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Commodity Classroom Introduction

We are extremely excited to be bringing back Commodity Classroom this year. Because this is an event unlike any other in the industry I thought it would be useful to provide you some context about what it is and who the event is made for.

Where is the event? The host hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn, Milwaukee Downtown. A historic building, originally built in 1886! This is walking distance from dozens of shops and restaurants, the Milwaukee Public Market, Discovery World, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan.

What do we get? In addition to the two days of classroom content, you will leave with a grain marketing guidebook, a printout of all classroom materials, and we will host 3 follow up webinars for attendees.

What is Commodity Classroom? This is a two day marketing education crash course. This is a classroom style event, that is paired with fantastic entertainment in our home city. The event is hosted at a historic downtown hotel for starters. Thursday night we charter a boat to cruise through the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, which is catered by a famous Milwaukee restaurant, Saz’s. Friday night we have 100 tickets to the Brewers and Reds in a semi-private suite that comes equipped with several buffets, a bar and private bathrooms.

For the Classroom agenda, we start with ‘The Marketing Plan,’ and then dive into all of its components. What is Technical and Fundamental analysis and how do we use them to make informed decisions? How does hedging work? What types of cash contracts are available and when and how should we use them? What are the basics of options, and what are some more complex options strategies? What are the pros and cons of each strategy? What are all of the different options expirations? Quick question to test your knowledge….how many options expirations on December 25 Corn Futures will there be between now and next November?** (Answer at the very bottom)

Why did we create Commodity Classroom? Commodity Classroom is our own creation. In our travels and our work we see a lack of full understanding of grain marketing everywhere we look. It causes a lot of frustration for individuals and families, and it causes producers to leave a lot of money on the table. In particular, there seems to be a lack of understanding, frankly a lack of interest, in the next generation of farmers. It’s fun to talk about tractors and agronomy with the next gen, but grain marketing is a difficult skill to pass down due to the nature of it. It is full of unknowns and it’s not physical or tangible. We want to address this knowledge gap while also helping the experienced marketer gain a better understanding and add to their marketing tool box. We made the event fun to encourage the older generation to bring the next gen along for a great two days.

Who is the event for? Commodity Classroom is for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of grain marketing. In our mind, that includes grain merchandisers, farm managers, crop insurance agents, farmers young and old, agribusiness professionals. Anyone who either farms, or works with farmers on the financial side of the business has something to learn here.

You do NOT need to be a beginner, and you do NOT need to be an expert. We develop the materials to be broadly applicable to a wide range of marketing ‘expertise’, if there is such a thing. We discuss both the tangible side of marketing, ie tools and process, and the emotional/mental side, ie marketing plan and management.

You can see all of the event details at www.CommodityClassroom.com, or go straight to the agenda at https://www.commodityclassroom.com/agenda.

Milwaukee is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated cities in the country, filled with history, culture and Midwestern hospitality. Be sure to plan some extra time to explore, or share this guide with your travel companions that aren’t attending the classroom sessions.

The Milwaukee Skyline and the atrium of the the famous hotel our event is being held at:

A view from the private suite where we will enjoy the Brewers vs. Reds to close out the event:

The boat tour is always a hit, classroom attendees are welcome to invite their family to join for both the baseball and boat tour even if they are not participating in the classroom.

After the boat tour many choose to walk to the nearby “Old World 3rd Street” which has some famous and historical bars and restaurants, notable nationally for its traditional German establishments. A annual favorite is the Old German Beer Hall for a game of “Hammerschlagen.”

**December 25 Corn futures will have approximately (yea even I am not sure) 45 different expiration dates to choose from. At any one time, there are typically 3-8 active options expirations to choose from that trade off of Dec. 25 futures as the underlying contract, but not all are actively traded or available throughout the year.


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