Thought Leadership Blogs

New Grow Our People Summit billed as the “unconference” experience to connect people in agriculture and food

The partners in a new event-experience truly believe that by investing in people, we will elevate the whole agri-food sector for the future. The Grow Your People Summit will be hosted in-person in Niagara Falls from November 2-4, 2022.

People are at the heart of Canada’s food system and should be valued as the most important asset in any business. The new Grow Our People Summit was created specifically for people who work in agriculture and food to help them build business and leadership skills, while making new connections and having some fun along the way.

How is it an ‘unconference’ experience? 

The Grow Our People Summit is not a spectator sport. This ‘unconference’ experience will include galas, bus trips, and 12 skills-based workshop opportunities offered by leading non-profit partners. Leadership lessons with a little Disney magic will serve as the call to action in an inspiring keynote, “Be the hero in your own story” by Dr. Jeffrey Barnes.

Breaking through silos    

One of the Summit objectives is to take networking and connections to the next level – across typical sector divides. This starts fundamentally with Summit founding partners and sponsors and continues with every attendee. For example, attendees will choose who they would like to meet and discuss interesting topics with at the ‘Meet the Character’ Power Lunch.

To take it to the next level and maximize travel value, the Summit is built around the Best of CAMA agri-food marketing awards gala, the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony all happening the same week.

The goal is for all Summit attendees to leave with new skills, deeper networks, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm and connection with our agri-food sector. Register yourself, your teams, your customers, your leaders, and future leaders today. It’s always a great time to invest in people, including yourself!

Register and find out more today by visiting

Article provided by Crystal Mackay.

What makes a great Best of CAMA entry submission?

Over the past year, you’ve put everything you’ve got into creating the best campaigns, writing, ads, posts and creative for your company and clients. Now it’s your turn to shine at the Best of CAMA Gala Awards.

Here are our top tips to help make your category entry submissions stand out:

  1. Review the entry form. Each category entry form is made up of three sections and criteria for judging: planning & development, executive and results. The weighting varies depending on each category, so be sure to read the category entry form before entering your submission and make your entry form count!
  2. New judging rubrics for 2022. New this year, CAMA has updated and improved the judging rubrics. All categories have been grouped into three areas: strategic, creative and digital. Each of the three new sections of the entry form are weighted differently for each category, so be sure to review the new judging criteria rubric before completing your entry form.
  3. Make the entry form count. Best of CAMA brings out everyone’s BEST, including the amazing creative we all see at the Awards Gala, but remember judging is also based on your entry form and the three criteria categories: planning & development, executive and results. Amazing creative is only one piece of the entry, and if important information is missing from the entry form, you risk a lower score.
  4. Submit your best. We get it, filling out CAMA entry forms may not be your top priority, and sometimes it makes sense to assign the task to a junior or someone with a little more time to write the entries. But remember, your entry form is a reflection of yourself and your company, so make sure it meets your highest quality standards by proofing for completion and accuracy before submitting.
  5. Have fun. Best of CAMA is meant to be a celebration of our industry’s achievements. The categories are meant to get you thinking about all the work you’ve completed in the past year and to submit the work you’re most proud of for healthy competition. We can’t wait to see all your submissions and celebrate your successes with you at the Awards Gala.

Don’t miss the Best of CAMA award entry deadline: Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 5 PM EDT

A note to Best of CAMA judges. First, thank you to everyone who has volunteered to judge the 2022 Best of CAMA awards. Your time is valuable and we appreciate your commitment to our industry. Please remember, you may be required to judge work submitted by a competitor, we’re a relatively small industry after all. So, let’s keep it professional and remember to leave your biases at the door.

Good luck to all CAMA members as you complete your Best of CAMA 2022 entry forms. And we can’t wait to see you in person at the Best of CAMA Awards Gala November 3, 2022 in Niagara Falls, ON.

Submitted by Jeanine Moyer, Barn Door Communications

CAMA Mentorship Program – Why I Joined The Program

Not so long ago, my understanding of agriculture only extended as far as Ashton Kutcher and The Ranch.

I’ve worked as a marketing professional for years, but I recently moved to a company whose clients are primarily ag-based, and realised that I knew nothing about the market. Growers and ranchers inhabit such a niche space that I couldn’t even guess at their motivations. I joined the company in a performance role, and I was worried that I didn’t understand enough to offer valuable insights.

I signed up for the CAMA Mentorship program after a company-wide recommendation from our CEO. The intake survey was thorough, but not too long, and it obviously did the trick – I was paired with Tom, a mentor who helped me set an excellent foundation of understanding in ag marketing.  

My objective was to learn more about the market, and I wondered if it was too broad for the program, but the guidelines were a big help. Tom and I set out on our journey strategically, identifying specific goals and formulating strategies to attain them.

I enjoyed my regular catchups with Tom, who had a wealth of knowledge to share. I feel lucky – he is a former professor, and delivered information in a way that was relevant and engaging. Tom also reached out to his network to help me in any areas where he thought an additional level of expertise could help.

While ag is still a new space for me, I feel more confident in my knowledge of the market thanks to my mentorship with Tom. I understand what questions to ask, and where I can find the answers.

By: Emma, CAMA Mentorship Program Mentee

Introducing our new CAMA Alberta board members

Meet CAMA Alberta’s latest board members. CAMA board members plan in-person and online events and improve networking and communication between the agriculture industry and marketing.

Start Less, Stop More

Societies around the world have long viewed the start of a New Year as a time for transformation. A time to reflect on what is and what could be, and intentionally start living the latter. Unfortunately, statistics don’t paint a pretty picture for the success of these endeavours as a staggering 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail*.

