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2020 Young Farmers' Leadership Summit


Our 2020 Leadership Summit took place as a virtual online event 'Summit Series'. There were three sessions - one on November 10, another November 17, and the final session November 24.

There was a different theme for every date, with Succession Planning on November 10;  Entrepreneurship and Innovation on November 17; and Marketing on November 24. 























































































Elaine Froese





Elaine Froese (pronounced phrase) is a professional speaker, writer, and coach who specializes in helping farm families work through issues surrounding succession, business or that family favorite – communication.

When it comes to succession issues and "who gets the farm" – many families just don’t want to talk about it. It is time for practical tools for courageous conversations.

As a professional farm family coach, Elaine specializes in helping families work through the tough issues to take action. She creates a safe place for families to meet, plan for change and clarify expectations.

As a farm partner in Froese Family Farms near Boissevain in southwestern Manitoba, Elaine needs to get her documents organized just like you do. Her husband and son are hard to wrangle down for family meetings.

As a new mother-in-law, Elaine is finding ways to encourage all voices to be heard at the planning table. She launched her new book "Farming’s In Law Factor" in 2014. Her other books are "Planting the Seed of Hope" and "Do the Tough Things Right."

Studies show that farm families who talk regularly are 21% more profitable. Elaine not only assists families to meet and to talk – but to act! The cost of not acting is huge, your business’s legacy depends on your determination to get things done.

Recently, Faith Today magazine dubbed Elaine "Canada’s Farm Whisperer", an interesting title for someone who has coached families across Canada for the past 10 years and sat at kitchen tables for over 35 years. She’s been a columnist in Grainews for 20 years. Elaine is a member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers with the CSP, certified speaking professional designation. Many folks tell Elaine that they "wish they had met her ten years ago."

A professional business coach, with certification from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, Elaine has years of experience in conflict resolution and mediation, as well as a degree in Home Economics.

Check out a recorded version of Elaine's presentation:


Event Speakers: 

Graham Sherman

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Owner, Tool Shed Brewing Company


Graham Sherman and his business partner, Jeff Orr, are two “high level geeks” who met in Afghanistan in 2007. At that time they were working on contracts for the Canadian and US government and military, installing encrypted, tactical communication networks.


By day, they rolled around the war zone in armoured vehicles, geeking out in the world of satellite communications. By night, they aimed their obsessive, high level geekery at mastering coffee, competitive BBQ, controlling their respective homes back in Calgary with their iPhones….and finally, with mastering the craft of brewing artisan beer.


Now, only four years after the very first batched brewed in Graham’s backyard, Tool Shed Brewing Company has a new 15,000 square foot home in Calgary with beers being sold in over 1000 locations across Western Canada, and has been nominated as Canadian Entrepreneur of the year. The team were also named as co-winners of the “40 Under 40” recognition from Avenue magazine.


Graham and Jeff’s meteoric rise in the beer industry is due to a level of authentic, infectious passion rarely witnessed in any industry combined with an incredibly unique approach to the social media world we live in.


The moment you hear their story you understand that simply drinking a Tool Shed beer represents an appreciation of the grassroots struggle of quitting your job and going after your dreams AT ALL COSTS!

Check out Graham's presentation from November 17:


Vanessa Daether

Vanessa is a wiz at research, specializing in food security and agricultural market research. She works with Farm Food Drink ­– Business Advisory Team to develop key market research plans that illuminate market trends, identify buying behaviours, key competitors and target markets. With a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, while working on her doctorate, Vanessa’s research supports the growth and viability of small to medium-sized farm and food enterprises, as well as the development of local and regional food systems.  Her work is instrumental in developing strategies that are relevant and effective.

Check out Vanessa's presentation from November 24:

Young Farmers' Update from Coordinator

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