Throughout the Midwest, there has been a longstanding reliance on crop farming, dairy farming, and ranching to support the economy and the families who live there. The tendency to imagine the small family farm and the tireless farmer out plowing the fields with a team of horses, however, has been outdated for decades. Instead, the work that goes into the land and livestock and the products that come out have led to the creation of whole industries that are intricately connected and which support – or in some cases replace – the traditional structures and responsibilities. As a whole, all of these functions are termed “agribusiness”.
One of the most important concepts to understand fully before you start a new company that will be engaged in this market or when you are considering ways to reposition your existing business through an expansion or merger is how the different components interact with each other. The complex network of suppliers, distributors, food manufacturers, and growers does not tend to permit one party to significantly outpace the success of those in parallel operations. Failing distributors can prevent produce and meats from reaching the market in a timely manner, costing farmers and ranchers substantial amounts of money in lost revenue as their goods expire.
Examples of Agribusinesses
With a scope as broad as that of agribusiness, it can be difficult to get a clear picture of which businesses belong in the category. Moreover, it can be a challenge to identify what role a specific company or kind of business plays in the larger scheme. It is helpful then, to break these separate concerns down into smaller groupings that can be more easily organized.
Farming and Ranching
Dairy farming – farmers who raise cows, milk them, bottle the milk for sale, make butter, and other dairy products
Cattle ranching – ranchers raise livestock intended to be sold for meat, leather, and other byproducts
Crop farming – crops are planted, grown, and harvested at which point they may be sent directly to market or sold to a company that will use the crop to make something else, frequently extracting oils
Farming machinery makers – design and build machines such as tractors, tillers, threshers
Retail farming stores – sell machinery and tools to farmers
Chemical companies – make pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used to enhance growth in some way
Direct delivery – for transporting goods directly to the retail environment where they will be sold
Warehouse delivery – crops will be carried to a distribution center where they will be stored with others until orders are received or a specified shipping date
Canneries – making tinned fruits, vegetables, and other products intended for long shelf life
Companies which convert byproducts into useful goods
Companies that produce packaged items such as cereals, pet foods, etc.
To Learn More
The Des Moines agribusiness lawyers of LaMarca & Landry, P.C., can help you to fully understand how the present state of the law bears on your agribusiness. Speak with them directly to arrange a consultation.