While research suggests that this rate of failure is attributable to many factors, from setting unrealistic goals to having unrealistic expectations, one of the main issues I’ve seen with this practice is prioritization (or lack thereof). As someone who has been an avid Gym-goer for decades, I inevitably see the influx of new members every year in January, only to see these numbers dwindle to a select few by the time spring hits. And the biggest reason for this, based on the many conversations I’ve had, is time management. 

More specifically, most new members under-estimate the time commitment required to exercise frequently and simply tried to fit it into their existing schedules without giving anything up. And there’s the crux of the matter. Trying to do more without committing to less.

As agri-marketers, we fall into this trap all the time. Especially as new technologies, techniques and innovations permeate our world and demand time and budget that may already be spread too thin. Like the New Year’s resolutionists, we simply tack on more without taking a hard look at what we should be doing less.

While I’ve long since forgotten the book and author that the statement came from, I have always loved the concept of “for every new thing you do, try doing two less”. This extreme commitment to prioritization has shaped my efforts in both expected and unexpected ways and could do the same for you.

Firstly, by forcing yourself to commit to abandoning certain efforts every time you bring on a new one, you will become much more selective in determining which “new things” you can and should try. This will help force you out of the habit of trying things without proper due diligence on their feasibility and desired/expected impact.

Secondly, by having to commit to abandoning existing efforts when you want to bring on new ones, you will become much more diligent in the discipline of performance measurement. For example, if you do commit to stopping two existing efforts for every one new one you bring on, you’ll want to know which existing efforts are and aren’t performing as desired so that you don’t abandon something that’s working and/or keep something that isn’t.

And lastly, given both of the above, you may find as I have that you will become much better at saying no in general. That by taking a more critical and intentional approach to prioritizing your efforts, you will more naturally avoid unnecessary commitments and give up less of your time than you once did. As Steve Jobs once said “I’m actually as proud of the things I haven’t done as the things I have done. Focusing is about saying no.”.  

So, as you start a New Year of agri-marketing endeavours, I wish you the greatest success, and more importantly, hope that it comes through less time and less effort than it did last year.

David Lazarenko,
Partner/Group Account Director, Think Shift


CAMA’s new National Sustaining Partner Program adds AdFarm to list of supporters

AdFarm has been a member of CAMA’s Alberta chapter since its inception. Proud of their longstanding membership and supporter of the organization, AdFarm signed on to the National Sustaining Partner Program as soon as the new program was announced.

“As a company, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of a CAMA membership – from networking and personal skill development, to profiling our client work and even recruiting,” says Ben Graham, President, AdFarm. “And now we’ve signed on to help ensure the progression of CAMA, with a goal to increase the effectiveness of the organization, members and affiliated ndustry organizations.”

The only professional organization dedicated to the Canadian agri-marketing and food industry, CAMA is well known for its professional development opportunities, networking and leadership. The new National Sustaining Partner Program will help CAMA raise the bar on programs and activities to drive the industry.

“CAMA has an opportunity to truly be a leader in enhancing and progressing the quality of people, and subsequently the work in the ag and food communications field. There is a need in many provinces for leadership and career enhancement, and CAMA can fill that need,” says Graham.

A highlight for many members is the Best of CAMA. Graham believes such a unique event offer members the opportunity to view and gauge the quality of work within the industry. The annual event also offers members a platform to profile their work and network to build valuable relationships. “A membership in CAMA has endless opportunities, I know it has certainly been a benefit to AdFarm,” he says.

Glacier FarmMedia Partners with CAMA’s National Sustaining program

For as long as anyone can remember, Glacier FarmMedia has been involved in CAMA. From serving as board members of local chapters and at the national level, to hosting and attending events, the Glacier FarmMedia team is committed to the organization. And now, Glacier FarmMedia has signed on as a National Sustaining Partner to ensure CAMA can continue programming and industry leadership.

“Thank you to the CAMA national board members and Mary Thornley for inviting us to be a founding member. As Glacier FarmMedia continues to evolve to serve the needs of Canadian farmers, we’re honoured to be a partner and supporter of the important work you are doing for agri-marketing in Canada,” says Bob Willcox, President, Glacier FarmMedia.

AGI signs on to CAMA’s National Sustaining program

Professional development and sharing industry knowledge top the list of AGI’s reasons for joining CAMA in 2019. It didn’t take long for AGI to recognize the value CAMA offers to members and the agri-marketing industry, so, when CAMA announced the new National Sustaining Partner Program, AGI quickly signed on.

“This partnership is an opportunity for AGI to be part of the conversation about what modern ag marketing looks like,” says Michael Morreale, AGI’s Marketing Manager. “By participating and contributing to CAMA’s industry events we are able to demonstrate our leadership while learning from our peers.”

A Canadian-founded company, AGI holds CAMA memberships in Manitoba and Ontario chapters. “We believe culture is everything. With collaboration and curiosity as two of our core corporate values, we are always challenging ourselves to find new ways to support our employees and the sector as a whole,” says Morreale. And a partnership with CAMA aligns nicely with AGI’s values. As CAMA members, AGI demonstrates their corporate goals through their participation at professional development events, recently presenting a CAMA webinar about the customer experience journey through Covid-19 where the company shared how the pandemic had changed the way they conducted business.

Morreale notes networking opportunities with fellow Canadian agri-marketers, access to educational sessions and peer-education social events with industry representatives as some of the greatest benefits of a CAMA membership.

“We are a dynamic ag-focused company with deep roots in the Prairies, and we look forward to sharing and learning from each other through CAMA,” says Morreale.

RealAgriculture joins CAMA National Sustaining Partner lineup

Over the years, the RealAg team have immersed themselves in every CAMA opportunity, realizing the value and benefits of membership in such an industry-focused community of agri-marketers. So, when CAMA put out the call to join the new National Sustaining Partner program, it was an easy decision for RealAgriculture to sign on.