IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Excel Cooperative; Strategic Response To The Boom In Biofuels. Teaching Note

Listed author(s):
  • Maud Roucan-Kane


  • Michael Boehlje


  • Allan Gray


  • Jay Akridge


    (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)

The objective of this paper is to present the teaching note of a case study. The case study outlines the strategic issues facing Excel Cooperative as a result of the rapid expansion of biofuel production capacity in the Midwestern U.S. Excel Cooperative is a mid-sized, ‘local’, farmer-owned cooperative serving farmers in north central Indiana. Excel is composed of four divisions: agronomy, energy, grain, and feed/livestock. With the Excel case, the reader must think strategically about the broad impacts of the biofuel “boom”, apply strategic management tools and decision-making under uncertainty concepts to better understand the impacts, and frame a response. The methodology proposed in the teaching note is composed of a SWOT analysis, scorecarding and heat mapping, scenario analysis, payoff matrix, and decision tree. A SWOT analysis is a useful way to identify the uncertainties. Scorecarding and heat mapping assessment tools can then be used to assess and map the uncertainties, and decide which uncertainties the company should capitalize on and which projects could be pursued to exploit those uncertainties. Scenario analysis can then help develop further how the uncertainties could unfold and affect the projects. Payoff matrix and decision tree (using real option valuation) analysis tools can then help make a decision on which project to pursue. Finally, these projects cannot be evaluated in a vacuum. Mapping the portfolio of projects is necessary to make sure the company diversifies the risk. This paper includes an illustration of the methodology by applying the tools to a real life example that has been tested in several executive agribusiness educational workshops. A list of psychological traps to avoid and be mindful of when making decisions in an uncertain environment is also proposed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-07.

in new window

Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:09-07
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1145 Krannert Building, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1145

Phone: 765 494-4191
Fax: 765 494-9176
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:09-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Debby Weber)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.