Monday, July 23 2018
By Carter Williams, CEO and Managing Director of iSelect
Author J.D. Vance made the case for rural America in his 2016 book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” sparking a months-long debate about the role of city vs. country in our economy, our lifestyles and our politics that’s still ongoing.
We learned the full scope of that debate on Election Day 2016.
But the fact remains, rural America is a key part of American society and of the nation’s economy, encompassing the vast majority of our landmass as well as millions of individual people. That role looks to only increase in the coming years.
Why? Because rural America remains primarily focused on one industry: agriculture. And that industry has been getting chopped to pieces in recent years.
Sunday, October 01 2017
By Don Schjeldahl, Principal, DSG Advisors
Agribusiness/food processing, like many industries, is no stranger to shifting economies forcing the repurposing or closing of facilities. Aging production technologies, volatile raw material supplies, and shifting consumer preferences and markets are among the many factors that propel the industry. The ability of a company to adapt to change means producers can extend the life of facilities and protect market share.
There are obvious advantages for corporate managers to carefully consider the attributes of candidate locations when deciding where to invest in new or expanding facilities. Increasingly important is the need for decision makers to identify communities that track the changing needs of niche sectors, and adjust offerings accordingly. A facility located in one of these communities is more likely to achieve long-term success by reducing risk from swings in technology, markets, raw materials, and other forces.
Wednesday, September 14 2016
By Janet Ady, president and CEO, Ady Advantage
Everybody’s got to eat. That’s one of the few things in life you can count on, and a fact that makes agriculture and food processing (which is also known as “agribusiness”) a steady player among industries. Just about every other aspect of agribusiness has been impacted by change, many of them seismic. Most of these changes have had an impact on how companies make expansion and relocation decisions, and in turn, how communities, regions and states retain and grow investments in their areas.
Trends Impacting Agribusiness
Monday, September 21 2015
Following in the wake of the growing popularity of the craft wine and beer industries, spirits are the latest adult beverage to see increased interest by small, local producers looking to create unique products for a niche market. The surge in demand for locally produced alcohol aligns with the recent increase in demand for artisanal goods, the local foods movements, and the growing interest of consumers’ in where and how their food and drinks are made.
The recent uptick in the number of craft distilleries in the United States has created unique opportunities for communities and economic developers looking to support this industry. The increase in distilling also impacts other regional economic engines, such as the agriculture, bottling, transportation, and hospitality industries, among others. The following article outlines the history of the distilling industry, including recent trends, two case studies, workforce considerations, and some information for economic developers looking to help encourage economic activity related to distilling.