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James McJunkins

Letter from the CEO

James McJunkins

President & Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit Midsouth

At least once a year, most businesses, including Farm Credit Midsouth, go through a strategic planning and risk assessment process. This process involves a serious, unbiased, open-minded evaluation of the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT).

It would no doubt be a great practice for every farm operation to take the time to do the same. Involve as many people as you can in the SWOT assessment process—your crop consultant, employees, family members, accountant, and your lender. It is important to take a good, hard, honest look at your operation. Be open-minded, don’t get offended, and document—in writing—all of your information.

In completing your SWOT evaluation:

  1. Look at every area of your operation, not just production (marketing, financial, succession, regulations and risk).
  2. Identify all of the risk in each of these areas.
  3. Evaluate the potential impact of that risk. Some will be significant (such as prices falling!)
  4. Identify what you can do to mitigate each risk. If you have no control, and the impact is significant, this will be an area on which you may need to concentrate. Mitigate that risk. For example, if my tractor burns do I have insurance? If hail hits my field, am I covered? If the market goes down, what then?

Many of our farming operations are very large businesses and involve millions of dollars in investment and risk. However, regardless of the size, I encourage any business to make it a practice to conduct an annual strategic planning and risk assessment. Taking the time to evaluate and document your risk each year could very well determine a profit or a loss for the year.

You can find a great deal of information online regarding strategic planning, SWOT analysis and risk assessments. If we can help in any way, feel free to reach out. As your Cooperative and lender, your success is our success!

Best wishes for a profitable 2021,

James McJunkins

President & Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit Midsouth

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