Carl’s Comments: In good times and bad

Carl Dickinson, CEO

Carl Dickinson, CEO

Indications are that 2013 will result in the highest on-farm income in history.  In fact, the past five years have been the best stretch of profitability most of us have ever seen.  For most of us, it has been pretty easy.  Not to say that we haven’t had to work hard, and make good decisions.  It’s just that we were very well rewarded for all the right things we have done.  If you have been in production agriculture very long, you will remember when you could do all the right things and the rewards were very small.

Looking into the future today, the picture does not look quite as rosy.  I am not trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom, nor am I trying to predict the markets.  I do believe that we are looking at a tightening margin structure in production agriculture.  That being said, I am confident that the increased volatility we have experienced will continue creating a bigger spread between winning and losing and putting a premium on making sound business decisions in a timely manner.

Your cooperative is here for you.  We are focused on helping you be successful; that is why we exist.  During these good times we have upgraded facilities and equipment to handle the products we buy and sell, faster and more efficiently.  We have invested in people with expertise in both raising crops, and helping to reach the best markets.  And we have invested in and adopted technology to help you produce even better yields at less cost per bushel. We have lowered our costs per unit handled and strengthened our balance sheet to allow us to compete on your behalf in the marketplace.  We have built relationships with end-user markets, technology suppliers and the product supply chain to offer you the very best value.


No one can predict the future.  What we can do is to put ourselves in the best position to succeed – regardless of what happens.  Your Cooperative is stronger, fitter and in a better position than at any time in its history.  We are ready and willing to be there for you regardless of what the future brings.

In the next couple of months, I will be having Roundtable sessions at our locations.  I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you about your Cooperative.