75 years and counting
AdFarm has anywhere from 35 to 75 years of company history behind us, but it really depends on when you start counting. Here are some of the key points along the way.
Flint and Associates founded.
Throughout the ‘40s, better machinery, new crops and livestock varieties, new pesticides, and better irrigation techniques create a revolution in farm productivity.
The Cold War with Russia continues to develop, but this eventually leads to the script for Rocky IV, so it’s not all bad.
Roger Reierson joins Flint and Associates, becoming Owner in 1983, and CEO 1983–2019.
Men’s fashion enters one of its darkest eras, but only metaphorically because it’s every colour and pattern at once, plus leisure suits.
Parker Group is founded by Brian Parker, after what we can only assume were literally minutes of brainstorming for the right name.
Ross Harvey named Managing Partner and President of Parker Group, 1984–95.
Fieldstone founded by Kim McConnell.
Apple introduces the Macintosh personal computer, along with the whole idea of Superbowl ads being a thing.
Parker Group pitches to be Agency of Record for Alberta Pool, Sandoz and Elanco in one week. They win everything and become AOR for all three companies.
Over beers, the first known use of this now-standard boss joke is made: “I’ve got some good news and some bad news — the good news is we won, the bad news is we won.”
A partnership between Parker Group and Flint and Associates is established to manage the North America Flexi-Coil account.
The Cold War officially ends, and Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time. Historians repeatedly tell us these two events are unrelated.
Flint and Associates wins Hoechst, becoming Canada’s largest agricultural account.
In genetics news, “The Flavr Savr” tomato becomes the first genetically engineered food product to get FDA approval. It’s met with apprehension by the public, partially because people fear the unknown, and partially because they hate “kewl” names.
AdFarm is created when Parker Group and Flint and Associates merge into a new agency, shortly after Art Froelich and Roger Reierson join the Parker Group Board.
AdFarm’s name uses recently developed “InterCap” capitalization technology, which most people will be today-years-old when they realize that’s what it’s called.
Fieldstone creates and launches the historic InVigor Canola brand.
AdFarm wins Ad Rodeo’s Best of Show creative award for the “Farmers Take It Out Back and Shoot It” self-promotion campaign.
Some “big” agencies complain about having a bunch of farmers win the biggest award of the year, but they quickly change their mind when asked if we can take them out back.
AdFarm Partnership established.
AdFarm names Art Froehlich President/CEO, 1998–2002.
The end of the decade sees advanced technology become more common in agriculture, including GPS-enabled yield monitors and robotic milkers. The first web banner ads emerge, starting with Coors’ campaign for Zima — a product that quickly joins the infamous ranks of New Coke.
AdFarm opens offices in Fargo, North Dakota and Kansas City, Missouri to manage the Bayer Agriscience cereals account.
The agency launches the Everest brand with a $300,000 TV spot — the ag industry's most expensive, high-quality commercial to date.
The world awaits the outcome of the Y2K Bug. Millennial conspiracy theorists warn of Armageddon, but the movie already came out in 1998, and most farmers are still wondering why anyone would try to train drillers to be astronauts instead of just teaching astronauts how to use drills.
Fieldstone is sold to Parallel Strategies. Everyone celebrates on the rooftop patio.
AdFarm wins the historic Caterpillar account, officially marking the second of many times we’ll call an achievement “historic.”
AdFarm Partnership is established as a merger between Parallel, Kahntact, Creative Core, Axia, Flint and AdFarm. In terms of raw power, this new group is comparable to Led Zeppelin joining The Avengers and the ’96 Chicago Bulls.
The new partnership names Bob Corrigan as Chairman, 2002–2004.
AdFarm Partnership wins the Bayer Agriscience account, which is a merger between Hoechst and Bayer.
AdFarm names Kim McConnell President, CEO, 2002–2007. “Keep it between the ditches” becomes one of the agency’s official guiding mantras.
AdFarm creates and launches the historic Nexera Canola brand.
AdFarm Calgary relocates to 4th Street and becomes the region’s first marketing specialist to fully brand its property. This means the new space is way cooler than every other office in town.
AdFarm opens Guelph office.
Ross Harvey wins CAMA’s Agri-marketer of the Year award.
AdFarm launches its historic Driving Deeper into the Heart and Soul of Agriculture campaign. Local thesaurus owners suggest the campaign could also be called “momentous” or “paradigmatic,” but we stick with historic.
AdFarm creates the Keys to the Combine campaign for Dow AgroSciences. #Historic
AdFarm names and launches the Viterra brand. It’s definitely historic.
