Growers in BC need to be willing to challenge conventional thinking and practices if they want to take farming to the next level.
That’s the message Farm Credit Canada industry relations director Marty Seymour delivered at the Agriculture Excellence conference Farm Management Canada hosted December 8-10.
Two of the easiest ways the sector can do this is by making youth directors of the family business, drawing on their insights and training to move the operation forward. The other is to assemble boards of directors from other sectors, both inside and outside the agriculture industry, and learn from their experiences.
Seymour says the industry also needs to develop a national vision, focusing on strengths such as protein production and developing strategies around automation.
He says the industry united to address issues related to foreign workers and COIVD-19. It needs to apply those same skills to other areas related to labour and production.
However, labour isn’t the only challenge farms across the country face.
The pandemic edged out climate change as a global emergency last year but Ottawa’s plans to boost the federal carbon tax to $170 per tonne by 2030 is also poised to be a significant challenge.
Seymour says farmers must be ready to tell their story.
“We need to adopt language of continual improvement,” he says. “We need to talk more about how we’re continually working to improve sustainability and let people know that ag is part of the solution to climate change.”
Being part of the solution rather than looking to government for help will also show leadership and responsibility, something Seymour says people increasingly want to see.