Several ag companies make Canada’s top 100 employers list

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Many farmers have a true dislike for Monsanto, but not only do they stand out as mentioned above, they are also publicly traded meaning anyone can purchase their shares and take part in their profits.

Raube Beuerman

Most farmers use some Monsanto products and with few exceptions they are widely accepted and very useful.

Remember that Raube's opinion's do not constitute investment advice.

Anyone requiring advice on investments, should contact a qualified financial or other professional adviser.

I think this website has to many wannabe investment Pro.
Maybe stick with farming may be the order of the Day.

Yes, far too easy to talk fictitious stock success in the rear view mirror trying to impress kids in the playground.
Not the first time Raube has done this.

Too many farmers and others have a hate on for many big corporations.

One piece of investment advice I have come across a few times is to buy shares of business' that people hate, like telcos, the banks, monsanto and energy for example.

If I can point out other places for any younger readers to consider parking their money, then I will happily do so.

I suspect all of the anonymous posters who have posted under this story so far are a bunch of old relics looking to soon sell their overpriced ponzi scheme quota to some gullible young fella, or their land that only yields a 2% return.

Of course they will reply claiming that they are not as I have outlined.

But why else would they post anonymously???

Raube Beuerman

When posters' solid logic has calmly and politely torn your position apart - attack them for being anonymous! Leave it to Capt. Obvious.

It's very easy to be anonymously-snide when one is sitting on land with an up-to 50-1 price/earnings multiple. It's a completely-different matter for a young person trying to get established in the face of the cash-flow reality of these same stratospheric price/earnings multiples.

We are, by definition, in a farmland "bubble", and it's going to end badly, as all bubbles do for those who believe, as do many on this site, that farmland is somehow immune from sound investment principles.

Farmland was in a bubble in 1979 and, as a result, many farmland investors who believed farmland was immune from sound investment principles lost everything, and deservedly-so - the same thing happened in 1929, and it will happen again.

When it comes to defending the logical and eventually-disastrous results of 50/1 price/earnings multiples, there is not, and cannot be, any sort of "solid logic" except the logic that says investors in farmland, especially the anonymous ones, are on the wrong side of basic and well-established investment principles.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Please explain why it is O.K. for society to bid up development farmland around T.O. to sell for over $54,000.00 per acre yet somehow good productive farmland is somehow overvalued at $8,000 to $14,000 per acre?
The cost of most every other input in food production is going up exponentially so why not land?
The real problem is the world demand for high value processed foods are going to need an increase of at least 50 percent in food volume to feed the world in the next few years. in order to accomplish that both input prices including land and output prices will need to increase. Besides, even Intensive livestock farms according to the Valco study have been named in bidding up the price of farmland. Get used to it, while there may be some ups and downs over the past century, the overall price of land as with all inputs is Up.

The bottom line is that buying land, or anything else for that matter, at price/earnings multiples is stupid. I offer privately-owned Cargill Limited as an example of how to grow a company over a 100 year time span by buying somebody else's investment mistakes at 20 cents on the dollar.

Farmers have always had the "buy land, they're not making it any more" mentality - those who bought in 1973 or 1986 when price/earnings multiples were almost in the single digits did OK, but those who bought in 1979 when, if my memory is correct, price/earnings multiples were close to 30/1, if they kept their land at all, and many didn't, it took close to 25 years, or a better part of their farming career, for them to get back to break-even.

The clincher in the argument that we're near a peak is the abundance of anonymous pundits offering "feed the world" sentiments that land has nowhere to go but up - unfortunately, as a group, farmers always believe things are the rosiest just before a crash, and are always the most pessimistic at the bottom.

More to the point, people buying farmland at today's price/earnings multiples in order to "help" their children could be, and should be, convicted of child abuse.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

To feed feed those people their lncome will have to increase at the same pace as the land and other inputs or people starve and farmers go broke

In case you forgot, the Min. wage has also trended up for centuries!

In response to "Min. Wage Trend Up Also"

Yes, you are correct that now and again, minimum wage is raised.

However, the price increases caused or contributed to by Supply Management have increased up to 31.7% faster than the min. wage increase over the 10 year period 1995 - 2005 (see )

This has made chicken less and less affordable by those earning Min. Wage.

