“An outstanding advocate for Canadian agriculture. A man of integrity, dedication, humility and creativity. A tireless volunteer and a talented leader, mentor and spokesperson for our industry. An inspiring and gifted storyteller.” Those are just some of the phrases people have used to describe Kim McConnell.
Kim is the founder and former chief executive officer of AdFarm, one of the largest and most respected agricultural marketing firms in North America. Involved with the development of countless successful national and international brands, AdFarm has been recognized as one of “Canada’s Best 50 Managed Companies” three times and one of the “Best Places to Work in Canada” four times. Kim himself was a finalist for “Entrepreneur of the Year” twice and was recognized as the Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year in 2011.
Kim’s devotion to the ongoing development of agriculture, and his insights into modern media, are an invaluable resource to the Canadian industry. He was one of the first to recognize that agricultural marketing and communications is a specialized business that must evolve to meet industry and consumer challenges (and opportunities). Kim’s key passion is to be a catalyst for agriculture – to enhance the perception of agriculture with stakeholders, media and the general public, in particular, urban consumers.
Building and branding Canadian agriculture is where Kim continues to make important and long lasting contributions. For example, he launched the Growing Alberta Program and provided the initial support for the Alberta Farm Animal Care program – a model for the humane care of livestock for the entire industry.
Kim is frequently asked to facilitate agricultural meetings and forums at both the federal and provincial levels. Some examples include the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, public forums for the Estey Report and the Wheat Summit in Saskatoon. He has also served as a board member, and often chair, for a wide range of agriculture, rural and community organizations including: Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Canada 4-H Foundation, Centre for Health and Safety for Agriculture, YMCA and Crime Stoppers.
He particularly enjoys being a mentor for the next generation of agricultural leaders. While each of us aspire to give back demonstrably in our communities, our industries and in our country, Kim continues to inspire us with his unwavering commitment to Canadian agriculture. Kim brings his innovative thinking, strategic leadership and boundless energy not only to his work, but also to the countless number of young leaders he mentors and champions. From farms in rural communities to boardrooms within major corporations, Kim pushes all of us to do better, work better together and make a difference for every person, industry or community that relies on agriculture.
Kim McConnell is a remarkable man with a remarkable talent for connecting people, ideas and visions, all with the express goal of strengthening Canada’s agriculture industry.