Hort Morsels - Bits and Pieces - Hort Snacks - December 2016

 
  Hort Snacks - December 2016
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 Featured Websites | Mental Snacktime | Q and A | Some Random Nuggets

Featured Websites

The Owl – Focused on Alberta’s Economy
(A daily piece by ATB Financial experts)
The OWL

The Real Dirt on Farming
(Answering your questions about farming in Canada)
http://www.realdirtonfarming.ca/

Mental Snacktime – Rest and Recuperation

“The most important thing about recovery is to pass the message on.” – Maurice Gibb

“Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.” – Sharon Salzberg

“Art is recuperation from time. I lie back convalescing upon the prospect of a harvest already at hand.” – R. S. Thomas

“The object of convalescence ought to be to turn our attention to life: at other times, simply to our tasks!” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs. There is in every living creature an obscure but powerful impulse to active functioning. Life demands to be lived. Inaction, save as a measure of recuperation between bursts of activity, is painful and dangerous to the healthy organism- in fact, it is almost impossible. Only the dying can be really idle.” – H. L. Mencken

Q and A

Q: Do you have a restful or recuperative activity that you rely on each year to recharge your batteries?
A: Not really.
A: I wish... Looking for ideas.
A: My year goes into Jan/Feb with vegetable sales then I begin work for AB AG for 2 months while starting the greenhouse. At best I get to sleep in more often and be at home in my office. Otherwise there is no downtime/holidays for this horticulturist.

Next Month’s ? It’s a new year! What are you planning that is going to make this one different than previous ones?

Some Random Nuggets from Alberta fall Horticulture meetings

Over the past few weeks, I’ve attended a couple of different meetings around Alberta, where I took in a few speakers that shared some good information. Here are some things that I picked up.

Lynn Switanowski – Creative Business Consulting Group (www.cbc-group.net)

Lynn spoke on things that customers are using social media for that business owners need to know, so that they might better and more effectively reach them.

  • You need to tell a story every day – this allows you to engage your customers
    • Create compelling content
  • Figure out who your customers are and how they like to communicate with you
  • Consumers will look on the internet for information on the products that you sell, before contacting you – be the expert (or appear that way)
    • Are you reachable? Is your website mobile optimized?
  • Customers use their mobile devices throughout the entire shopping experience
  • Social media advertising is cheaper in terms of dollars but takes time
  • It is important to engage with your customers throughout the day
    • Weekends are the busiest social media days
Peter Chapman - Getting More Potatoes in the Shopping Cart

Peter drew upon his many years of experience to list a number of retail realities and current retail trends that growers can learn from.
Realities:
  1. Retailers are in the business of filling shopping carts but they don’t care what is in there
  2. Retail landscape continues to change or evolve – from traditional chains to large or specialty
  3. We build big beautiful stores in Canada – the average store carries 35000 SKUs; the average household buys 260/year
  4. Products must be relevant
  5. Retailers think that prices are too high and that producers are using inflation to drive up prices – there are some levels of mistrust
Trends:
  • Bricks and mortar vs on-line
  • Discounting
  • Loyalty programs
  • Control label (retailer brand names)
  • Consumers are using mobile phones, are concerned about health and wellness, convenience, being informed and local
  • Markets and consumers are changing
  • Consumers have been trained to search for value
Cherilyn Nagel – Advocacy in Agriculture – Engage in the Conversation

Cherilyn went from being a dance instructor in the tropics to being a pulse farmer, wife and agricultural advocate. She passionately spoke on the importance of speaking up to gain back the trust that has been lost (due mostly to saying nothing to consumers).With most Canadians 2 generations or more removed from the farm, it is critical to acknowledge the legacy that comes from agriculture and share our passion for agriculture with those around us. There is a dichotomy between Modern Agriculture and the Age of Information, where people are going on-line for information, to a range of sources. One of the key take-home messages that Cherilyn shared was that farmers need to be available in the places where consumers are looking for information.

Jon Montgomery – Building Self-Efficacy Value (SEV)

Jon spoke eloquently about the importance that attitude plays in accomplishing what we set out for.
  • Celebrate small victories in new things to prevent from becoming overwhelmed
  • We must recognize that we have absolute control over nothing else in life but the attitude that we choose to have every day.
  • We can’t control outcomes but we can control how we feel about them by what we invest and the attitude we choose to carry.
  • By watching others doing what you want to do, it makes your goals feel more accessible. Give some legs to your dreams and be inspired by those around you!
  • It’s impossible to not get better yourself while helping others achieve their potential.
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on November 30, 2016.