Grain News

International Grains Program Hosts Global Participants For Risk Management Short Course

Date Posted: August 22, 2012

Manhattan, KS—As global food input prices reach extreme levels, the topic of risk management is critical in ensuring the security of a company’s financial future says Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist for the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University.

Therefore, individuals from around the world responsible for buying U.S. food and feed grains attended the Basic and Advanced Risk Management short course that was held at IGP August 13-15, and August 16-17.

“World commodity prices continue to be extremely volatile and food inflation is on the minds of all global grain buyers and governments; therefore, managing price risk is essential,” O’Neil says.

Photo captions:

Picture 1: Jill Barnhardt with the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission presents the certificate of completion to Ivonne de Alvarado with Jay O’Neil after the conclusion of the Risk Management short course.

Picture 2: Risk Management course instructor, Jay O’Neil, presents to the participants about the importance of understanding the grains market.

Picture 3: Participants Ivonne de Alvarado, Shigeyuki Matsumuro, and (back) Derek Foote, listen as Jay O’Neil presents during the Risk Management short course.

A management trainee for Stafford County Flour Mill, Derek Foote, hoped to expand his knowledge of the current market and learn how to improve his techniques.

“I wanted to gain a broader perspective on market tools to use,” Foote says.

“I have learned different strategies and options to use that we haven’t used in the past.”

These courses allowed participants the opportunity to understand the relationship between cash and futures markets, futures spreads principles of hedging, and principles of risk management and trading strategies.

O’Neil explains, “The risk management courses give participants a good understanding of commodity risk management principles as well as providing them tools and real world strategies that can be used to control costs and maintain profitability.”

Several of the concepts covered in these courses were introduced during O’Neil’s grain purchasing short course held in April.

Assistant Supply Chain Manager Ivonne de Alvarado from Productos Alimenticios in El Salvador, came back to participate in the risk management courses after attending the grain purchasing course.

The components that were covered in the grain purchasing course proved to be beneficial for her company.

“I came home after the grain purchasing course and talked to my boss about the things I learned and we changed the way we were buying and saved nearly $200,000,” Alvarado says.

“He sent me back to learn more.”

This is just one example of the many training opportunities offered through IGP.

In addition to grain marketing and risk management, IGP offers trainings in the areas of feed manufacturing and grain management, and flour milling and grain processing.

To learn more about the training opportunities at IGP please visit the IGP website:

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