Growing minds and hearts, one producer at a time

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Invitations seeded through the western Canadian wheat commissions resulted in 89 producers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba attending the popular Combine to Customer programs at Cigi during January, February and March of this year.

The Combine to Customer program, or “C to C” (as it is called by program alumni and Cigi staff), has become a much talked about experience among the new era of Canadian farmers. The program covers key aspects of Canada’s agriculture value chain that touch farmers from farm to port. It is an open and transparent forum for sharing and discussing domestic issues like rail transportation to global market trends and customer needs.

But it’s not just the presentations from industry and Cigi representatives that feed minds during this two and one-half day program. It’s the community and camaraderie that grows from this shared experience. From industry partners and presenters, to Cigi’s technical staff and behind the scenes support, there is a synergy that emerges from these different elements. A “eureka” moment, when a farmer sees firsthand the opportunities and challenges facing the wheat they grow when it leaves the field – from end-use customer quality requirements, to rising global competition. There arises a sense of Canadian pride that comes with the reality and responsibility of growing the best wheat in the world.

Here’s a collection of participant tweets capturing the Combine to Customer experience this year. If you are a Canadian farmer interested in attending a C to C program in 2019, please contact your wheat commission in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta.

Plus, check out Grainews field editor, Lisa Guenther’s article on her experience with the Combine to Customer program as well as her podcast to find out what customers want in Canadian wheat.