KIM MCCONNELL, C.M.
In 1984, Kim started the business in the basement of his house with $5,000 and the support of a great wife. In 2001 he merged his business with another like-minded firm to form AdFarm. And in 2007 after accomplishing much more than he ever imagined, he stepped down as CEO and today Kim likes to say that he “just plays”.
Over the years, Kim has led many national and international brand and marketing assignments for many respected companies including Farm Credit Canada, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, UFA, RBC Royal Bank, Agrium, Canadian Angus Association and Agriculture More Than Ever. In addition to numerous creative and marketing awards, under Kim’s leadership AdFarm was recognized for three years as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies” and by Canadian Business magazine as one of the “Best Places to Work in Canada”.
Kim obtained his B.Sc. in agriculture from the University of Manitoba in 1978 and completed the Executive Education Program at Harvard (1999). Kim also attended YEO University LA (1996), Boston (1997) and has completed numerous marketing, business and leadership courses. Raised on a mixed farm in Manitoba, Kim and his family live on an acreage south of Calgary. Kim is passionate about Canada, agriculture, food and the entrepreneurial spirit. Kim’s latest honour is being awarded the order of Canada for his advocacy for Agriculture and Youth.
Ben Graham is a country boy at heart. It comes by him honestly—his family has farmed the same Alberta land for over a century. For the past 15 years, Ben has been an AdFarmer, working with a veritable “who’s who” of Canadian and U.S. agribusinesses—Agrium, Alberta Beef Producers, Beef Booster, The Canola Council of Canada, Dow AgroSciences, and the list goes on. Ben is responsible for the direction of AdFarm’s operations and works closely with AdFarmers and AdFarm clients on a daily basis. Before joining AdFarm, Ben cut his teeth working for both the Saskatchewan and Alberta provincial governments in public relations. Ben’s the kind guy who gets out of the truck to open the gate. Best of all, he knows that shutting the gate is as important as opening it. Ben has shared his kindness and talents with a wide range of clients, leading them with strategic direction and implementation, and when he has a spare moment or two, he continues to help out on the family farm during key cycles of the growing season.
Deb has over 25 years of experience exceeding client expectations. Her knowledge of agriculture, communications and marketing are a valuable asset to AdFarm clients when “digging deeper” for insight, strategy and alignment with the agriculture sector. With over a decade as an AdFarm account manager, Deb has managed a wide range of clients including cattle breed associations, non-profits, crop protection companies and commodity associations to name a few. As an owner and operator of a mixed farm near Carstairs, Alberta, Deb’s passion for agriculture runs deep. Her work puts into practice the personal experiences she’s had using risk mitigation programs and services. And like any farmer in the community, she always has an immediate panel of fellow farmers on hand to consult with over a fresh cup of coffee.
Amanda provides leadership for the entire team, and is responsible for all agency-client briefings and ultimately the overall delivery of the project. Amanda makes certain that strategic advisors are brought in at the right time to provide valuable strategic advice and then moves the project ahead through to delivery.
Amanda joined AdFarm in 2004 and over the past 14 years has contributed to the success of a number of campaigns. As account manager, Amanda leads a high-performing team on a number of clients including Crop Production Services, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, JBS, CCI Wireless and the Canola Council of Canada.
Amanda’s background is in communications with degrees in both sociology and communications from the University of Saskatchewan and Simon Fraser University, respectively. Professionally, she has continued her education completing the CAAP program (Certified Advertising Agency Professional) in 2002, numerous webinars in advertising and agriculture (including AgCareers.com HR Roundtable in 2012) and was appointed to the 4-H Alberta Foundation board serving on both the scholarship and Centennial committees. She has committed to joining the CABEF board (Canadian Agri-business Education Foundation) in 2016 and looks forward to continuing to encourage opportunities in agriculture.
CHRIS FORREST, APR
Director, Public Relations
Chris holds his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and has more than 23 years of strategic communications experience in agriculture, energy and high-tech. He and his team of PR professionals help organizations craft and deliver well-timed, pitch-perfect messaging by employing the best in PR practices. In 2016, his team earned a record seven CAMA awards, including Best of Show PR, for their management of the SaskCanola social trust advocacy project, License to Farm. In 2017 the AdFarm PR team earned a CAMA award for managing Ag Month media relations on behalf of Sask Ag. Today, he works with key influencers in ag retail, commodity and crop associations, seed and CP companies. Chris never misses an opportunity to visit with farmers to hear stories of the past and discuss their vision for the future.
Director, Interactive Services
Amanda brings a rare combination of creative vision and business strategy to her role as AdFarm’s director of interactive services. With 14 years of marketing communication experience with a specialization in digital marketing, she is on the leading edge in responding to the shift in how consumers receive and respond to information. In short, she helps her clients deliver the right messages in the right channels at the right time.
Amanda believes that creating two-way, interactive dialogue between you and your critical audiences is more important than ever before. She recently spent five years as the account lead for the Bayer CropScience Canada account, specifically leveraging her digital expertise in steering their digital and CRM initiatives. She has also worked on the development of long-term vision and cross-brand initiatives for Best Buy USA, implemented digitally focused integrated campaigns for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and worked on multi-lingual site launches and local CMS implementations for Infiniti Global in its respective regional markets.
“Surrounding and defending our heroes. Who wouldn’t want to do that all day?”
At AdFarm, we are catalysts for the advancement of agriculture. Which is why we need Glenn looking down the road to the latest advancements in agriculture, agri-marketing, and the technology that pushes both to a higher level. Glenn’s role at AdFarm is to inspire the marketing through the unique combination of data and insights—the blend of information gathering and critical interpretation that we now call AgIntel by AdFarm. While data is research, science, analytics, facts and aggregate knowledge, insights are intuitive, surprising and often inspire action. Together, they show up in planning, input meetings, kickoffs, creative briefs, work orders, brainstorming sessions and more. So, look to Glenn as a strategic partner who can gather the data and then work hard to attach surprising, action-oriented insights—via AgIntel by AdFarm—that inspire the marketing that makes AdFarm unique.
Carolyn has enjoyed over 25 years of success in advertising and communications working with some of the most reputable companies and people in the industry. Her client list not only spans the agriculture spectrum, but also includes Western Union Insurance, ATB Financial and Chartered Management Accountants. After four years as a freelance creative director on our Nufarm Canada account and six years as an art director on the Bayer CropScience account, Carolyn returned to AdFarm full-time as our creative director. Growing up on a southern Alberta grain farm, and being an avid 4-H’er, Carolyn naturally found her niche in agricultural marketing. Her knowledge of agri-marketing and the agriculture industry is exceptional, and she holds strong relationships within the agri-business community. As an experienced, disciplined leader, Carolyn thrives on meeting marketing challenges with innovative creative solutions. She also considers herself an urban farmer—you can often find wheat, lentils and a patch of canola growing in her backyard. Her preferred seed supplier remains a mystery.
Creative family man Cameron Rhodes has been working as a digital designer and video producer for over a decade. Cameron’s experience has given him a great understanding on how to lead both efficient and creative media production. Driven by a passion for videography and engaging content, Cameron works with our clients, vendors, and account and creative teams to find the best solutions for delivering stories that resonate. No matter the timeline, budget or expectation, Cameron is your best bet for meaningful media experiences.
Director, Project Management
Brent brings years of experience and understanding, methodology and process to AdFarm every day. In his 14 years of working in marketing communications, he has managed a wide range traditional, digital projects, and integrated work for such clients as Scotiabank, Edward Jones Financial, Infiniti USA, Nissan USA, Shaw Communications, Dow AgroSciences and 4-H Canada. Brent is an inspirational creative thinker who never loses sight of project budgets and target dates. As AdFarm’s chief motivator, he’s the guy who gets things done.