January 24, 2024 – Ottawa, ON – Farm Management Canada held its annual Agricultural Excellence (AgEx) Conference in Guelph, Ontario welcoming farm management enthusiasts from across Canada to gather, learn and exchange knowledge and insights!

AgEx is the only national event in Canada that serves as an interactive platform for farmers, advisors, academia, organizations, private industry, and government officials to connect and collectively pave the way for farm management excellence across Canada. This year’s Conference theme, Embrace the Opportunity, provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss social, economic, and environmental impacts on farms and explore the management practices that foster success in any business environment.

The agenda provided a diverse learning experience for participants, covering a multitude of farm business management topics. Delegates heard from over 60 speakers through a variety of learning formats including a tour of the Dairy Research Centre, Elora Brewing Company, and the Ontario Beef Research Centre, keynote presentations including Dave Mitchell of The Leadership Difference and Elaine Froese, Canada’s farm family whisperer, Eric Olson of MNP, Sangeeta Lalli of Telus Agriculture, Ed Broschinski of Cargill Marketsense, and Viktoria Schuler of the Canadian Agricultural HR Council, panel discussions focused on Meeting the Needs of Farm Women and A New Era for Business Risk Management Programming along with RealAg Radio Live, concurrent workshops including Risk Management in a High Interest Rate Environment, Growing Your Potential as an Effective Farm Leader, and How University of Guelph Students are Applying their Skills in the Real World, and the National Farm Business Management Resource Showcase. Delegates could also access our 8 coaches on call to support their learning journey.

AgEx also welcomed the Honourable Senator Rob Black, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson and Daniel Secord of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

All of the plenary and panel discussion sessions are available to view on our YouTube channel.

Here are a few key takeaways from Conference delegates:

It is important to make time for strategic thinking, to step back from the daily rut.”

“Change is slow, we need to keep going.”

“Start thinking about the goals for each major event or decision; stop making automatic decisions or decisions out of guilt.”

During the annual Agricultural Excellence Banquet, Alberta’s Steve Funk was recognized for his contribution to farm management excellence with the prestigious Wilson Loree Award.

Steve retired earlier this year as Director of MNP’s Agriculture Risk Management Resources where he helped producers and industry understand AgriStability and other business risk management (BRM) programs. Steve oversaw the Firm’s provision of AgriStability, AgriInvest, Ag Risk Management Projector™ and other risk management services, where he was instrumental in service design, development, implementation, training and monitoring of service delivery systems and processes.

Steve has been a leading authority on AgriStability and other BRM programs in Canada. Over the last 27 years of Steve’s career, he dedicated himself to helping government shape the current BRM framework. Steve has also educated hundreds of people across Canada on business risk management to create awareness and further educate the industry on BRM helping make a positive influence on many policy decisions related to BRM.

More recently, Steve has been a strong supporter of financial fluency in Canadian agriculture. He has drawn a key correlation between a farmer’s level of financial fluency and their ability to understand risk management and support farmer mental health through risk management planning.

Join Farm Management Canada in Abbotsford-Chilliwack, British Columbia for AgEx 2024 | November 19-21, 2024