The President's / Chairman's Letter
Agricultural media are proclaiming 2010 through 2014 as the Golden Age of Agriculture. The period was one of unprecedented growth and profitability for most entities involved in agriculture.
MFA was no exception. The cooperative enjoyed its most profitable five-year period in history. That momentum was fueled by an emphasis on finance, people, and the MFA system of operations, processes and products. As a result, financial strength allowed MFA to invest in the future, return cash to our member/owners, and maintain the liquidity needed to take advantage of market-place opportunities. Working capital has seen substantial growth, recording $75 million at the end of fiscal 2015.
MFA continues to pursue growth opportunities that meet targeted returns and economically benefit our member/owners. The company is in solid financial shape.
MFA has been successful in attracting, developing and retaining talent. The cooperative has in place an intern program called the MFA Ag Experience. The program gives talented college sophomores and juniors the opportunity to prove themselves during their tenure.
MFA is a people business. We will continue to hire the best people and train them. In addition, MFA’s internal development program focuses on training employees in skills and practices essential to modern agriculture. MFA is committed to enhancing the value of the employee group.
In the past five years, MFA has acquired nine individual businesses, some in new geographic areas and others that are additions to current operations. These acquisitions are strategic. The company continues to be committed to capital expenditures that substantially upgrade grain facilities, feed mills and supply warehouses while simultaneously investing in joint ventures that strengthen the company.
The company has also made substantial investment in software enhancements to provide a platform to allow faster access to data, improved data management and customer access to their data in the MFA system.
MFA’s marketing and sales have specific financial targets and have achieved growth in almost all areas. Although fiscal 2015 was affected by untimely rains that prevented planting across significant areas of the trade territory, MFA’s efficiencies and stable operating platform continue to support growth both for the cooperative and its member/owners.
Nationally, MFA Incorporated is ranked in the top 10, not just in comparison to other cooperatives but in all of retail agriculture: in retail sales, number of storefronts, grain volume, plant food sales, crop protection sales, seed sales and precision ag sales. MFA has the products and services that are market leaders in the sales territory.
As MFA enters the new era of agriculture, the company is positioned to take advantage of opportunities. MFA is strong financially with an employee base that is second to none; with the right products and services; and with a system designed to create efficiencies and support growth.
MFA is poised to continue the momentum.