Meakin Enterprises: Balancing Risks in the Agriculture Industry
(10 pages of text)
In January 2017, a Canadian farmer and entrepreneur faced a challenging decision about the future of his two businesses: a farming operation and a trucking operation. After the hectic 2016 farming and trucking season, he began to compare his 2016 and 2015 financial statements for the farming business, Meakin Farms Inc., and the trucking business, Meakin Industrial Ag Corp. While both organizations remained viable, he wondered what he should do for 2017 and beyond, given the unique structure of the businesses and the vast uncertainty of the agricultural industry. Should he pursue an expansion, a contraction, or should he maintain the current levels of business? He needed to identify a strategic direction that would balance the size and scope of his businesses while accounting for environmental risks.
This case is best suited for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in accounting, business strategy, or entrepreneurship. It is also suitable for a capstone case course that integrates multiple topics. The objective of the case is to introduce students to an actual farming venture where they must make a strategic decision about the future of the business by incorporating financial analysis, environmental scanning, risk management, and resource planning. Various tools can be covered, including Porter's Five Forces, PESTEL analysis, the resource-based view (VRINE), enterprise risk, and income projections. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- identify and analyze business risks in the agricultural industry;
- identify and analyze the resources and capabilities of the focal firm;
- understand how environmental and enterprise analyses complement financial analysis when making strategic decisions; and
- use both qualitative and quantitative analyses to provide recommendations for the deployment of limited resources.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Canada, Small, 2017
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