We are building our company - in many respects reshaping it - into an environmental solutions enterprise, an organisation whose primary role is to make a significant contribution to society by helping solve some of the ghastly environmental problems associated with salinity and land degradation in our wonderful country.
At the same time we aim to make a great deal of money for our shareholders from growing and selling high quality hay. After all, it is no good being "do gooders" who go broke. We must - and will - make profits in order to survive and prosper. But, in the same way as we must breath in order to keep on living, that's not our only reason for living!
Having such a purpose - to make a contribution and do our bit for society - is most important to us. And should you be interested in reading about wonderful companies that have been driven beyond making money by their purpose and values, we highly recommend you read Built To Last, Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, HarperBusiness, 1994), a landmark book that looks at why the great companies they studied endured (among them Boeing, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, Disney etc.). In it you will also read that all of the visionary companies faced setbacks and made mistakes during their lives - and yet all displayed remarkable resilience and kept on bouncing back from adversity. Apparently 3M had such a rotten start that their second president - equivalent to managing director or chief executive officer - didn't draw a salary for the first 11 years of his tenure (reading that made us feel good here at Fodder King!).
And what's more, many of them got off to very slow starts - behaving more like tortoises than hares in the early days. Yet they won the long races. The only races that really matter. They found that luck favours the persistent, that this was a fundamental cornerstone of successful company builders. The builders of these visionary companies never gave up. And their greatest creation was "the company itself and what it stands for."
Over the long-term - which is what really matters to the stock market - these visionary companies have made an extraordinary amount of money for their shareholders. If you or I had invested $1 in a general market stock fund in the USA on 1 January 1926, then that would have grown to $415 by 31 December 1990 (assuming we had reinvested all the dividends etc.). A rather decent return I am sure you will agree. However, if we had invested another $1 in the visionary companies stock fund (the 18 companies which have lasted longer than 50 years and are still trading today) then the $1 would have grown to $6,356.
So become an investor and stick with Fodder King. We aim to be around for a long time too. And make lots of money.
A political lobby group based in Canberra, approached Fodder King quite recently, motivated by a story we sent them called A Hero Called Lucerne. In it we describe lucerne as a hero in the fight against salinity and soil degradation - and it must have moved them to act.
They believe that they can help Fodder King in two ways. Firstly, by introducing us to a very large Asian stock feed company - possible outcomes being access to large markets for our products, together with a strategic investment in our company. Secondly, these lobbyists are keen to promote Fodder King's green credentials to the government bureaucracy, especially in relation to the environmental benefits that could flow from Fodder King's involvement in the Murray Darling Basin. Indeed, we understand that the environment problems of salinity, water quality, soil degradation - as well as green solutions to greenhouse gas emissions - are now big issues in the corridors of power. So we will see where it all leads.