Marc Boulanger: Business Development Specialist
The thing I love most about my job is dealing with people as a neutral third party. All I care about is what works best on their farm.
Local 37 - Civil Service, Physical Sciences Component
Most Manitobans know how tough it can be to farm these days. After all it’s an issue that affects each and every one of us. The agricultural sector is a critical part of our province’s economy, and puts food on our plates.
That’s why Manitoba Agriculture developed a software program about ten years ago to help farmers manage and grow their businesses and why a key part of Marc Boulanger’s job is to work closely with farmers to come up with a business plan using the software.
“We meet with people and go through it all – income, expenses, weather. This year, we’ve been talking a lot about the implications of flooding,” he says.
Whether you raise livestock such as cows or sheep, or grow grain, canola or vegetables, business development specialists like Boulanger help ensure your farm is the best it can be.
“With demand increasing out there for organic foods, I’ve also begun to spend a fair bit of time in that area,“ says Boulanger. “Through the Manitoba Organic Transition Program, I help promote more organic practices generally, while at the same time, work with organic farmers to improve production practices and marketing.”
A key ingredient to selling organic food to consumers is certification, so Boulanger also works regularly with a number of regulatory boards, including the Organic Federation of Canada. Through organizations such as Manitoba Organic Alliance, Boulanger also helps organic farmers share strategies and ideas.
“The thing I love most about my job is dealing with people as a neutral third party. I’m not there to sell them on any particular variety of seed. I’m from government and all I care about is what works best on their farm.”
For Boulanger, whose been involved in agriculture his entire career, it’s a way of life. His work day rarely ends at five o’clock. “Living in a rural community, you’re always in demand,” he laughs. “Whether it’s Ag Days in Brandon, or the Manitoba Grazing Schools, there’s always a committee that needs you.”
UPDATE: Since this profile was posted, Marc has moved on from his role with the Province to pursue farming full-time.