With low milk prices, industry consolidation, and declining consumer demand, what would you do as CEO of your struggling, family farm?
The case study, “the Future of Four Creeks Farm: Scale-Up, Diversify, or Exit” challenges students to make an informed business decision by exploring the U.S. dairy market, government policies, supply chain, diversification strategies, and more. The assignment is designed to have students apply strategic management tools, practice critical thinking and decision-making, and understand the real-life challenges that small, family-operated dairy farms experience.
The case study was written by Food and Resource Economics (FRE) Assistant Professor, Dr. Olesya Savchenko, FRE Master of Agribusiness alumna (2020), Kellie Zambito, and Dr. Patrick M. Fleming of Franklin & Marshall College. It was inspired by Kellie’s interest in the dairy industry, especially as she and her sisters had just opened up their own ice cream shop. While Kellie was completing her degree, she took Dr. Savchenko’s Management Strategies for Agribusiness Firms (AEB 6385) and was encouraged to work on an advanced version of the course assignment.
They worked together on this project, and now it’s published in the Applied Economics Teaching Resources (AETR) journal for other Agricultural Economics educators to use in their classes. In Dr. Savchenko’s words, “It is a big accomplishment for a Master’s student in a non-thesis program to take a project to publication”.
Download a copy of the PDF by clicking here. I would encourage you to read through the assignment to practice your critical thinking and answer the question: what would you do?