Grain News

Enhancing Futures Market Customer Protections Among Major Topics at NGFA 41st Annual Country Elevator Conference

Date Posted: November 29, 2012

..Additional Sessions Focus on Weather, Business Drivers and Grain Quality…

Washington—A trio of major speakers will discuss policy options designed to enhance futures market customer protections when they address the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) 41st annual Country Elevator Conference to be conducted Dec. 9-11 in Omaha, Neb.

Walt Lukken, president and chief executive officer of the Futures Industry Association, Washington, D.C., and John Roe, co-founder of the Commodity Customer Coalition, Chicago, Ill., will discuss policy and regulatory improvements to customer protections, including reforms to U.S. bankruptcy laws, full segregation of customer funds, and the establishment of a customer protection fund.

Lukken is a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and spent several years on the staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee, where he specialized in futures and financial markets.

Meanwhile, Roe, who also serves as principal of BTR Trading, has worked to secure return of 100 percent of customer funds on behalf of the 7,000 members of his coalition.

In a separate session, CME Group Chief Operating Officer Bryan Durkin also will address strengthening customer protections, as well as other issues underway at the exchange, including its evaluation of potential changes to trading hours.

The day-and-a-half NGFA conference and trade show – with more than 100 exhibitors – will be conducted at the Hilton Omaha/CenturyLink Center.

More than 550 industry members already have registered to attend.

Established in 1896, the NGFA is a U.S.-based nonprofit trade association that consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing and grain-related companies comprising more than 6,000 facilities that handle more than 70 percent of U.S. grains and oilseeds.

Affiliated with the NGFA are more than 30 state and regional grain and feed trade associations.

The NGFA also has a joint operating agreement with the North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with the Pet Food Institute.

The business-focused conference also will feature major presentations on implications of the election, as well as weather, grain and market outlooks for 2013.

NGFA First Vice Chairman Bailey Ragan, vice president of Bunge Grain, Fertilizer and Biofuels, St. Louis, Mo., will focus on key global agricultural trends and demand, and how they will affect U.S. country elevators and producers.

James Wiesemeyer, senior vice president, Informa Economics, Washington, D.C., will provide a perspective on the election results with an eye toward implications for agricultural, trade and environmental policy, as well as the larger political scene.

Wiesemeyer also is a contributor to Pro Farmer newsletter.

Looking beyond 2012, Craig Solberg, senior meteorologist, Freese-Notis Weather, Des Moines, Iowa, will provide a preview into the impact weather and climate change will have on agriculture.

In addition, Mike O’Dea, risk management consultant, FCStone, will provide the grain and oilseed market outlook for 2013.

Other major sessions will focus on:

• Maintaining grain quality following a stressful weather year, presented by Dr. Charles Hurburgh, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

• Supply chain demands from grain and oilseed suppliers, which will be presented by Ben Warren, director of product safety and regulatory affairs, Land O’Lakes Inc., Arden Hills, Minn.; and Dr. Craig Henry, director of food and product safety at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Hattiesburg, Miss.

In addition, conference attendees will be welcomed by Mrs. Nebraska 2012, Kim Daniels of The Scoular Co., Omaha, Neb.

A session on personal financial planning also will be led by Ron Carson, founder and chief executive officer of Carson Wealth Management Group, also of Omaha.

Conference information is available by contacting the NGFA at 202-289-0873 or by visiting

In addition, follow @ngfa or #CEC12 on Twitter for conference updates.

The NGFA's membership encompasses all sectors of the industry, including country, terminal and export elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; cash grain and feed merchants; end users of grain and grain products, including processors, flour millers, and livestock and poultry integrators; commodity futures brokers and commission merchants; and allied industries.

Canadian and Mexican firms also are NGFA members, and use its Trade Rules and Arbitration System by specific reference in their contracts.

For further information, contact:

Heather McElrath, director of communications; 202-289-0873,

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