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Abstract

Research directed toward determining the optimal capital structure for agricultural cooperatives could provide solutions to debt-related financial stress problems (Moller, Featherstone, and Barton, 1996). Assessing the cooperatives' member needs, proper capitalization, and economies of scale are among the critical areas that need attention (Torgerson, 1992). This research dynamically models the capitalization of agricultural cooperatives with the ultimate goal of providing information that helps reduce the cooperatives financial stress and adequately addresses the member-owner's needs. Specifically, this research explores alternative equity management strategies for farmer-owned cooperatives. Unlike other equity management studies, this research focuses on the transition from current equity management practices to equity management practices that improve the cooperative's control over capitalization of assets, maintain competitiveness, and maximize the return to the individual farmer-owners in a risky economic and financial environment.

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