Why? The re-occurring question…. Well, this is my attempt at answering with what I know now..
I am invested; that is the over-riding reason why I applied to be a 2016 Nuffield Canada Scholar. It is about my family, our business, my family’s businesses, my clients businesses and our Canadian industry and all of the people linked through rural communities and the supplier community; I am invested on many fronts in supply management.
As the application deadline loomed in April 2015, so too did the impending trade talks which would potentially affect our supply managed commodities; with that in mind I applied by asking the bigger questions of ‘what if’. Although that short term question of instability created by global trade pressure may have appeared to pass for the time being, the bigger question of how supply management continues to evolve in Canada is top of mind. As such, I have refined my thoughts:
“Evaluating poultry markets to ensure Canada’s supply management system is efficient & innovative.”
Given the recent trade announcements and apparent stability, now is the time to ensure our systems are remaining relevant, efficient and ultimately meeting the needs of all members in the value chain from the farmer to the consumer.
As other geo political pressures mount, be it the need to feed the 9 Billion people by 2050 or the aggressive export plans for my fellow pork and beef producer to market into Asia, I think it is very relevant to ask the questions ensuring our system that is nearly 50 years old remains relevant for the next generation of farmers with ever so increasing consumer demands.
The goals over the next 18 months include extensive travel plans through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America; asking the questions about market organization, the role orderly markets and farmer/processor/consumer relationship are evolving and the affect it has back on the farm. Through open communication, looking outside the daily lens of Canadian agriculture; my goal is to shed light on how our system can continue to meet the needs of the Canadian market.
The Nuffield program was introduced to me a few years ago by local farmers and friends; having followed the program with interest, I was amazed to see the progress individuals made in their own lives but also in their local peer group around them by giving back their gifts through speaking, coaching and encouraging leadership in Canadian agriculture.
So as I embark on this journey, I go as ‘Clair Doan – Nuffield Scholar’ I still have in my head these questions – Why apply, why now, why not wait, why would you do this?
In life there is no perfect time to do anything; however it is through the support of my wife Kathryn, my children; whom seem too young to comprehend, my employer, my family and friends; I am eternally grateful.