Producers of all types, sizes, and locations will soon have to decide on their own consolidation strategy. Some that are burdened by economic concerns will consider a combination with a major competitor in their market. Some may search for ways to vertically integrate. And added to this will be the challenges of remaining independent against the competitive forces of the vertical integration wave that is moving across our industry.

Pierre Villere is president and managing partner of Allen-Villere Partners. Contact him atpvillere@allenvillere.comor telephone 985-727-4310. Visitwww.allenvillere.com.