Pay Attention to Your Co-Op
WORDS : ERIC FRUITS , PH.D.
Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is chief economist and president at Economics International Corp. and an adjunct professor at Portland State University.
Farmland Industries was once the largest farmer-owned co-op in the United States. In 2001, it opened a new headquarters in Kansas City. The glass-wrapped building and deluxe executive suites told the world that Farmland had become an agribusiness giant. At the time, the co-op was racking up debt—building a big expensive fertilizer plant, upgrading older fertilizer plants, and spending nearly $100 million on new computer software. In 2002, Farmland filed for bankruptcy. By 2004, its last big asset had been sold off. Continue reading