NCI Hosts 131st Nation at Annual Grain Procurement Course

Fargo, N.D., USA – Northern Crops Institute (NCI) hosted a new nation—Haiti—at the 2013 Grain Procurement Management for Importers course.  This brings NCI’s total visiting country count to 131 nations that have come to NCI for education and technical services since its beginning in 1983. 

The grain buyer from Haiti joined fifteen other grain buyers to learn how to make more effective purchases while decreasing their risk.  In addition to Haiti, course participants are from Austria, Brazil, China, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, USA, and Vietnam.

U.S. Wheat Associates sponsored several participants in this course.

John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director, coordinated the course that ran from September 16-25.

“This is our 30th annual Grain Procurement Management course,” says Crabtree.  “This is the longest running course that we’ve had, and it’s never been cancelled.  In those 30 years, grain buying has gone from private purchasing agencies to almost exclusively private trading, and most purchases are made electronically.  We are seeing a new generation of traders coming to our classes—young traders whose fathers came to NCI for training two or three decades ago,” he comments.

“Dr. Bill Wilson, the lead instructor for this course, developed the NDSU Commodity Trading Room (CTR) that allows students to learn about electronic trading.  This the first year that the NCI Grain Procurement class is actually doing electronic trading in the CTR classroom. All the information is presented simultaneously, so everyone receives the same information at the same time,” Crabtree concludes. 

Speakers for the course were: Joe Albrecht, Minneapolis Grain Exchange; David Bullock, Ph.D., AgriBank, FCB; Ryan Coffrey, CHS, Inc.; Dick Carlson, CHS, Inc.; Bradley Clow, Union Pacific Railroad; Austin Damiani, Frontier Futures, Inc.;  Ron DeJongh, Columbia Grain; 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.; Erica Olson, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service;  Paul Skarnagel, Hunter Grain Company;  Ed Stallman, USDA-GIPSA/FGIS; William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Distinguished Professor Agribusiness and Applied Economics; and Adele Yorde, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

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 (Minn.) Seaway Port Authority; CHS Export Grain Terminal, Superior, Wisc.; Minneapolis (Minn.) Grain Exchange; and the CHS Barge Facility in Savage, Minn., rounded out the course.