Jon Montgomery giving a speech at the 2018 Southwest Agricultural conference. January 3, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

TV Host And Olympian Speaks At SW Ag Conference

An Olympic gold medalist and television host is telling local residents that it’s time for farmers to embrace technology.

Jon Montgomery was the featured speaker at the Southwest Agricultural Conference in Ridgetown on Wednesday. Montgomery won his first Olympic gold medal in skeleton at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and also is the host of Amazing Race Canada.

During his speech, Montgomery focused on the move towards technology in the farming and agricultural industry.

“They’re going to have to learn to implement [technology] in their daily lives… how to make the most of it in terms of efficiency and how to make the most of the new tech in terms of the environment — what we are all trying to preserve. Doing what we’ve done traditionally with a greater spin on environment focus and consideration, they’re going to have to embrace tech and that’s not easy,” he says.

Montgomery’s advice to anyone working towards a dream is to have confidence.

“I think anybody who is setting goals… short-term goals or long-term goals… and care about what they do… needs self-efficacy. They need the confidence within themselves to believe that the goals they are setting for themselves are within their reach,” says Montgomery.

With a career full of adventure, Montgomery says the biggest thing he has learned is to always focus on the bigger picture and not worry about the small things.

“The one thing that I have had success by is never taking myself too seriously… not in sport, not in life, not in any situation,” says Montgomery.

Montgomery says in the future he would love to become a food producer. He is not sure what sector he would like to get into yet, but he is interested in shrimp farming.

The Honourable Roméo Dallaire, who is the retired lieutenant general of Canada, is the conference’s next featured speaker. Dallaire is a leader of international peacekeeping missions, a former Canadian Senator, and a bestselling author.

He will be speaking at the Ridgetown District High School gym from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday.