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LAND O'LAKES PRESIDENT CITES CO-OPS' VISION FOR THE FUTURE

 MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- "It is clear that we must be big enough and good enough to compete effectively with the best food and agricultural companies in the world," said John E. Gherty, president and chief executive officer of Land O'Lakes, Inc., in his address to more than 3,000 delegates and guests attending the cooperative's annual meeting in Minneapolis, Feb. 24-25.
 Gherty outlined four business environment factors Land O'Lakes is reacting to in developing its vision for the future and to which farmers and local cooperative members must also respond.
 "The first aspect is that government will continue to push agriculture to be more market oriented," he said. "Congress will be less willing to spend large sums on farmers and agricultural programs. In fact, agriculture will have to work harder ... just to keep the core programs we have today."
 Second, Gherty said the cooperative system faces "a shrinking customer base and mature and stagnant markets." This ongoing trend challenges cooperatives to concentrate on market share growth, geographic expansion, and meeting and exceeding farmers' changing needs.
 The third factor is the accelerating pace of change confronting all businesses in the 90s. "In the past, you could be successful if you simply worked hard at doing what was right. Today, you must not only do it right, you must often act first, if you are to survive," he said.
 Fourth, Gherty cited the increasing global nature of business competition. He said the technological and financial resources available to these companies will present a serious challenge to the cooperative system.
 To prosper and grow in the face of these challenges, Gherty said Land O'Lakes has developed a vision of being "one of the best food and agricultural companies in the world."
 "If we do this, we will be our customers' first choice for products and services, and our employees' first choice for work. We also will be responsive to our owners and rural America, and at all times be a good corporate citizen," he said.
 Gherty identified a need to increase partnering with local cooperatives in crop production, and in swine, dairy, beef and poultry enterprises. "Land O'Lakes is committed to maximize overall producer profitability and provide leadership in maintaining the long-term competitiveness of farmers," he said.
 The Land O'Lakes president also recapped the cooperative's performance and growth in 1992. "It was a year of record earnings for Land O'Lakes, and our core businesses did well," he said. He noted strong volume increases in Feed, Seed, Agronomy and Dairy Foods and a continuing pattern of aggressive investment in the businesses through capital spending and acquisitions, which totalled $70 million in 1992.
 To prepare Land O'Lakes for a successful future, Gherty identified 1993 goals as including a continuing focus on investing in and building the cooperative's four core businesses; increasing total cash payments to members to a record $39.3 million; and working with employees at making Land O'Lakes a preferred place to work.
 As Land O'Lakes pursues its vision of being one of the best food and agricultural companies in the world, Gherty said one very important key to the cooperative's success will be its continued emphasis on total quality. The foundation of total quality at Land O'Lakes will be anchored by three underlying principles: meet and exceed customer expectations, total employee involvement, and continuous improvement in work processes.
 Land O'Lakes is a Twin Cities-based food and agricultural cooperative owned by farmers, ranchers and local cooperatives in 15 states. It provides agricultural supplies to 1,600 local cooperatives serving 300,000 farmers, and procures milk from more than 5,000 Upper Midwest dairy producers. The cooperative is widely recognized for the more than 600 food products it markets in the United States.
 -0- 2/25/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Nagle of Land O'Lakes, 612-481-2271, or 612-335-6820 (2/24-25)/


CO: Land O'Lakes, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU:

KH -- MN001 -- 0253 02/25/93 09:01 EST
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Date:Feb 25, 1993
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