A passionate advocate for excellence in farm business management, Larry Martin has been shaping people, programs and policies throughout his 40-year career as an agricultural economist and management consultant.
Larry was born in the United States, and began his lifelong Canadian career at the University of Guelph’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Business, including four years as the department chair. A testament to his training and coaching saw seven of his master’s students awarded Best Master’s Thesis Awards by the American or Canadian Agricultural Economics Associations. While at Guelph, Larry developed Managing Price Risk – an applied program to help agri-food commodity traders understand futures and options – that has been offered across Canada, in Italy and is now an on-line requirement for Guelph’s MBA program.
In 1990, Larry played a major role in the foundation of the George Morris Centre – Canada’s agri-food think tank – serving as the executive director and then CEO. Under Larry’s guidance, the Centre provided uncompromised analysis of policy issues, helping foster competitiveness, sustainability and economic wellbeing for Canada’s agri-food sector.
While at the Centre, Larry was the principal architect and lead instructor of the CTEAM program – a unique business management course where farmers learn from their own farm as they develop a comprehensive plan. Graduates report a very high rate of return on the lasting value the program provides their operations and nearly a dozen course graduates were named regional or national winners of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer program.
Throughout his career, Larry’s advice has been widely sought after by government and industry. Known for his candor and honesty, he has advised several federal agriculture ministers, and chaired the national task force of Competitiveness in the Agri-Food Sector in the late 1980s. He served as an expert witness on two successful countervail cases with the United States for the Canadian pork sector and one with the EU for the beef sector.
Larry has a deep passion for applied farm management and the ability to use tangible, practical tools to help Canadian farmers improve their farm businesses. Among his awards and recognition, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Contributions to Canada.
Larry’s expert knowledge, guidance and leadership has helped countless farmers, agribusinesses and food industries solve problems and improve performance. It’s evidence of his lifelong commitment to continually improve the economic sustainability of the Canadian agri-food industry.