Flint Holding buys out Axia to become majority owner of AdFarm. AdFarm creates the Ag More Than Ever campaign for Farm Credit Canada, which is still running today, so that’s totally historic.
AdFarm named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.
Roger Reierson named Chair of AdFarm Partnership, 2005–present.
Art Froehlich named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential by Alberta Venture.
AdFarm opens an office in St. Louis — causing us to make sure they say “Mizzur-uh” like the rest of the state.
Nexera Canola wins AdFarm’s very first NAMA Best of Show award, which is a whole new kind of historic.
Media Productions becomes the AdFarm Business Unit.
AdFarm is named one of the 50 Best Places to Work by Canadian Business, with what had to be at least 2% of the total votes. #mathjokes
AdFarm Names Roger Reierson President, CEO, 2009–2011.
Kim McConnell and Ross Harvey win the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst & Young.
AdFarm names Nolan Berg COO, 2007–2009.
The first iPhone is released, permanently changing the way people ignore their pets, loved ones and every other vehicle on the road.
AdFarm launches the historic UFA 100 campaign.
A “leap second” is added just before midnight on December 31, but nobody does anything useful with the extra time.
Roger Reierson wins NAMA’s Agri-marketer of the Year award.
Kim McConnell wins CAMA’s Agri-marketer of the Year award in the same year.
Ben Graham and Les Kahl named managing partners of AdFarm.
Watermelons start exploding all over China’s Jiangsu province when farmers get too generous with forchlorfenuron growth accelerator in wet weather. If you’re wondering why the fine print always says, “check label for application rates,” it’s at least partially due to Chinese melon bombs.
Kim McConnell becomes the first agri-marketer recognized by the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Nexera Canola wins the Product of the Year award from Agri-Marketing.
AdFarm names and launches Monsanto BioAg.
The Canadian Wheat Board has its monopoly powers removed, temporarily leaving bumper sticker protest enthusiasts unsure about what to put on their trucks.
AdFarm opens Sacramento office.
Streetsmart is added as an AdFarm business unit.
The boards of AdFarm and Flint Holding merge into one.
Super Studio becomes a business unit of AdFarm.
UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) become more popular in agriculture, simultaneously creating more fake UFO sightings and a great reason for real UFOs to stop worrying about getting spotted so much.
Flint Holding rebranded under RR46 brand.
Have we talked about RR46 yet? It’s really cool: the RR stands for Roger Reierson and the 46 is from 1946 when this whole thing started. But it’s also from the Rural Route naming system you see out in farm country.
AdFarm names Ben Graham President, 2016–present. No jokes on this one: partially because he’s the boss and has no-questions-asked firing power, but also because he’s a great guy.
Giant Goat launches as an RR46 company.
Unlike RR46, no one will tell us why it’s called Giant Goat. Every time we ask, they only say, “Quiet. The beast hears all.”
Kahntact re-joins RR46.
AdFarm creates the food-inspired Life’s Simple Ingredient campaign for Alberta Wheat. Historic? Yeah, it’s historic.
Kim McConnell becomes the first agri-marketer named to the Royal Order of Canada — an incredible honour that is Canada’s equivalent of being knighted.
AdFarm wins New Holland global brand account.
Andy Reierson is named CEO of RR46 and all RR46 business units.
Roger Reierson and Art Froehlich cross 20-year milestone as RR46 Board Members.
Cellphones create a whole new set of problems when China bans Canadian canola to retaliate for the arrest of a top executive from tech giant Huawei. Your grandpa adds this to the list of reasons why he’s never getting rid of his flip-phone.
New and improved.
With a new head office in Calgary’s Quarry Park, a new creative direction and a whole new corporate brand, AdFarm enters its fourth (or eighth) decade of success.
The company weathers a global pandemic, something called “murder hornets,” and the prospect of going more than a year without Those Little Donuts from the Calgary Stampede, which is cancelled for the first time in over a century.
What’s next? Stay tuned.
Almost everyone is connected to agriculture in some way. But considering that his family has been farming the same land for over 115 years, Ben’s roots run a little deeper than most. With responsibilities for the overall direction of AdFarm’s operations, Ben works closely with our staff and clients alike to provide strategy, perspective and insight on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. Over his 20+ years with AdFarm, Ben has worked with a who’s-who of Canadian and U.S. agriculture companies, including Nutrien, Alberta Beef Producers, The Canola Council of Canada, Corteva Agriscience, and New Holland. No matter how your business is connected to agriculture and food, you’ll always want Ben at your table, in your field or riding shotgun for your brand.
