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New Executive in Residence to advance Hill and Levene Schools as leaders in agribusiness

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: October 6, 2020 2:00 p.m.

Brad Farquhar, Co-founder, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Input Capital Corp. is the inaugural Executive in Residence in Agribusiness in the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. During his two year term, the ag entrepreneur will be a valuable resource for faculty and students in one of the province’s most important sectors.
Brad Farquhar, Co-founder, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Input Capital Corp. is the inaugural Executive in Residence in Agribusiness in the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. During his two year term, the ag entrepreneur will be a valuable resource for faculty and students in one of the province’s most important sectors. Photos: U of R Photography

A new role dedicated to the business of agriculture will advance the Hill and Levene Schools of Business’ reputation as Canadian leaders in agribusiness.

On September 1, Brad Farquhar began his term as the inaugural Executive in Residence in Agribusiness. He will hold the position in the Hill and Levene Schools of Business for the next two years and serve as a valuable resource for students and faculty in one of the province’s most important sectors.

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Farquhar began his role as
Executive in Residence in
Agribusiness on September 1.

“Agriculture and agri-foods play a critical role in the socio-economic fabric of Saskatchewan. Many students graduate from our programs and work in ag-related fields. Creating the Executive in Residence in Agribusiness was a natural extension of what we already do in agribusiness in our teaching, research, and outreach,” says Dr. Gina Grandy, Dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. “The unique opportunities that will be created through this role will place our students at an advantage in seeking out careers in agriculture not only in Saskatchewan, but across the country.”

Farquhar is one of Canada’s leaders in agribusiness and finance as Co-Founder, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Input Capital Corp. The inventive TSX traded company is the world’s first agriculture streaming company, allowing farmers to borrow needed capital and service their loans by delivering physical crop rather than cash.

Although Farquhar’s education and career have taken him all over the world, he jumped at the opportunity to engage in this new way in agribusiness in Regina and at the U of R. 

“I did part of my masters at the U of R, and, over the years, have completed a number of projects with the business schools,” says Farquhar. “I have had the pleasure of speaking to many business classes, and my company has hired many Hill and Levene graduates.”

Over the course of his 15+ year career in agribusiness, Farquhar has helped to build Canada’s largest farmland fund, Assiniboia Capital Corp., which sold to the Canada Pension Plan for $128 million, and played a key-role in raising more than $350 million from investors for agriculture and other projects on five continents.
He credits much of his career success to building meaningful relationships and finding spots to innovate within the agricultural sector.

“There isn’t a lot of exposure to agriculture on Bay Street,” says Farquhar. “There is so much opportunity within the sector and we have been working to educate potential investors to recognize all of the potential in the industry. I’ve often been finding myself bridging the gap between the agriculture and financial sectors.”

As part of the Executive in Residence in Agribusiness role, Farquhar will continue to act as a “bridge”, but in new ways. He will provide support for Hill and Levene students and faculty as the province pushes to expand agri-foods exports to $20 billion by 2030; 50 per cent more than what is currently being sold.

The new position aligns with the other agribusiness activities in teaching and research carried out by the Hill and Levene Schools, including the work of the Saskatchewan region of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which recently released a report on Women Ag Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan.

Faculty members have published several teaching business cases on ag-related organizations located in Saskatchewan. These cases, which have been published through Ivey Publishing as part of the Hill-Ivey partnership, are being used in classrooms globally. In addition, faculty members work closely in teaching and research capacities with ag-related companies across Saskatchewan including Viterra, CanMar Foods, O&T Farms, AGT Foods, Conexus Credit Union, and Farm Credit Canada, some of which are led by alumni of the Schools. It was this kind of engagement with industry that attracted Farquhar to the role.

Farquhar is already developing a plan for how to have the greatest impact on students, faculty, the University, and the greater community. He hopes to work closely with extracurricular programs like the Hill School’s UR Investing, and to collaborate with faculty members who would like to learn more about agribusiness.
“Starting conversations, building relationships, and providing mentorship,” says Farquhar. “I’m looking forward to finding ways to create connections for students so new career paths open for them and so that industry knows to come to the U of R to look for the best graduates in agribusiness.”

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Dr. Gina Grandy, Dean of
the Hill and Levene Schools
of Business.

Within the Hill and Levene Schools of Business are two other Executives in Residence roles – the RBC Woman Executive in Residence and the Rawlinson Executive in Residence in Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Through the generous seed funding provided by Mo Bundon, former Chair, U of R Board of Governors and member of the Hill Advisory Board, this third Executive in Residence will serve as a valuable resource as the Schools expand their impact as leaders in agribusiness education.

“We are very pleased to have someone of Farquhar’s caliber in agribusiness join us as our inaugural Executive in Residence in Agribusiness,” says Grandy. “This program is a way for the Hill and Levene Schools and the University to better serve the needs of Saskatchewan employers operating in ag-related fields. I am confident that with Brad in this role, we will be able to excel in doing just that.”

Through the relationships built during his years in agribusiness, Farquhar is working to bring together his worldwide network of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the world to connect them with members of the U of R community.

“I’m really looking forward to this – it’s going to be fun,” says Farquhar. “I want to do all I can to help set students up for success in their agribusiness careers.”


Related

Learn more about the Executive in Residence in Agribusiness program