This study examines the role owners and managers play in affecting the strategic choices and performance of agribusiness firms, specifically user-owned agribusiness cooperatives. The results of a nationwide survey indicate that firm ownership plays a key role in determining strategies employed by agribusiness firms. Competitive strategies of cooperatives and investor-owned firms are identified. The evidence indicates that firm performance is affected by the influence owners have over the strategies available to the firm. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.