The IGP Institute hosted the USDA-Cochran Program Grain Purchasing course on July 7-15, 2014, with seven participants from Vietnam. The course covered topics including the U.S. grain production and marketing system, grain storage techniques and price risk management.
Jay O’Neil, IGP Institute senior agricultural economist, presented a majority of the presentations focusing on contracting, futures markets, and trading and hedging.
“The more our international customers know and understand about our U.S. export system, the more confident they will be in buying U.S. origin grains and oilseeds,” says O’Neil.
The course consisted of classroom work and trips to several leading agricultural venues including the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service, DeLong container loading facility, a local farm, Kansas State University’s feed mill, Cargill Grain Elevator in Topeka, Kan., and Midwest Ag Services in Seneca, Kan.
A sales executive at Tan Long Trading Company, Manh Linh Truong, found the trips to be especially beneficial to him.
“Going to Cargill was great because we are planning to build a new feed mill in our company. Being able to see the Cargill facility answered a lot of my questions. Because of this opportunity, I was able to gain the knowledge needed before we can begin building,” Truong says.
With the constant market changes, it is important for industry professionals to be able to adapt and improve as the industry evolves, says O’Neil. One participant, Pham Tran Bich Hanh with Quangminh Corporation, felt that the course exceeded her initial expectations of understanding grain purchasing.
“I wanted to know more about futures in terms of corn and soybeans. Jay was good at that and was knowledgeable. He taught me a lot about how the market works,” Hanh says.
This is just one example of the many courses offered through the IGP Institute. In addition to grain marketing and risk management, the IGP Institute offers trainings in the areas of flour milling and grain processing, and feed manufacturing and grain management. To learn more about the opportunities with the IGP Institute visit http://www.grains.ksu.edu/igp.