Category Archives: Poultry Farming

Who owns your market? #NuffieldAg #AustralianHumour

It has been a long day, I’ve spent several hours driving to Toronto and back, productive meetings, turkey barns checked and time well spent with the family, but after too many social media feeds about Mr. Trump or Mr. Bernier, I needed some humour… and asked myself a recurring question, Who owns my market?

Check out Meat and Livestock Australia’s version of owing their market, lamb!  This award winning commercial is clever and touches on food as a uniting factor across cultures, with a twist of Aussie humour… take a look as they seek to ‘own Australia Day’.

In following with my quest of meeting consumer driven needs in the market place, a question around the use of dollars that are invested in marketing and communication, particularly in our supply managed boards is an important factor, what value do we have in promoting our products and how should the dollars be spent? Particularly with generic marketing where it is about informing, educating and ensuring product awareness is prevalent.

As a turkey farmer, I am envious to my dairy peers in the dollars allocated to budgets at a national level, but at the same time, what is the message, the purpose and does it make a difference?  With a niche (and preferably not so niche) protein like Turkey, perhaps we don’t have a vision, or we have lost sight of the goal.  Are we simply a festive protein with duality year round? Or have we even given up this festive space to other meats?  Do we even have an identity?

In meeting with the marketing representative at Woolworth Grocery Retailer in Sydney last month, he recommended I look at the humorous pork advertisements that helped stabilize consumption in the country.  I know most certainly that marketing is much more about product, price, positioning etc., but the funny side of cultural advertisements, at least makes you think about ‘putting pork on your fork’.  I realize its the lighter of side of marketing, and to be fair, I am not sure all Canadians would see the same humour, but seeing how our food is marketed elsewhere is at least worth a watch.

So again, Who owns your market?  I sure hope the answer is that we do, the socially organized, market responsive industry that ultimately meets consumer needs with availability, fair pricing and a knowledge that local farmers are a part of responsibly and competitively growing this food for you!

 

Is a Nuffield Canada Scholarship right for you? The deadline is April 30th! @NuffieldCanada #NuffieldAg

Okay, so truth be known, I applied for my 2016 Nuffield Scholarship on April 30th. Yes, I left it to the last minute to hit send, but it was after two years of following previous scholars on social media, quietly talking to those in my own network, past Canadian scholars and industry mentors, as well as the contemplation that Kathryn and I mulled over.

Is a Nuffield Scholarship right for you? More importantly are you ready for a Nuffield journey?

Here are a few factors to consider?

Is the timing right in your life? (my friends and family are doing a major eye role as they read this, wife, three kids, farm, career?) but what many don’t understand is that I was compelled to think it was okay. It’s a very personal question, but think about this; your Nuffield starts in early 2018 and goes for up to 18 months. As such, think about your life out for nearly 2.5 years from today! Just think about it! Do you have a minimum of 10 weeks, or in many cases 14+ weeks to invest in yourself and the agriculture industry outside of your farm or agriculture based career?

Do you have a meaningful topic? If you are about to invest time and money, are you passionate about your subject matter? Your passion needs to persevere through the interview process, but motivate you to dig deeper and ask the hard questions, at the same time as people questioning your motives. Take my topic for example, examining our supply managed commodities to free market thinkers in the Southern Hemisphere. Or convincing the majority of the world that turkey is a great protein to consume!

Are you resourceful? The easy question is bringing cash to the table. In truth, the Scholarship provides a ticket to the world, but my goal was to maximize the experience which consequently did the same for my budget, with zero regret I might add! The reality is that it costs money to travel and for me, I chose the Global Focus Program which took nearly 7 weeks alone. In addition to travel, it was also about additional farm labour and child care for my family and ensuring the balance of life remains intact.

Are you in a positive space; mind and body, to step up and be a leader within your area of expertise and shoulder responsibility for the extended task at hand? It is exciting ‘winning the award’, but planning and coordination are key to long term success. I can’t even say that I am the expert as I haven’t finished my travel, let alone the report. However, I can attest to the time and challenges which are dedicated to executing a very independent project.

Lastly, are you ready for a journey filled with once in a lifetime experiences, meeting new people and developing new friends, being challenged and challenging others on their agricultural beliefs, and allowing your mind to be opened?  If so than it is not too late to hit SEND!

If you are still curious, check out http://www.Nuffield.ca, http://www.clairdoan.com or follow along @clairdoan

 

Sights, sounds & observations of a Nuffield Scholar on tour in Australia #NuffieldAg #NotEnoughTime

I was fortunate to spend a short week and a half in Australia on the final leg of my Nuffield Canada Scholarship.  Filled with gracious hosts, familiar faces and new industry contacts, my time did not disappoint.  For those that would rather watch versus read my adventures, than this short video is for you!