Archive for July, 2013

Seeds for Success: Enhancing Canada’s Farming Enterprises

The Conference Board of Canada, 61 pages, June 2013

Report by Erin Butler, James Stuckey

The modern farming landscape is changing. This report considers the state of farming business in Canada, and how it can be improved to achieve greater economic and social value.

Document Highlights

Farming in Canada has deep roots and traditions, but the sector undergoes significant changes: the old ways of doing things are no longer guarantors of success. Seeds for Success: Enhancing Canada’s Farming Enterprises explores the modern realities of farming business, and how it can be bolstered to achieve even more of the economic and social value that consumers expect. The report reveals that Canada’s farming sector is increasingly dynamic, presenting new opportunities, as well as risks and challenges. Although farmers have long been skilled at managing the growth of crops and livestock, they must now also be increasingly skilled at managing their businesses. This report considers the farm management issues facing farming today.

More details and to download the report>>

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Guelph, ON, June 24, 2013: At its recent annual general meeting, the Agricultural Management Institute (AMI) elected a new board executive and outlined next steps for growing opportunities for Ontario’s farmers.

Following a two-year term as Vice-Chair, Brenda Lammens has been elected to Chair of AMI.

Ms. Lammens is an active member of the farm community and, with her husband, Raymond, has grown asparagus at SpearIt Farms in Norfolk County for more than 30 years. She is also Chair of the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council, and past Chair and current director of the Ontario Asparagus Growers Marketing Board.

“A great many opportunities exist for farmers. It’s time to recognize and take advantage of them,” says Ms. Lammens. “During my term as Chair I want to help farmers and farm organizations to grab those opportunities – whether it is processing, exporting, or on-farm marketing – so that they can be the very best. With the help of AMI, we can work co-operatively rather than in isolation, learning from one another to drive Ontario’s farm businesses forward.”

David Lee, a dairy farmer from the Otterville area was elected to the role of Vice-Chair. Gerald Renkema will remain on the AMI executive as Past Chair.

In addition to the election of new executive board members, attendees at the annual general meeting learned about AMI’s interim work plan in anticipation of Growing Forward 2 funding. The new work plan will see the inclusion of Ontario processors and farm business leadership to the AMI portfolio, as well as the development of new business tools.

“The leadership activities will start by defining what leadership means in farm operations and with on-farm teams,” said Ryan Koeslag, AMI’s Executive Director. “As a management institute, we want to help farmers to embrace leadership as a means to drive change on their farm and meet the goals of their business plan.”

The expansion of AMI’s mandate to include processors is significant. “Collaboration between farmers and processors is a relationship that has been overlooked in the past and one where AMI can contribute,” says Koeslag. “If we are able to assist processors with their management practices, it will ultimately help farmers to achieve their full potential.”

New business tools that are under development include an online business assessment tool, an e-Learning succession planning tool for processors, business leadership activities, and expansion of the business advisory groups for farmers in a range of commodities.

“These additions to AMI’s offerings are exciting steps forward for us and for the farm community, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. We will continue to offer business management events, speakers, and a host of online business management resources to farmers,” adds Koeslag. “Our upcoming conference in 2014 will bring together delegates from across the value chain to discuss the barriers, opportunities and collaborations that will redefine the marketplace.”


About AMI

The Agricultural Management Institute (AMI) promotes new ways of thinking about farm business management and aims to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business management practices by Ontario farmers. The AMI is funded by Growing Forward 2, a Federal-Provincial-Territorial initiative.

For more information contact Ryan Koeslag, Executive Director, AMI at 519-822-6618 or by email at ryan@takeanewapproach.ca  

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