World Perspectives
feed-grains wheat soy-oilseeds

Tax Laws and Agricultural Coops

When we entered the grain business right out of college in the mid-1950s, there was a considerable level of antipathy and distrust between agricultural cooperatives and non-coop grain companies. The two groups often competed to buy grain from the same farmers. They also competed to sell seeds, feed and fertilizer as well as a variety of other goods and services to the same customers. It was common to see a coop-owned country elevator and a privately-owned one along the same railroad track in the same small town trying to conduct the same business activities with the same customer base. Part of the distrust and antipathy was philosophical. The agricultural cooperative movement grew in response to farmers’ widely-held belief that they...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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