14th Congress Proceedings
Management Advisory Groups For The Changing Agricultural Structure
The most dramatic change occurring in agricultural production is the change in business strategies. In the US, family farmers have traditionally made decisions with whatever information they could independently gather. Today, the ability to assimilate an overload of data into decision making information is difficult. The decision framework is also becoming more complex. The complexity of management challenges includes customer relations, price risk management, environmental regulatory compliance, zoning regulations and nutrient management. Agricultural managers need to comprehend business relationships and extract value from the use of intangible assets such as marketing systems, production alternatives, market chains and strategic planning processes. Management advisory services can assist producers, such as pork producers, extract value from these systems. Pork production must meet societal goals for production systems and environmental practices provide the operators and employees with a satisfactory livelihood and encourage future production. A survey of pork producers was conducted to determine future and current information needs, preferred methods of receiving information and the management challenges they are facing. This information will be used to develop alternative methods for producers to meet these management challenges including the formation of cooperative advisory groups. The advisory group is a cooperative method of acquiring the information and services needed to address these challenges.