Agriculture for Realtors

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I think my dream job would be as the Bank of Canada Gov. Just think about it.  I could be sitting up in Ottawa pushing and pulling the levers of the Canadian economy instead of writing about the Canadian economy in this column and getting paid to boot.  Believe it or not your loyal scribe actually had a job interview at one time for a senior economist job in the Department of Finance in Ottawa.  So maybe if I got that job my Bank of Canada dreams would have come true.  Of course then they wouldn’t let me write a column about the Canadian economy.

I say that in is somewhat kidding way because I’m kind of serious and I’m kind of not.  As many of you know I farm about 860 acres here in southwestern Ontario and that keeps me busy through at least eight months of the year and probably nine.  The rest of the time I write a lot of articles for selected magazines and market services and take every speaking job that comes my way.  For instance this past summer I was contacted to speak in Edmonton in January of 2011. That was surely an early scouting trip from the organization involved but I gave them all the information I could and we’ll see what happens.  If you need a speaker for your meeting you know whom to call.

I bring that up this week because I wanted to make a bit of an announcement.  A couple of months ago I was asked if I would be able to teach a course about agriculture to the London and St. Thomas real estate Association.  It seems that there was a real need within the real estate community for some continuing education with regard to agriculture.  Increasingly real estate agents have been asked to sell property in rural areas and farm property without having a total grasp of the agricultural industry.  I was contacted in the hope that I could develop a course and then deliver that course across Ontario to different real estate associations.

I gave it a bit of thought because I’ve been out of the classroom since I helped teach “sales and sales management “at the University of Guelph in 1988.  Needless to say, the continuing education course “Agriculture for Realtors” is being developed and I will be presenting this in London Ontario on January 21 and September 7th.  I will also be presenting this course to the Peterborough and Kawarthas Association of REALTORS® on March 26, 2010.  I look forward to this new challenge to meet to needs of these real estate associations.

This is a way that I described the course to real estate associations across Ontario.

“Agriculture for Realtors “will be offered in January and September of 2010 to give realtors a basic background in both the science and economics of agriculture and how that will impact their liaison with farmers and potential buyers of farms and rural properties.  The course will give a basic background of agricultural prices, marketing practices, agricultural policy, farming practices and other issues, which affect the farm economy.  Realtors who take this course should be able to enhance their knowledge of agricultural practices to better prepare themselves for the day-to-day challenges with farm real estate.

What are these people going to learn?  What I am envisioning is an overall view of how we move food from a farm to their dinner plates and how that all originates and impacts farming decisions and of course real estate values.  So there definitely will be an overview of agricultural prices and how they are determined at the farm level but it will be general in nature but specific enough where people find it interesting.  I plan to make the presentation interactive with lots of pictures; video and hopefully some online presentations live on the Internet.

In one of my other lives where I do commodity futures presentations I’ve always wanted to go live on the Internet to show price charts and intraday trading at some of our stock and commodity exchanges across North America.  That used to be impossible unless you had a pile of money but now a simple Internet connection should do the trick.  You certainly don’t see it done into many locales but I’m up for the challenge and I hope I will be able to do that to illustrate certain points in “Agriculture for Realtors.

Life certainly is a journey.  It continues unabated for me.  As I look ahead there are always challenges.  If I can make those challenges a little less daunting for real estate professionals looking toward the farm I think I will have done my job.  Hopefully in the process I’ll be able to enhance the real estate experience on our farms and in our rural areas.  The Bank of Canada will have to wait.