Stefanie Croley, editorial director, agriculture, chats with Mackay in this episode of AgAnnexTalks, the first in this year’s series of podcasts with seven Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture. Crystal Mackay is an agriculture advocate, entrepreneur and much more. Currently the founder/CEO of Loft32, which works to elevate businesses, people and the conversations on food and farming, Mackay has been described as “doing the heavy lifting” of launching successful structures and programs in the ag industry for more than 30 years.
Posted June 14, 2021 by Stefanie Croley
A University of Guelph alumna and well-known advocate for Canadian food and farming has been named coordinator of Food Day Canada.
Crystal Mackay, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’93, will take on the role of leading the planning of Canada’s largest culinary celebration.
“Food Day Canada is the very essence of what I’ve worked towards over my entire career – building positive, proactive conversations about food and farming,” said Mackay. “Bringing our country together and bridging gaps between consumers, farmers and many food system partners is truly a celebration I am proud to be part of.”
Posted 06/15/2021 by University of Guelph News Release
By Loft32 founder Maggie Van Camp.
It’s hard to think about, but if you were to die suddenly, do your family and business partners have the critical information they need to move forward? Create a “Because I love you” list by filling out the fields on the file attached. It will help you organize key personal and business information in one place and provide peace of mind when people need it most. (French & English)
New training resources and coaching for people in agriculture and food
Utensil.ca provides online training and access to experts in agriculture and food
London, ON – February 23, 2021 – While everyone has to eat, a surprisingly low percentage of us know the people who farm. So…Your Client is a Farmer is a new online training resource that aims to change that.
“Farmers are a unique bunch, and no two farms are the same,” explained Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, farmer and program co-founder. “We designed this training on Utensil.ca specifically to help people learn how to be more successful in their business relationships with farmers.”
The Utensil.ca team combined their own extensive backgrounds and reached out to farmers and experienced service providers from across North America to create a practical program with the most relevant content. The response was overwhelming. Farmers readily shared their advice for and frustrations with those who deliver products, services or programs that impact them and their businesses.
The new training program also includes valuable insights from respected agriculture leaders – the Hon. Gerry Ritz, retired Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Mary Robinson, Canadian Federation of Agriculture President; and Jay Bradshaw, agri-business leader and retired President of Syngenta Canada.
Crystal Mackay, program co-founder shared, “We want to welcome new people into agriculture, as well as equip those already working in it, to be more confident with their understanding of farm businesses.” She added, “It will also be valuable for those working in policy or programs related to farmers to have a resource to increase understanding of their clients.”
The So…Your Client is a Farmer training program takes approximately 90 minutes to complete online and is available anytime. It includes a self-evaluation, a one-hour training video, training guide, and certificate of completion. It will be useful for onboarding new employees, and also for engaging and training existing team members.
Utensil.ca is designed to be a toolbox of clear and practical content, training and expertise about farming and the entire food system. This new training program adds to the list, which includes Grow Your Brand and Introduction to Media Training, all designed specifically for those working in the food system. In addition to online training, Utensil 101 is a resource centre for increasing content knowledge, with experts available for personalized coaching or project support. Register for training and find out more at www.utensil.ca
Our CEO Crystal Mackay and two ranchers share tips for engaging audiences through video and social media platforms
Posted Oct. 2nd, 2020 by Tara Mulhern Davidson
Unique searchable guide with over 500 terms and built-in access to experts
Guelph, July 30, 2020 – While everyone has to eat, a surprisingly low percentage understand how our food is grown or how the food system works. Utensil.ca is a new online resource that aims to change that with helpful tools to build knowledge and confidence – from farms to kitchens. It starts with Utensil Guide, the plain language guide to food and farming.
“Agriculture and food has unique vocabulary by sector and region, with many acronyms,” explained Crystal Mackay, CEO of Loft32 and co-founder. “Utensil Guide will help people who work within the food system by giving them language they need to learn about new topics and communicate more effectively.”
The Utensil Guide is free for all to use and launches with over 500 terms. It is fully searchable by term, acronym or sector and extends from farm through to retail and food service. With easy to understand explanations, the Guide also has links to many other credible resources. It will be continually updated, with input from users.
“We want you to be comfortable and confident in all conversations about food and farming,” shared Andrew Campbell, farmer and co-founder. “Whether you are new to the agriculture and food sectors, or you want extend your knowledge beyond just one or two sectors, Utensil.ca is that kickstart to help you.”
Utensil.ca is designed to be a toolbox of clear, concise and practical content about farming and the entire food system. On top of the Guide, it will also host Utensil 101, Utensil Training and Utensil Talent Stable, all that bring users access to respected subject matter experts.
This resource was developed as a collaborative effort with many partners donating their time and resources to make it happen. The focus will start with topics related to farming and farmers, and start working towards food processing, restaurants and retail over the next 18 months.
For more information:
GUELPH, ON – June 6, 2019: A new Canadian venture, Loft32, will work to elevate businesses, people and the conversations on food and farming. Loft32 is comprised of a network of dynamic professionals with deep backgrounds in agriculture, food, business and strategic communications.
Loft32 will deliver elite services related to:
Crystal Mackay, CEO, will lead operations, with her 25-year track record of creating and leading collaborative, ground-breaking agriculture and food communications and business efforts. Mackay is well-known in farming and food circles for her work as the inaugural CEO of Farm & Food Care Canada/Ontario, and more recently the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.
“The best way to elevate businesses and the sector is by elevating people,” Mackay stated. “Loft32 will help inspire, engage and equip the good people in agriculture and food with the communications tools and expertise to do better.”
Founders Maggie Van Camp and Crystal Mackay shared some lively discussions about the next chapter of their careers, along with the future of agriculture and food in Canada as they developed the Loft32 business model. They decided to utilize their experience and network to help change frustrations and needs into opportunities and wins for the sector they are both passionate about.
Maggie Van Camp, brings a unique background of journalism, farming and business leadership to the table. She shares her views on why she was inspired to help create Loft32,
“For agriculture and food to be truly successful in the future, there needs to be more collaboration on many levels, across companies and sectors. The Loft32 business model is built to foster collaboration by bringing great people and expertise together to encourage new thinking, develop skills and strategies, and solve problems for successful outcomes.”
Loft32 will help clients achieve their business goals by connecting them with the expertise they need, all well-grounded in practical experience, context and connections. The goal will be to deliver high quality, customized service and results to add depth to the bench for organizations, companies and event planners.
The Loft32 Speakers Bureau, the first service available, features some of the most dynamic and well-recognized speakers in agriculture and food in North America. The Speakers Bureau, along with training and project team networks, will continue to be populated with new colleagues who fit the Loft32 business model.
As part of the Loft32 commitment to elevating people, they will be sharing regular communications training tips through @theLoft32 on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Visit www.loft32.ca to find out more, request a speaker or training session, or discuss an idea for a project.