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Economic changes have played a leading role in the transformation of agricultural industries. The evolution of environmental issues, government regulations in agriculture have produced a lot of challenges to the economic viability of agricultural industries, that should be met through better and more sophisticated planning tools, particularly the moving away from a commodity based agriculture to a more value-added orientated agriculture. This his given rise to industry strategic planning and coordination (ISPC) approaches, as an analytical tool used to address some of this problems, hence, the purpose of this paper is to explore the use of ISPC in an agricultural industry set up. Developed countries, particularly, the US has made progress in positioning its agricultural industry to meet this challenges through the use of ISPC. An example of this success story is the Michigan apple industry which has been using a functional ISPC process. It is therefore, interesting to use this approach to other related industries in order to solve the problem that they are facing. 1.1 Objective of the research paper The objectives of this paper are three fold. A principal goal of this paper is to develop a case study situational analysis related to a broad industry strategic planning context for the Michigan-U.S. tart cherry industry. A second objective of the paper is to give the author experience with the strategic planning analysis and concepts as it applies to an agricultural industry situation. Most importantly tins will enable the author to apply the frame work and concepts to other agricultural industries. To accomplish the above goals, a review of concepts and framework of analysis for industry strategic planning, as presented in the literature and other related work with other agricultural industries will be included. Then a case study of a situational analysis for Michigan-U.S. tart cherry industry will be used to show applications and the use of the concepts. Since leaders of the Michigan-U.S. cherry industry are currently involved with a process of industry strategic planning which is being done in partnership with analysts from Michigan State University, this industry is appropriate to use as a case study. The tart cherry industry may be useful to illustrate the situational analysis component of the strategic planning approach that may also be useful for other industries as well. 1.2 Methodology This research paper is organized into eight chapters. The remainder of the paper will be organized as follows. Chapter 2 will review an ISPC framework, concepts and other related work. An effort will be made to define the Michigan-U.S. tart cherry industry. Chapter 3 will provide an over view of the Michigan -U.S. tart cherry industry. A description and the role of the cherry industry in the U.S. agriculture will be provided in this chapter. Chapter 4 will present an analysis of the industry's strengths. Chapter 5 will also present an analysis of the industry's weaknesses as they affect the economic viability of the industry. An elaboration of the industry's opportunities will be provided in Chapter 6 which will outline the important areas which can be improved upon to increase performance and competitiveness. Chapter 7 will discuss the threats facing the industry, which are areas which negatively affect the industry's performance. The final chapter will sum up the paper with some concluding remarks as to what lessons the author has learned about the applicability of an ISPC approach and how the author could use such an approach in other industries apart from the Michigan-U.S. tart cherry industry.


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