A future characterized by volatility, wild price swings and economic uncertainty is vividly painted in an eye-opening yet prescriptive white paper written by Scott Stewart, president and CEO of Stewart-Peterson Inc.
“My objective is to open readers’ minds to the possibilities of what can occur in the decade or more ahead,” writes the 30-year veteran of commodity marketing, whose consulting firm helps grain, dairy and livestock farms manage market opportunities and risks. “The global events we are seeing now and will see ahead have impact right down to the rural community and farm level. More importantly, the way in which individual farmers respond to these events will have incredible impact on our entire nation and the health of our rural communities.”
Stewart unfolds layers of the American economy and its ability to bounce back from stressors such as debt and high commodity prices. Agriculture will play a key role in America’s economic future, Stewart asserts that independent American farmers must reap rewards that agriculture offers, or risk becoming servants of ag sector investors.
“What happens when corporate America or foreign investors bring their stockholder dollars in to buy land? A dramatic shift, in that many producers will no longer be farming ground they own,” Stewart writes.
Optimism also appears in the paper in short, hopeful bursts as Stewart offers suggestions for what farmers can do to maintain their independence and play a key role in future American economic success.
He points to debt reduction and “market scenario planning” as keys to farmers’ maintaining their financial independence. Market scenario planning is a method for minimizing uncertainty in decision-making, developed by Stewart and applied by his firm as part of a disciplined and strategic approach to commodity marketing.
First and foremost, Stewart says, “Make money. Make lots of money. Remain competitive and independent,” he charges.
“The downfall of rural America is only going to occur if farmer producers across this country do not maximize their profitability, take advantage of record prices when they occur, and make record profits. Those who leave money on the table are leaving opportunity on the table, and ultimately are opening the door for that opportunity to be snatched up by others.”
To obtain a copy of the white paper, call (800) 334-9779 or visit the firm’s web site at www.stewart-peterson.com.
Stewart-Peterson is a commodity consulting firm that offers strategic opportunity and risk management services to farmers nationwide. Stewart-Peterson has consistently ranked among the nation’s top agricultural commodity consulting firms for more than 25 years.