Polite folks might say Jane takes a “get manure done” approach to business. With strong attention to detail and pin-point accuracy, Jane is the one you turn to when you need to know how AR and AP affects FA and CA in relation to the CAP and CF of the ROI on your BS. She is responsible for finance, administration and human resources duties, and for making sure her team has the support they need to keep everything running smoothly and by the numbers.
After growing up on a healthy diet of cod and Screech in Newfoundland, Mike headed west to work as an illustrator and art director. This led to a steady supply of industry awards that saw him become VP Creative Director for one of Canada’s biggest agencies — which he was able to transform into Alberta’s most awarded ad agency for over a dozen years. After joining AdFarm in 2018, Mike was central to the agency’s rebrand and move toward the wider possibilities of ag marketing. His award list includes Communication Arts (16x), Applied Arts Advertising & Design (80+), Graphis (40+), Gold ADCC awards (a bunch), CAMA and NAMA (literally 100s), countless Ad Rodeo Anvils, recognition from the Clios, Cannes, Art Directors Club and London International awards, Pencils at the One Show and D&AD, Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2008, and publication in How, Print, Luerzer’s Archive, Contagious, LogoLounge and Taschen’s “Advertising Now” books. When he’s not busy with all that, Mike somehow finds time to get a lot of tattoos.
Katie’s strengths lie in strategic planning, aligning stakeholders, inspiring teams that truly enjoy their work, and delivering small miracles when clients need it most. She is driven by smart, straightforward strategies that are built on meaningful insights and a healthy resistance to conventional solutions. Katie subscribes to the personal belief that big ideas can come from anywhere, and the difference between success and failure often rests on execution. With 15 years of brand building behind her, Katie has covered plenty of acres in agricultural marketing — resulting in numerous CAMA and NAMA awards in the process. Some of her clients include Nutrien, Alberta Beef, UFA, Bayer CropScience, Sunterra and the Alberta Wheat Commission, just to name a few.
Julia’s professional roots start in account planning, hands-on consumer research and strategic planning. This has made her adept at finding the simple, but not always obvious, insights and actionable business information needed to make marketing and communications work. As one of our Client Services Directors, Julia works to define and articulate client goals, understand their needs, and find functional solutions to real business problems. She provides guidance and cultivates trust by creating clear vision for strategies and tactics that are informed by a deep-seated conviction that everything we create — whether it’s an ad, an app, a site or a game — should fulfill a need and communicate with a specific purpose.
In 2018, Aimee decided to leave Toronto’s rat race and move to the completely rat-free Province of Alberta (seriously, look it up). As our Director of Agency Performance, Aimee oversees resources, training, and workloads across all our functions and offices. She excels at delivering exceptional work, on-time and on-budget, while managing and maintaining excellent relationships with our internal teams and external creative partners. Throughout Aimee’s 18+ years of industry experience, she has relied on creative problem solving and relationship building to complete projects and campaigns with accuracy and finesse.
With almost a decade of experience in high-volume recruitment, Colleen has built a career that’s focused on great customer service, a high sense of urgency and building solid networks in a variety of industries. She has worked for small agencies and global companies alike and recruited from entry-level to executive positions across a range of industries. As a farm kid from Northern Alberta, she grew up with a strong work ethic that led to extensive professional awards. These include recognition from WestJet, a “Race to Victory” award, the “Carolyn Reed Award of Excellence” for customer service, the President’s Club “Candidate Favorite,” and AdFarm’s “Heart & Soul” award. Colleen gets results through effective communication, problem-solving skills, planning, monitoring, appraisal, coaching, counseling, team development and coordination, and enforcing the systems and standards that keep AdFarm on track.
Glenn’s role at AdFarm is designed to empower companies and organizations to uncover their true brand purpose. With a history that stretches from Junior Copywriter to Global Creative Director and his current role as Brand Strategy Director, Glenn’s 30-year career at AdFarm has revolved around helping clients identify why they exist in order to find and reinforce their position in the marketplace. He sees every client as a potential industry hero and strives to help them become those heroes in the eyes of their target audience. Glenn has worked with Dow (Corteva), Bayer CropScience, New Holland, Nutrien (Agrium), Viterra, Caterpillar, RBC, Monsanto, Telus, WestJet, Lexus, Shell, Petro-Canada, and literally hundreds more.
Matt oversees our strategic planning process at AdFarm and provides the expertise needed to deliver go-to market strategies that drive customer adoption and loyalty. Across a wide range of clients, he works to combine (pun intended) his love for agriculture and marketing with his dedication to lead our agri-businesses, media and advertising efforts. He is trained as a qualified agronomist and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Kansas State University. Matt helps guide the AgIntel by AdFarm initiative at the agency, which has driven impactful insights for clients including New Holland, Merck Animal Health, CNH Industrial, Nutrien, Trimble and many more.
