When MFA closed its
books on the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2017, we announced an after-tax
profit of $10.2 million and total cash payments of $6.3 million in patronage
and equity retirement. That’s a respectable financial performance given the
marketplace challenges that all of us in agriculture face right now.
The cyclical nature
of agricultural isn’t new. Like most Midwest farming operations, MFA’s
profitability rises and falls in tandem with commodity prices. But that doesn’t
mean we can be complacent. It’s not good enough to say that a down cycle will
run its course. We have to keep moving forward and seeking improvement to be
sustainable long term.
MFA has been in
business since 1914, and a company that operates for such a long span also
delivers some crucial lessons. From my perspective, time has proven that three
core areas make MFA successful and will ensure our continued success. They are
people, operations and financial strength.
It’s not a
coincidence that these ideas are covered in MFA’s mission statement: We will
generate profitable growth by empowering employees to provide value-added
products, services and expertise for the benefit of our member-owners. In this
business, success is mutual, never one-sided.
When it comes to
people, you may have noticed that our mission statement mentions both employees
and our member-owners. That’s important because our business is based on
developing partnerships. That’s where it all starts, and that is the real
foundation of success for MFA.
On MFA’s side of
that relationship, we know that recruiting, hiring and retaining top-industry
talent must remain a focus. We have stepped up efforts to deliver training to
our workforce. As agriculture continues to evolve, our expertise must evolve,
From an operations
standpoint, I will tell you that MFA is committed to long-term improvements and
delivering products and services to fulfill our mission of adding value for our
member-owners. We are leaders in these areas because that’s an essential
function of your cooperative. It’s an important part of our partnership with
When I see MFA at
work in that partnership, I can say I’m proud to lead a company that possesses
the level of talent and passion for agriculture that I see in our workforce.
Our people live the values of the company. They operate with honesty and
integrity, embrace innovation and know they are accountable to you and the
whole MFA team.
With these values,
MFA will continue to bring benefits to our member-owners and build financial
strength regardless of uncertainties in the agricultural cycle.
CLICK TO VIEW the full August 31, 2017 Consolidated Financial Statements and Independent Auditors Report.
READ the Today's Farmer magazine story, The Year in Review, about MFA's 2016-17 Fiscal year.