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WESTERN PRODUCER ARTICLE - June 10, 2021

Updated: Jun 21

Editor’s Note:

Recollections and Reflections is

a new column celebrating prairie

history and 50 years of the Saskatchewan

Agricultural Hall of

Fame. Linda Braun is writing the

column as we look back on the

history of agriculture during this

important SAHF anniversary

year.

The Saskatchewan Agricultural

Hall of Fame, organized in 1971 and

honouring its first inductees in

1972, continues to recognize and

honour provincial agricultural

leaders. More than 225 inductees

grace the Hall of Fame. There is no

better time than now to recollect,

reflect and revisit these inductees of

Saskatchewan agriculture as The

Western Producer too begins to look

back at its origins, beginning in

1923.

Mike Raine, Editor

Saskatchewan agriculture is

built on a solid foundation

of exceptional leaders, who

mobilize others to achieve shared

aspirations. Exemplary leaders

model the way, inspire a shared

vision, challenge the process, enable

others to act and encourage

the heart.

Ad e l e Bu e t t n e r, who was

installed in the Saskatchewan

Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2020,

is a champion of agriculture and

food and has provided leadership

to a number of agriculture organizations,

including Farm and Food

Care Saskatchewan.

Her extensive efforts in building

public trust, education and marketing

are well regarded by farmers

and ranchers, chefs, culinary

educators and consumers.

Buettner served on the Canadian

Western Agribition board during

the same period as Audrey

Horkoff, who entered the hall of

fame in 2009.

Horkoff, a farmer, wife, mother

and grandmother, was chair of

Agribition in 1997 and co-chair of

ACRE, the Action Committee on

Rural Economy in 2000, providing

recommendations for legislative

and policy change in provincial

agriculture.

She and her husband, Don, have

maintained purebred Charolais

and Hereford cattle and were active

in purebred associations. Later

they converted their land base into

an organic operation.

Both women remain active today

in the industry, Buettner with her

marketing and communications

firm, AgriBiz Communications in

Saskatoon, and Horkoff on the

farm at Kamsack, providing support

for her son, who now runs that

operation.

Although busy with work and

family life, Buettner and Horkoff

continue to challenge the process

and enable others to act through

volunteerism.

Buettner participates in community

organizations such as the

Canadian Women in Food Network,

the North Saskatchewan

Business Association and Women’s

Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan.

She hosts a Monday morning

executive group to support

peers throughout the COVID-19

crisis.

Horkoff has, for numerous years,

been involved and chairs the

Assiniboine Valley Health and

Wellness Foundation. Initially she

assisted with fundraising and

building the physical structure and

Saskatchewan leaders look to the future of agriculture

BY ED WHITE

WINNIPEG BUREAU

Processors and others reliant on

agricultural products are building

shock absorbers into their systems,

says a U.S. supply chain expert.

“Firms are holding more inventory,

so instead of holding one

week’s worth of inventory, they

might hold one month’s,” said

Heidi Schweizer, an economist

at North Carolina State University.

“You might call it ‘just-in-case’

supply chains.”

The shock of COVID-19 has combined

with the world tightness in

many crop stocks to scare users

into taking their own stocks more

seriously, now they’ve seen how

low they can run when something

unexpected happens.

That has undermined the

decades-long drive for companies

to slash inventory levels and rely

upon the steady and predictable

flow of the products they need.

“I believe a lot of people are shifting

away from just-in-time inventory

management,” said Schweizer

during the Kansas City Federal

Reserve Bank’s annual agricultural

economics conference.

However, Schweizer said that

shift was already underway before

the pandemic.

“Certainly, this past year has

added an additional jump start to

that.”

Another response to the pandemic

has been companies taking

greater interest in their exposure to

needed commodities and to ensure

they are going to receive what they

think they’re lining up for.

“There’s more communication

between firm along the supply

chain,” said Scweizer.

“The pandemic has rea l l y

resulted in a big push for that in

particular.”

Replacing just-in-time

with just-in-case

Firms begin building more flexibility into their

inventories as supply chains break down

now chairs the foundation.

This brought four physicians

and a dentist to the clinic and

district hospital, providing

emergency and essential health

care to area communities. She is

a long-serving member of Trackside

gardens, lending her green

thumb to beautify the community

for its citizens as well as area

tourists.

Family is important to these

women. Buettner is thankful her

daughter and extended family

reside in the Saskatoon area.

Horkoff ’s five adult children and

their families meet to celebrate

holidays and family gatherings at

the farm, which she loves.

When asked where her drive for

all things agriculture comes from,

Buettner says, “it comes from my

passion and enthusiasm for the

industry coupled with the right

mix of career fulfillment and professional

challenge. It is also due

in large part to the clever, dedicated,

creative and genuine people

I have worked with and for.”

Horkoff said she has always lived

in an agriculture based community

and initially farmed out of

necessity after losing her first

husband but continued “because

the best people are agriculture

people.”

Buettner’s advise to women in

agriculture today is, ”be respectful,

build a meaningful network, enjoy

what you do,” while Horkoff suggests,

“if you truly want to be in

agriculture, the door is open to all

types of opportunities.”

Regarding hopes for the future,

Buettner said she can’t imagine a

better place to be situated for the

future in this world.

“As a farmer’s daughter, with

roots deep in Saskatchewan soil, I

look forward to our province continuing

to be a world leader in food

production, research and innovation.

We produce healthy, nutritious

food with a vested interest in

building public trust and sustainability.

I am proud of Saskatchewan’s

agricultural sector and hope

that doors continue to open for

farmers, ranchers, agronomists,

researchers, ag business, processors

and marketers.”

As a long-time farmer, who maintains

that there is no better place to

raise a family, Horkoff has concerns

about the growing size of

operations.

While understanding why it is

happening, she is concerned about

the impact socially on the family

and the farm community. Her

hope for the next generation is that

“there is a place for them and

opportunities to enter the industry.”

She ponders opportunities such

as growing local, tracking food

products and direct marketing that

may open the door for new and or

smaller operations.

These two Agricultural Hall of

Fame inductees have always and

continue to live by the exemplary

practices mentioned at the beginning

of the column, and our world

has benefitted from their contributions.

RECOLLECTIONS

& REFLECTIONS

LINDA BRAUN

Linda Braun is president of Food Focus

Saskatoon.

Adele Buettner is a champion of

agriculture and food. | SUPPLIED

PHOTOS

Audrey Horkoff chaired the

Canadian Western Agribition

board in 1997 and the Action

Committee on Rural Economy in

2000.


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