agricultural operations participating, Harvest and Prosper fills a real need for farmers during this busy season.” READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
Ceres Global Ag Corp. announced that Chief Financial Officer Mark Kucala has stepped down from his position but will stay on with the company as treasury, risk and process improvement manager. Replacing Mr. Kucala as CFO is Kyle Egbert who previously served as Ceres' vice president finance.

"For nearly a decade, Mark has been a stalwart supporter of our business," said Robert Day, Ceres' President and Chief Executive Officer. "Throughout his tenure, he has helped Ceres navigate through many changes and significant growth, including the development of our Northgate infrastructure, reaching more than 110 million bushels handled and doubling of revenues. Going forward, Mark will continue to provide leadership and support in the areas he is most passionate about; treasury and banking relationships, risk processes and procedures, and operations systems and reporting."

Mr. Day continued, "Replacing Mark as CFO is Kyle Egbert who recently joined the company as vice president finance. Kyle has deep knowledge of our industry through previous positions held with Royal Dutch Shell in commodity trading, along with a depth of experience in financial reporting, valuation and controls and compliance. Kyle will assume responsibility for helping guide Ceres into the future and we wholeheartedly welcome him to the senior management team."

The appointment of Mr. Egbert to the role of chief financial officer for Ceres was effective October 1, 2017.
Published in Corporate News
It’s a good time to be entering Ontario’s agriculture and food industry because there are jobs galore.

In fact, there are currently four jobs for every graduate of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), according to a new report.

“It’s a sector that has to grow no matter what, because people have to eat,” said OAC dean Rene Van Acker. “But it’s also a sector that has a chronic challenge in attracting people.”

Commissioned by OAC, the employment study titled Planning for Tomorrow 2.0 reveals that the agriculture and food industry is thriving but there aren’t enough qualified people to fill all the jobs.

Based on a survey of 123 Ontario employers in the sector, the report provides a snapshot of hiring trends and demands in agriculture and food. The new survey updates a report from five years earlier that found there were three jobs for every graduate of an OAC undergraduate program.

As a national and international leader in agriculture and food, U of G provides a majority of the graduates for this sector in the province, said Van Acker.

He said OAC wanted to update its survey to accurately gauge job demand and see where to focus recruitment efforts and enhance programs.

“It’s great news for students entering and coming out of the programs because of the tremendous demand for their skills and the many opportunities for them. On the other side, it remains a challenge for us at the University to help the sector find the people they need to grow.”

Not only did the report reveal an increase from three to four jobs available for every graduate, but it also found employers predicting even more jobs over the next five years.

With job availability on the rise, OAC is putting more aggressive strategies in place to meet demand. Enrollment in OAC’s programs has grown each year over the past seven years, but not fast enough, said Van Acker.

“We have work to do among potential students to let them know that this sector has great career opportunities, and that employers are looking specifically for people coming out of our programs.”

The college is pursuing new initiatives to inform students about growth prospects in the high-tech food and agriculture sector, said Van Acker.

“You don’t have to grow up on a farm to work in agriculture. There are all sorts of careers in the sector, and with many of them you can work in urban centres and live an urban lifestyle.”

Ippolito Group, one of North America’s leading produce companies based in Burlington, Ont., is exploring automated food processing approaches that require significant technical expertise, said Robert March, chief operating officer.

“We recently utilized U of G people for a project that involved incorporating cutting-edge technology into our production line, and we will be looking to U of G graduates for future projects as well,” said March. “U of G is where we will be sourcing our brainpower.”

Food processors and growers, input suppliers, financial institutions and government agencies were among those surveyed in the report funded by the OAC Dean’s Office, OAC Alumni Foundation, Farm Credit Canada and RBC Royal Bank.

In an effort to promote and grow its programs, OAC plans to strengthen liaison efforts with schools and connect with food companies to create programs geared to the industry, said Van Acker.

“We are so excited about this sector because we know it and understand it. We want to transplant that excitement into young people who are looking for opportunities because there is so much opportunity here.”

