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Scouring the fields: About 300 roguers who work in teams of 14–25 are hired every summer to weed canola crops in southern Alberta. The program has a 40% retention rate — many are repeat roguers from previous years.

Growing people & partnerships

For almost 20 years, young people in southern Alberta have been hired for canola roguing — walking through fields of purebred canola to pull out specific weeds and volunteer canola plants. These weeds contaminate high value seeds used to produce new seed varieties that farmers purchase for growing crops. The initiative is a partnership between several parent seed companies and Select People Solutions, an HR staffing company based out of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Roguing takes place every summer for a 4–8 week period from mid-June to late July or early August when canola is in bloom. …


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Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Make a difference one conversation at time

Let’s be honest. It can be frustrating to hear misleading stories about food production. Consumers see sensationalized headlines about food production and may not have all the necessary facts to make informed food choices.

Can you blame them? We’re all leading busy lives. It can be difficult to isolate facts in an atmosphere of emotion and noise. Sometimes, there can be a temptation to respond with a witty or snarky comment. But how does that response build trust in our food system?

Think about your biggest concern for your family’s health or well-being. Imagine if your concerns were simply dismissed. …


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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Before you take the stage in front of an audience, give these seven simple tips and tricks a read and some thought.

  1. Tailor your message. Find out who your audience is so you can tailor your message and tone to best resonate with them.
  2. Personalize your story. Even though you’ve been provided with a template presentation, make sure to make it your own by weaving in your own connection and feelings about agriculture. You know your story best, so trust yourself and tell your story with passion.
  3. Use key words and images that you identify with. When customizing the PowerPoint presentation, make sure it resonates with you and you understand all the language you’re using. The slide images and messages should act as cues as to what you’re going to say for each slide — this way you don’t have to memorize your presentation. …

Everyone in agriculture can affect how both conscious and unconscious perceptions of our industry are formed.

Perception can be defined as a way of understanding or interpreting something. It’s how we make sense of the world. Our perception is our reality. Perceptions turn into opinions, which then turn into action.

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Photo by Evi T. on Unsplash

Perceptions are formed quickly and constantly. Some are consciously formed through experience, while others are unconscious mental shortcuts to help us deal with the volume of decisions we need to make all the time. Every day, we group people based on shared characteristics, including age, gender and occupation. …


The term “agvocate” means different things to different people. For us it’s a term to quickly encapsulate all of the positive intents of people actively speaking up for the agriculture industry; a simple way to build a community of like-minded, passionate people.

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Our choice to embrace using the term was the result of many conversations among our team here and we love it. To us, an agvocate:

  • uses facts and personal experiences to dispel myths and misperceptions about the ag industry;
  • acknowledges the challenges in ag, but focuses on the positive side of the industry;
  • wears their passion for ag on their sleeve and looks for ways to share it with the…

All of a sudden you find yourself in a conversation about farming with someone who’s not a farmer — perhaps at a party or a community event. Will you be prepared?

Your approach matters! Having some strategies on hand to have a meaningful discussion will make a big difference. Think of it as getting to know one of your customers.

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Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Go in with a positive attitude. Most people like farmers and won’t disagree with how you farm. Research shows that, in general, consumers believe that farmers are credible sources of information. …

About

Canadian agriculture’s biggest fan. Speak up, speak positively and use #AgMoreThanEver when you do.

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