Back in 2002, before many of us had walked the sidewalks of Cyburbia, there was a thread called Agri-business.
I am introducing this thread with almost the same name. My intention is to open discussion (if any) on the influence of any agri-business that may be in your area or an agri-biz that you may have been involved with.
I also chose to include it in FAC rather than Economic Development. If that is the wrong choice (based on responses), mods can move the thread.
Metro Toledo is adjacent to the eastern ends of the USA's farm belt. Because NW Ohio is basically a drained swamp ("The Great Black Swamp") the soil is rich and continually produces some of the finest crops in the country. Grain elevators dot the area landscape.....although most are small and nowhere near the size of the grain elevators that might be a common sight in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, etc.
A Toledo suburb, Maumee, OH, is the home of one of the largest and most-successful agri-businesses in the land.....The Anderson's. They do have very large grain elevators, as part of their biz. But this family company (now traded on the public stock exchange) is more than just grain.
The Anderson's operates grain elevators in Maumee and a host of other midwest communities. In their huge complex in Maumee they move grains, prepare fertilizers and other chemicals, and perform other related functions.
The Anderson's is now one of the largest owners of rail cars in the USA. They continue to purchase these rail cars.....primarily grain-hauling hopper cars. This action reminds one of Henry Ford's original plans.....own everything that you need to run your business.
The Anderson's has been very active in the development of ethanol. New ethanol facilities are being built even as I type this post.
Anderson's General Stores
The Anderson's have a number of General Stores. Three in the Toledo metro and (if I remember correctly) Columbus, OH, also has a couple. These stores are "heaven" for would-be handymen (like this Bear tries to be). Yesterday, Katie and I were at the Maumee store and she wandered the huge vegetable market while I grabbed some tool items. Heaven.
A few years ago you could buy a share of Anderson's stock for just a few bucks. Today it is near $200 a share. An incredible jump in a short time. Reasons.....those rail cars and the ethanol stand out as reasons to invest in this company.
The Anderson family is huge. The family has a huge compound in the southwest Metro area (near Maumee).....huge homes built in a wooded creek area. The compound even includes a basketball building.....full court! This Bear has played there a number of times, with friends who work there or with a family member I know.
The family is a good citizen, contributing to the welfare of the community. They are often sponsors of community events, etc. They employ hundreds (perhaps thousands). Next week when I am at the local Industrial Awards banquet, many recipients from The Anderon's will be honored, because of their great safety records. One family member even owns a tavern in Maumee.....a tavern that this Bear has frequented quite often.
In an area of the country that gets trashed a lot it is nice to see a very successful business, making solid business decisions, growing the community in a positive manner, and providing services to assist those who sow the good soils of our land.
What say you? Any agri-business stories in your area?