By Mike Ammeter, Director, Alberta Canola
For me, one of the highlights of any convention or conference is meeting new people and, of course, being able to engage in conversation with them.
Many examples of this happened recently when I attended the Canola Council of Canada Convention in Winnipeg. Since the Canola Council is comprised of members representing the entire canola value chain — growers, seed developers, processors and exporters of canola and its products, there was a great diversity of valuable conversations to be had.
The growers are the foundation of the value chain, so it is critical that the directors that represent the growers are part of the discussions that continue to move canola forward.
One of my best examples was meeting Garth Hodges, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development from Bayer. The opportunity to hear a bit of his story as well as engage in an agreeable conversation around the sustainability of the canola industry was valuable.
I also got to meet Brian Williams, famed Canadian sportscaster, after his keynote presentation. Of all his comments in his inspirational speech, the one that hit home with me was his comment on how we view our friends and neighbors: the USA. He was quite adamant in his view that they are good neighbors and we are very fortunate to have them as friends. This struck a chord with me that compelled me to introduce myself and thank him for his comments. Upon meeting, I pointed out the lapel pin I was wearing at the time being a Canada/US flag since I believe our relations especially in agriculture are important.
Having attended many agricultural conventions over the years, this event allowed me to reconnect with people I’ve known and worked with previously but also afforded me the opportunity to meet people that I know who I am familiar with but have never met in real life such as the Canola Council of Canada’s Agronomy Director, Clint Jurke, and Curtis Rempel, the Vice President of Crop Production and Innovation.
Specific to the content of the event, I enjoyed the panel discussions best of all. These were very well done with knowledgeable panelists and exceptional moderators. The gala at the Museum of Human Rights was a great opportunity to explore some Canadian and international culture while enjoying the company of the attendees.
I commend the Canola Council for putting on a valuable event for all in attendance where we had ample opportunity to learn both from top-notch speakers, but also each other.
A $26 billion contribution to the economy is no small matter, it is nice to celebrate and work together to grow our contribution even further.
This was the 50th annual convention for the Canola Council of Canada, and as part of their celebration they have launched the canolahistory.ca website, that features an interactive timeline of the history canola and some great videos featuring the people that helped make canola as good as gold in Canada.
Alberta Canola Connects is your window into the activities of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission as we work both locally and globally to make Alberta canola producers more profitable.