Among the survey’s specific findings:
  • 44 per cent of food employers and 56 per cent of agriculture employers project a general increase in the average number of new hires over the next five years.
  • 77 per cent of food employers and 79 per cent of agriculture employers state a preference for formal training in food and agriculture graduates.
  • 50 per cent of food employers and 57 per cent of agriculture employers state that more than half of their employees require or have post-secondary education.
  • 51 per cent of food employers and 67 per cent of agriculture employers report difficulties in finding recruits.
More details on the findings can be found on the OAC website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/oac/about/planning-tomorrow-20
Published in Corporate News
SG Ceresco (Ceresco), a Canadian leader in soybean processing, is being sold to Quebec interests. The company is owned by co-founders Thierry Gripon and Mireille Raymond, and the closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Purchasers Transit BD and Alain Létourneau Holdings will continue the company’s export sales activities in food grade soybeans, as well selling non-GMO soybean seeds to Canadian farmers. Thierry Gripon will remain as leader of the international soybean sales team and Mireille Raymond will be responsible for operational management until a new General Manager is in place.

"We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with the founders of the company. Ceresco has a significant international development potential and we are very enthusiastic about further developing this Quebec jewel," says Transit BD shareholder Pierre Dagenais.

"Ceresco possesses an excellent customer base of soybean producers with whom we can build the future. We are particularly pleased to continue the work of the founders who have built this fine company over the last 30 years," adds Alain Létourneau.

Ceresco’s Thierry Gripon states: "We are convinced that the new group of shareholders will be successful in carrying out projects and the future destiny of the company. We have put in place a strong management team that will support the new owners. We are particularly proud to have built this beautiful company with our employees, soybean producers and international customers. We both pass on, Mireille and I, a wonderful project that we have successfully completed."
Published in Corporate News
In response to the Federal Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Agricultural Ministers' commitment to a comprehensive review of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs over the coming year, several agricultural organizations have formalized their structure and plans as the AgGrowth Coalition. The Coalition has committed to advocacy efforts and policy research to position industry as a trusted, authoritative partner in this critical review process.

At a recent meeting in Toronto the Coalition discussed and agreed to a strategy for the path forward in ensuring meaningful participation of industry in the BRM review. Members committed time and resources to guarantee that agriculture has a significant voice in shaping the next generation of farming policy and programs.

To that end, the AgGrowth Coalition is pleased to announce the coalition's Chair, Mark Brock and Vice Chair, Jeff Nielsen. Mark Brock is Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario and an active corn, soybean, and wheat farmer. Jeff Nielsen is President of Grain Growers of Canada and grows canola, wheat and barley in Central Alberta.

Additionally, the AgGrowth Coalition is undertaking an independent research and policy process – it is the expectation that this will be done in partnership with FPT governments.

"Modern farming is a smart global business supporting strong communities across the country with sustainable practices. It's time to modernize our agriculture programs, reflect the risks that are part of this reality and support the opportunities in front of us," says Mark Brock, Chair of AgGrowth. "This is a rare opportunity to improve agriculture policy and programs to enhance the economic, environmental, and social contributions of farming in Canada."

In cooperation with the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and the Canadian Pork Council, AgGrowth is committed to undertake research and policy development to actively support the BRM review process.

"The AgGrowth coalition has created an industry business risk management committee to conduct research and analysis, develop policy positions and ultimately present options for improvement from a farmer perspective," said vice-Chair Jeff Nielsen. "We would like to do this in partnership with government."
Published in Corporate News
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) recently held an AgriWorkforce Roundtable to discuss challenges and possible solutions to address the critical agricultural labour shortage in Canada.
Published in Business Management
Canadians now have access to a new level of personal emergency assistance and peace of mind, backed by an organization known for its expertise in finding and caring for critically ill and injured patients.
Published in Corporate News
Choosing a successor is no easy task. While various family members may have ideas about who’s entitled to inherit the farm, the current owners may have very different ideas about who has the skills to keep the farm going in the long run. 

Throw blended families and in-laws into the mix and the question of succession may not have any clear-cut answers. And, in some instances, the best successor may come from outside the family. How does one decide? | READ MORE

Published in Corporate News
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