In his dual role at AdFarm, Les brings extensive industry knowledge and expertise that’s balanced by humour, energy and passion for our agency and our clients. He believes that great agencies have to fully understand their customers — and their customer’s customers. On top of that, he knows the bond that brings them all together is great creative fueled by smart strategy. This perspective is part of a long-standing philosophy that he instills in everyone he works with, and a big part of why he has been a unifying force at AdFarm for decades. After spending several years in our Calgary office, Les relocated to Kansas City, but he still likes to get back to Alberta when he can.
Derek is really into the web — but not like your niece who never stops LOLing at her BFF’s latest OMG. Derek is way down in the sub-basement of the Internet’s array of algorithms, cookies and user data endlessly recalibrating our digital campaigns to find new customers for our clients. As part of his tireless dedication, he has been an integral part of gaining our Google Partnership and he always strives to maintain ever-increasing levels of certification in key areas of search strategy and research. Since joining AdFarm in 2018, Derek has successfully implemented innovative, web-based strategies for all our agricultural clients and delivered a passionate, geeky digital work ethic that goes far beyond audits, analysis and optimizations. If you’re ever lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on your technical appetite) to hear his latest take on the internet’s marketing potential, you'll learn that the digital frontier is still very wild.
Since 2001, Marija has gained local and international media experience, along with a specific focus on digital communications that started in 2008. During this time, she spent six years at a number of multi-national agencies in Sydney, Australia, which included experience in education, government, film, and entertainment verticals. Marija is passionate about digital media and loves evolving all of our clients’ approaches by focusing on the right data, targeting, channels, and tactics for their needs, and integrating it with offline initiatives to generate greater impact. Since joining AdFarm in 2015, she and has directed paid media for Nutrien, Nufarm, SeedMaster, and Bayer Environmental Sciences, along with hundreds of other clients.
Amanda brings an incredible 28 years of experience in marketing communications to the table — including 16 years at AdFarm. Her training includes degrees in Sociology from University of Saskatchewan and Communications from Simon Fraser University, and certification from the Canadian Association of Advertising Agencies. Amanda has a lifelong passion for education and sits on the board of the Canadian Agribusiness and Education Foundation, which distributes scholarships to Canadian students studying agriculture and agri-food. She has an extensive background in production, project management and account management for the entire spectrum of ag clients. This includes Nutrien Ag Solutions (and heritage companies), Farm Credit Canada, Rocky Mountain Equipment, and Egg Farmers of Alberta — along with a number of ag advocacy initiatives such as Agriculture for Life and Agriculture More Than Ever.
Rosie draws on her ag background and communications experience to provide clients with innovative public relations and content strategies. At AdFarm, she strategizes and manages media relations, crisis communications, online communities and events for the world’s top agricultural companies. Rosie has a unique talent for planning and executing unique content ideas from media partnerships to thought leadership initiatives. Since joining the agency in 2014, she has secured earned media placements in agricultural and mainstream publications, provided media training for executive teams, strategized media relations for major rebranding and launch projects, and implemented strategic social media campaigns for clients across North America.
For Nadine, account management is all about building strong relationships. In her 15+ years in the ag industry, Nadine has worked to make sure that collaborative communication and transparency brings value to every client project. As part of her training, she has earned a Canadian Association Executive designation from the Canadian Society of Association Executives and graduated from the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. At AdFarm, Nadine’s marketing experience and problem-solving skills ensure that every one of her client’s marketing initiatives is well planned and successfully executed from start to finish.
Melissa has helped AdFarm re-define what it means for agriculture to engage with consumers and companies alike. From her ground-breaking work supporting Nutrien’s Premium Fertilizer Technologies portfolio to the award-winning Life’s Simple Ingredient campaign by Alberta Wheat, she is passionate about providing clients with progressive strategies that deliver measurable results. With numerous certifications in social media marketing and social advertising, Melissa is AdFarm’s top resource for social media insights and a key part of our online initiatives for all our clients and their prospective customers.
Amanda brings a rare combination of creative vision and business strategy to her role as AdFarm. It’s hard to summarize exactly what she does, but the short version is she helps clients deliver the right messages in the right channels at the right time. With 14 years of marketing communication experience, and a specialization in digital marketing, she is on the leading edge of how we can adapt to the shift in how consumers receive and respond to information. Before joining AdFarm, Amanda was the account lead for the Bayer Crop Science Canada account. She has also worked on numerous initiatives for Best Buy USA, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and Infiniti Global.