Since chicken has been traditionally the cheapest available meat, the chronic price gouging by Canada's Supply Management system has forced more and more Canadians to become vegetarians because they can no longer afford chicken.

Excessive dietary carbohydrates causes or contributes to a host of diseases and health problems that have become the epidemics of today.

Health care is more than 40% of the provincial budget, and just diabetes and its complications are forecast to consume the entire health care budget by 2045 at current growth rates. There will be no money left for healing broken legs, nor car accidents, nor birthing babies.

All of this responsibility is dropped at SM's doorstep where it belongs. Eventually, SM and its leaders will be held accountable for helping destroy the health of Canadians, and severely weakening Canada overall.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Yes, however, chicken and turkey are still both cheaper than pork or beef on a lb. per lb. basis. Therefore, chicken and turkey are both still the cheapest meat for the poor.

How can you say that chicken is cheaper then pork, clearly your not the one doing the shopping ....

Sean McGivern

Bacon was $10.00 per lb.

In response to "News Flash, The Long Term Overall Trend is Up"

You propose that prices must rise to be able to supply the growing demand. I don't necessarily agree.

The Law of Supply & Demand would tend to match demand to supply by price adjustments. Also, the Law of Resources says that we will tend to use the best resource first (ie. increasing demand will bring less productive farms, farmers, and land into production once all the best resources are fully occupied). Less productive resources will tend to require higher prices to keep them engaged. On the basis of just these two isolated factors, you are partially right.

However, there is the possibility of productivity improvements.

For example, I bought an Apple II+ computer in 1979 for about $2,500.00 which was an 8 bit 6502 processor running at 1 MHz with 48 kB of RAM memory and no hard drive, and one 5 1/4" floppy drive, and only rudimentary software. It cost me a more than 2 months salary.

A few months ago, I bought a notebook computer with a 64 bit Intel i5 processor 2 cores 4 threads running at 1.8 GHz, 4 MB of ram, 0.5 Terrabyte hard drive, loaded with MS Office professional software etc., for $750.00 This computer is about 4,000 times more powerful than the Apple II+ of the 1970's.

The Consumer Price Index ("CPI") was ~35 in 1978 and is ~125 today. That means the $2,500.00 Apple II+ in 1977 is equivalent to $8,928 today (ie. 125/35*$2,500= $8,928). If we assume today's notebook is 4,000 faster & better than the Apple II+, then the equivalent price for today's notebook is $35.72 Million if we use hedonics (see ) to compare computers of equivalent power (apples vs. apples, not apples vs. oranges).

How is it that I bought the new notebook for $750 rather than the equivalent Apple II+ price in 2014 of $35.72 Million?

From 1978 to 2014 is 36 years. Assuming a steady rate of CPI inflation over these 36 years, the equivalent Apple II+ computer price would have inflated by 30.44% per year. However, it actually deflated by 3.4% per year.
It is because of competition and continuous improvement in the computer industry.

The computer industry faced inflating expectations from raw material suppliers, staff wages, energy, and everything else. They improved their operation, or were subject to dying an early death.

Unfortunately, Canada's Supply Management system for chicken, eggs, turkey, & dairy doesn't have to improve. They get to charge whatever they like, regularly putting through price increases to Canadian consumers as the rest of the world improves, and SM margins get squeezed. Canadians pay and pay again for SM's growing inefficiencies.

For example, Ontario's FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) is 1.72 but Tegel Poultry in New Zealand is just 1.38 or lower (see ); 24.6% better than Ontario.

If SM were to change their focus today, it might take them 2 decades to regain the competitive ground they have lost to the rest of the world during SM's ineffective reign.

Until SM changes their ineffective system, Canadians are forced to slowly sink in the SM swamp, unable to be rescued from their terrible fate.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

So why would any young person want to get into some that, as you put it,be on some "bubble" with it ending badly ? Why not sink their hard earned money into something that Mr.Beuerman would advise and sit back and relax with a cold beer and watch those dividends pile up.

The only explaination is that you are wrong!

I suggest if people want to sign there names on here then have a reliable proofreader,some of this stuff is just foolish.

In 1979 a Fortune Magazine headline warned "Investors in Farmland on Dangerous Ground" and advised investors to seek alternative investment vehicles - it was good advice that went largely unheeded in the agricultural community, both here and in the US because farmers, by-and-large, and especially the anonymous ones, don't understand anything about price/earnings multiples.

