Making the switch from commodity to industry

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 20, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Dr. Charlie Hall of the University of Tennessee points out in a presentation on change in agribusiness that globalization has led to a startling reduction in the US share of world grain production. And while some fear that sounds the death knell for US agriculture, Hall and others see opportunity.

Of course, things will be different. But one of the most exciting components of the new ag world order is the need, yes need, for entrepreneurs. In Hall’s words, the new business models will call for:

  • Independent Producers
  • Multiple Plant Entrepreneurs
  • Franchise Growers
  • Network Qualified Suppliers
  • Piece Work Contractors

He also sees a paradigm shift from trying to manage price to better cost control. It’s about managing the things you can control and leaving the rest.

Supply chain management, smart marketing and a heavy dose of innovation will be needed for US agribusiness to win in the long run. Regardless of how we respond, one thing is clear: the pace and magnitude of change are increasing, and we must assume our competitors are ahead of us.


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