Fargo, N.D., USA – Thirty-one grain buyers came to Northern Crops Institute (NCI) for the Grain Procurement Management for Importers course held from September 15-24. The participants were from 19 countries, the largest group of nations to come to NCI for any course since its beginning in 1983.
Course participants were from Belgium, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, and USA. U.S. Wheat Associates and USDA FAS Cochran Fellowship Program sponsored many of the participants in this course.
John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director, coordinated the course, which highlights how companies can make more effective purchases while decreasing their financial risk.
“It’s interesting that we had 31 participants in our 31st annual Grain Procurement Management course,” says Crabtree. “From the first year that we offered this course until today, grain buying has gone from private purchasing agencies to almost exclusively private trading, and most purchases are made electronically. Large portions of this course are held in the NDSU Commodity Trading Room (CTR), where students learn about electronic trading. All the information is presented simultaneously, so everyone receives the same information at the same time,” he said.
One participant commented, “Certainly this course will benefit my work. In almost every topic, I learned new things. And just being here and speaking with persons in the same field gave me a good idea of how interior sourcing and export handling is being done.” Another participant explained his experience by saying, “I have found the trading game exercises very interesting, and I believe it is a very good idea to increase the number of these games.”
Highlights of the course were lectures by academic and commodity trade authorities on cash and futures markets, sessions in NDSU’s electronic trading classroom, and time with grain merchandisers who discussed the complexities of international grain markets. On-site tours of the Bill Hejl farm, Amenia, N.D.; Hunter (N.D.) Grain Company; Duluth/Superior Port Facilities; CHS Export Grain Terminal, Superior, Wisc.; Minneapolis (Minn.) Grain Exchange; and the CHS Barge Facility in Savage, Minn., rounded out the course.
Speakers for the course were: Joe Albrecht, Minneapolis Grain Exchange; David Bullock, Ph.D., AgriBank, FCB; Ryan Caffrey, CHS, Inc.; Dick Carlson, CHS, Inc.; Austin Damiani, Frontier Futures, Inc.; Ron DeJongh, Columbia Grain; Jon Harman, BNSF Railroad; Maurice Hurst, Cargill; Ron Johnson, Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Mike Klein, CHS, Inc.; Wayne Koester, Cargill; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Randy Narloch, ADM-Benson Quinn; John Oades, Ph.D., Consultant; Greg Oberle, CHS, Inc.; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service; Jim Peterson, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Paul Skarnagel, Hunter Grain Company; Lynn Thomas, USDA-GIPSA/FGIS; William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Distinguished Professor Agribusiness and Applied Economics; and Adele Yorde, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.