Simply stated, at that time the price/earnings multiples of land had gotten completely out-of-whack with long-term investment norms meaning that incomes either had to rise or the base price of land had to fall - it fell, fell significantly, and stayed at the lower level for close to two decades.

Mr. Beuerman is completely-correct, and then some - the average aspiring farmer would do himself/herself a huge favour by becoming well-educated, getting an off-farm career started, and building up equity in either investments (bank stocks are always a good choice because they have both dividends and capital appreciation) or a house, or both, and wait for the farmland bubble to burst before starting to farm. It's a choice I'm increasingly seeing among the best-and-brightest children of my farm tax clients because as they typically put it - "Why deliberately choose to spin my wheels for 50 years just to make the cash flow on a farm at today's prices when I can do something else more rewarding for a while, both financially and mentally?"

Unfortunately, the present stratospheric price/earnings multiples of farm land, especially in those areas where supply management is clearly the culprit, is doing little but to accelerate the "brain-drain" out of agriculture - the best-and brightest are fleeing, and leaving those who don't understand the impossibility of the situation, to their eventual, and inevitable doom.

The worst aspect of this problem is that there seems to be a strong correlation between believing supply managment will last forever, and that today's price of farmland somehow reflects the "new normal" of agriculture - both beliefs are wrong, it's only a matter of time before both crash, probably simultaneously, and that's when we're going to see the reversal of the present-day "brain-drain" out of agriculture.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The simple fact is science and tech has allowed us to farm more land and animals with fewer and fewer farmers. Simply look at the size and capacity of current combines proves my point. Agriculture has graduated to the point where it is no longer for the ""faint of heart". JD, CASE etc. build it bigger and better each and every year. Robotic milkers have made most dairy farm workers almost obsolete.

If you would like to give advice on buying sell your land and put it into stocks and you would not have to worry about being on here giving advice to Buy .

Does he even own any land that he can sell ? Me thinks daddy still owns the farm .

To be clear, I am not against the purchase of farmland, just not at some prices we are witnessing today. With the S&P 500 at less than 20-1 earnings multiples and land here close to 50-1, there is no doubt land is to expensive. It's pure speculation, and if land does not double in twenty years there will be hardship for many. I think if more farmers educated themselves about investing, and acted upon it, they would not have to hire a farm succession planner or buy that incredibly expensive insurance, wherein the premium you pay is fully invested in the market.
Why give someone else a cut of your hard earned dollars when you don't have to?

Raube Beuerman

How can you hate something most people are so dependent on?

Hate,Jealousy and envy are all synonymous when l overhear someone's dislike of major corporations.

Watching and playing the stock market is like watching those TV zombie professional poker players,can't imagine doing that for a living!
I'll stick to working my little plot of land and hope for better returns,like in 2012,that was the year we hit the jack pot and l must say a lot more fun than sitting at a poker table all day.

Most of these large corporations need and seek the co-operation and goodwill from the public and their employees.

Is the Top 100 companies award a propaganda tool?

The methodology to pick winners for Top 100 companies is to set the basic criteria, then ask the corporation to write down all the things they are doing in those chosen areas. Next the employees are surveyed for their opinions about their corporation in those chosen areas and how the employees feel.

The secret of success is to have token initiatives that can be talked about in each of those areas that are surveyed, and a workforce who is well educated and rewarded so they will regurgitate the corporate message during the Top 100 Companies employee survey so that all (or most) employees stick to the corporation's propaganda message. If you do that very well, you win.

Does this soft side propaganda and messaging system truly create and recognize corporate excellence?

Are there some hard and fast, objective measurements requireed in the Top 100 Companies assessment process, such as absenteeism, employee turnover, grievances, customer loyalty, profitability, productivity efficiency, energy efficiency, waste produced, green house gas emissions, % of employees who made an improvement suggestion, etc.? Are these reported measurements independently verified?

How about their ability to meet the objective criteria (as measured by third party unbiased, independent auditors) of nationally and internationally recognized standards such as Canadian Award of Excellence, ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14000 Environmental Management, ISO 26000 Social Responsibility, Deming Prize, etc.

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