Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 25, 1998, Image 20

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    A2O-Lancasl«r Farming, Saturday, Apr! 25, 1999
Land O’Lakes
CEO Outlines
Vision For The Future
speech focusing on Land O’Lakes
vision for the future, die national
food and agricultural coopera
tive’s President and Chief Execu
tive Officer Jack Gherty not only
outlined thh organization’s key
strategies for ongoing success, but
announced a new feed joint ven
ture and unification talks with a
major West Coast dairy coopera
Gherty opened his remarks to
the nearly 3,000 delegates and
visitors at Land O’Lakes annual
meeting by citing four 1997
achievements which helped posi
tion Land O’Lakes for future suc
cess: die growth of Land O’Lakes
aligned pork production system;
the merger with Atlantic Dairy
Cooperative; record volumes and
continued market share growth in
the Agronomy area; and the acqui
sition of Alpine Lace, a leading
deli cheese company.
Land O’Lakes is absolutely
committed to the development of
a world-class aligned pork pro
duction system, “offering inde
pendent producers a viable alter
native to the growing force of
large, vertical integrators,” Gherty
told the Minneapolis Convention
Center audience, adding that this
goal will be accomplished by de
livering genetically superior and
consistent feeder pigs to inde
pendent producers through local
Land O’Lakes fast-growing
pork production system will not
only protect the interests of inde
pendent producers, but also the
cooperative system’s feed assets,
Gberty said.
Discussing the 1997 merger
with Atlantic Dairy Cooperative,
Gherty said it not only doubled
Land O’Lakes milk production
and improved access to key East
Coast markets, but also ‘Repre
sented important progress in the
establishment of a truly national
dairy sourcing and production sys
tem which is absolutely essen
tial to our ability to leverage our
national marketing system into in
creased returns for members.”
Continued growth in Agro
nomy (plant food and crap protec
tion products) market share is vital
in an industry where market share,
critical mass and economies of
scale are essential to effectively
and economically meeting cus
tomer needs, Gherty said.
Moving on to the Alpine Lace
acquisition, Gherty said it in
creraed Land O’Lakes number
one market share in the deli cheese
category from 13. percent to 17
percent, adding that, “As industry
after industry consolidates, it is
becoming even more important to
solidify our position in value
added, branded categories.”
Gherty continued his focus on
the future, outlining six major
trends he said will shape the new
era in which agriculture and agri
business must operate. Those
trends included:*
• the continued restructuring of
• the withdrawal of government
from the marketplace;
• ongoing economic globaliza
tion and consolidation;
• the increased importance of
value-added products in world
agricultural markets;
• the explosive advance of tech
nology; and
• the growing importance of
knowledge workers.
Land O’Lakes has strategies in
place for continued success in a
marketplace shaped by those
trends, Gherty said.
“In Agronomy, we will con
tinue our passion for growth,” he
said, adding that key strategies in
clude: facilitating local coopera
tive retail acquisidns; expanding
direct partnering with local co
operatives; exploring ways to
work with other regional coopera
tives; and expanding the coopera
tive system’s plant food produc
tion capacity.
“In Feed, we will remain com
mitted to system focus,” Gherty
said, “and to working with local
cooperatives to be die best feed
company in the world.”
Land O’Lakes Feed strategies
include restructuring its Upper
Midwest feed system; expanded
partnering with local coopera
tives; and working with other re
gional cooperatives to become a
truly national feed organization.
Land O’Lakes also is commit
ted to continuing its growth and
momentum in the development of
an aligned pork production sys
tem, Gherty said, adding that the
cooperative will “explore ways to
leverage our pork production
strength and food industry know
ledge into a strong position in the
pork marketing arena.”
In Seed, Gherty said Land
O’Lakes is committed to remain
ing a world leader in alfalfa re
search and production, as well as
to “delivering the best ideas in
seed genetics to members.”
Key to accomplishing those
strategies will be leveraging the
Seed Division’s alignment with
Land O’Lakes Feed operations,
the Ccnex/Land O’Lakes Agro
nomy Company and the local co
operative distribution system.
In Dairy Foods, Land O’Lakes
is committed to aggressive, fo
cused growth.
“We are already a national mar
keting company,” Gherty said.
“To add maximum value for our
dairy producers, we must build a
national sourcing and production
In pursuit of that goal. Land
O’Lakes is currently involved in
unification talks with Dairyman’s
Cooperative Creamery Associa
tion, a major California dairy co
operative, Gherty announced.
Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods’
strategies also include aggressive
growth in such areas as fluid dairy
and next-generation whey frac
Gherty concluded by stressing
that Land O’Lakes strategies for
the future are based on a “passion
for performance and a commit
ment to serving customer and
shareholder needs.”
Land O’Lakes, Inc. is a national
food and agricultural cooperative.
It is a leading marketer of dairy
products across the U.S.; serves
international customers with a
variety of food and animal feed
products; and is owned by and
provides family farmers and mem
ber cooperatives in the U.S. with
an extensive line of feeds, seed,
plant food and crop protection
Thanks it
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