2011 Commercial Farmer’s Symposium Daryl Oldvader, CEO
The Changing Demographics In Agriculture• Agriculture is getting smaller. Although we have approximately 2 million farmers, 10% of those produce 90% of the total value of agriculture.• Traditional farming is no longer traditional. Driven by economics, family farms have become more specialized or niche-market oriented.
The Changing Demographics In Agriculture• Bimodal distribution continues in agriculture. The traditional farm sector is evaporating into either the larger commercial sector or the smaller part-time farm sector.• Selective Farming: Commodities vs. Products. It’s no longer simply #2 yellow corn or a pound of meat or milk, rather it’s a product with distinguishable traits produced for a specific audience.
The Changing Demographics In Agriculture• Commercial producers are linking into value chains…to extract additional product margins by becoming part of mega complexes and networks.• Commercial vs. Lifestyle Farming: Is the country big enough for both? Environmental and animal welfare regulations will continue to challenge production agriculture.
The Changing Demographics In Agriculture• The rural infrastructure continues to regionalize based on locations of primary employers, health care and educational opportunities.• E-commerce will hasten disintermediation in agriculture. The trend will shift more from shopping prices to acquiring products.
Top Ten Suggestions for Managing Volatility1. Control your destiny, or at least plan like it.2. Develop a dashboard and monitor it.3. Remember risk.4. Sell for profit, not for bragging rights.5. Seek several sources.6. Beware of bubbles.7. Tell your story.8. Success makes a lousy teacher.9. Never let your ego exceed your intelligence.10. Farm for a living; don’t live for farming.