Board Director Scott Holtman first noticed Farming Smarter while on his way to the Irrigation Update seminar many years ago he spotted a road sign on Hwy 3 at the SMRID yard advertising a field event.
"I thought that the research and information directly related to southern Alberta looked like a great idea," he says. Thus began his earliest memories attending summer crop tours in research plots 10-15 years ago. Andâ€¦ he was hooked. Holtman is a grain producer and seed grower near Taber, AB.
"I always appreciated the work Farming Smarter does," he says. He adds that farmers can try research on farm, but given the growing season is so short and extremely busy, he finds it difficult to keep on farm research a priority during the growing season. This is one reason he joined the Board of Directors.
"I like the research aspect of Farming Smarter. When (Executive Director) Ken Coles approached me to be on the board, I decided to get more involved." Scott says he has taken a learning stance so far on the board.
"Strictly from being new to the board and the organization, I can bring a fresh perspective." He feels he brings an objective view to the board table that is not tied to a long history of shaping the organization. He sees Farming Smarter as it is today and where it might go to meet future needs.
He is surprised by how many people he talks to that don't know about Farming Smarter. So, he's taken on the role of making sure when he talks to farmers, he gets Farming Smarter into the conversation. With the recent changes to Alberta Agriculture, he thinks there's a new, even more important role for Farming Smarter.
He says if he could wave a magic wand and change anything at Farming Smarter, he would eliminate the need for staff to spend so much time chasing money. He says it's a problem he's seen with many non-profits.
"They spend so much time, energy, creativity and effort chasing money it almost seems that the research work becomes secondary. I believe the research work is important and valuable. Farming Smarter has a lot of balls in the air keeping everything on track."