Need an excuse to take a trip to a warmer place this winter? Can it be justified as a field trip for the farm?
Cold temperatures might be a good enough reason to head south, and maybe it’s easy for him to say because he’s newly retired, but the former CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute says a farm business case can also be made for visiting countries that buy Canadian crops.
“There’s always room for people producing ingredients that will be used around the world to understand better how those ingredients are used,” says Earl Geddes in the video below. “I think if farmers fully appreciate how their crops are being used, they’re apt to being a little bit better, a little more savvy marketers and able to engage more deliberately with grain marketing companies.”
Whether that means visiting a flour mill in Mexico or a pasta plant in Italy, he says the experience will change how a farmer views the crops they produce.
“Take that one trip that isn’t just to a sun destination. Go to a country where you know your wheat is going and see how it’s being used. Go to see where your canola is being used, where your pulse crops are being used, and you’ll never stop going. It gives you a strong feeling of value for what you’re doing on your farm and a sense of ‘now I understand why.’”
Geddes discussed the importance of understanding what international customers want and the impact for Canadian farms at the Ag Excellence Conference in Winnipeg last week:
More from the Ag Excellence Conference:
- Reasons to Sell Land and Lease it Back — a Toronto Investment Fund Manager’s Pitch
- The Three C’s for Managing Conflict in Farm Families
- The Farmer’s Side of the Story — Letting Rick Mercer Drive Your Combine