“As an accountant, you should understand every step in the operations process and know where the numbers come from,” Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms, said at USPOULTRY’s 2014 Financial Management Seminar in Destin, Florida. The seminar brought together key financial managers to discuss best practices and strategies to improve their ongoing treasury operations.

In his Top Management Perspective of Poultry Financial Management presentation, Butts opened the seminar and highlighted key techniques that Sanderson Farms’ utilizes to monitor and control operational costs. He stressed that measuring sticks, such as cost charts and performance management systems, are what allow the company to continue to generate improved margins.

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Animal welfare affects bottom line

Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, provided a brief overview of the Alliance’s background and the role they play in the agriculture industry. In her presentation, Animal Welfare Activity and the Impact on Accounting, Johnson Smith emphasized that the agriculture industry needs to have a voice on issues that can directly impact their bottom line and provided an outline of critical measures companies should implement in order to avoid being blindsided by oncoming initiatives.

She reminded attendees that the agriculture industry is not the only one at the table and that there are also a multitude of activists and animal welfare groups that want to drive down demand through disparaging anti-modern family campaigns, partnership building and state lobbying efforts.

Economist cautiously optimistic about poultry industry’s future 

Dr. Terry Barr, a CoBank economist, provided a cautiously optimistic economic forecast, noting that although the economy has been off to a slow start, momentum is building going into the second half of the year. Barr discussed key trends and transitions in the global and agricultural economy.

He commented, “Although we are back to where we were prior to the recession, the question is how we can sustain the growth?”