North Dakota Wheat Commission pledges $350,000 to NDSU's Center for Risk and Trade

The North Dakota Wheat Commission has pledged $350,000 to the Center for Risk and Trade endowment at North Dakota State University.

The North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund provided a 50 percent match of $175,000 to the endowment campaign. Funding for programming,student scholarships, faculty development and opportunities for industry to use the center for continuing education are provided through the endowment.

“We are very fortunate to receive excellent support for many of our research programs from the North Dakota Wheat Commission," said Ken Grafton, dean of NDSU’s College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. "Trade issues are critical to our region’s farmers. The lab allows faculty and students to study issues related to risk and trade and to enhance our research in these areas."

The center’s Commodity Trading Room is the nation’s only university laboratory dedicated to agriculture and biofuels. Equipped with advanced information sources, trading software, analytical tools and 32 workstations, the center is a premier teaching facility for commodity marketing, logistics, trading and risk management.

William Wilson, distinguished professor of agribusiness and applied economics, said NDSU has offered well-received courses in commodity procurement
since 1983.

"There is substantial risk in wheat production and marketing that affects growers, handlers, domestic end-users and wheat importers,” he said. “Our lab enhances training and equips industry participants to become better buyers and customers. Our work with the industry results in better programs for our students. Through the lab, the students gain real-life experience using state-of-the-art technology.”

“The North Dakota Wheat Commission is proud to provide continued support for the Center for Risk and Trade,” said North Dakota Wheat Commission Administrator Neal Fisher. “The center helps wheat producers hone their marketing skills in a global market that is increasingly volatile. In partnership with the center and NDSU’s Northern Crops Institute, we also provide risk management education to international wheat buyers from more than 100 countries.”

Since its inception in 1959, the North Dakota Wheat Commission has supported research and market promotion programs at NDSU. The pledge boosts the commission’s total giving to NDSU to more than $1 million. The organization was recently inducted into the 1862 Society, which is the highest level of recognition from the NDSU Development Foundation. The society is named for the year Congress enacted legislation to establish land-grant universities.

In addition, the commission also provides annual investments for wheat research of up to $1.5 million each year.

Published in Prairie Business on November 5, 2015.