Special to the Journal
AMES, Iowa (Nov. 18, 2013)—Risk permeates agriculture, and USDA’s Risk Management Agency granted National Farmers and its Nexus Ag Marketing cattle marketing division $184,000 to host 16 price risk management education seminars for cattle producers in six states during 2014.
“We understand beef producers operate under a variety of pressures in today’s marketplace,” said Perry Garner, National Farmers risk education grant project co-director. National Farmers is developing workshops and an assortment of materials that will help ag producers determine their true costs, write and improve their marketing plans and learn more about usable approaches to managing risks, such as forward contracts, hedges and options. “We’d like to thank the USDA Risk Management Agency for extending the grant to us,” Garner said.
National Farmers Livestock Division staff will conduct the seminars to be held in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Among partners are Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa National Farmers Union groups, Western Ohio Dairy, Institute for Rural America, and individuals from Mid State Technical College, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Castle Bank and Fidelity Bank in Iowa. Several seminars will be presented at farm trade shows, as well.
The workshops will cover seven educational topics:
Understanding price risk management as a financial risk management strategy
True cost of production
Market risks and market fundamentals
Key marketing strategies
Contracts and hedging
Comparing past marketing plans and results to future plans and results
Developing marketing plans
“We fully intend for producers to take what they learn and use it in practical ways in their operations’ marketing. We’ll help them with their understanding and use of price risk management and reliable marketing strategies,” Garner said. USDA’s Risk Management Agency and National Farmers officials advocate producer education about price risk management topics, because of today’s volatile ag marketing environment.
“We hear from producers we represent in the marketplace that they can buy new equipment, build new buildings or expand cattle herds because of the techniques we employ for them,” Garner said.
“We can show more producers how to capitalize on these tools, too. These strategies are within their reach. And they can understand them with some assistance from our people at Nexus Ag Marketing who deal with these price risk management tools every single day,” he added.
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