Workshops designed to help individuals better understand world agricultural markets and associated risk-management strategies have been scheduled for 2010. The two-day workshops, sponsored by the University of Illinois and conducted by instructors with professional industry experience, will be held at the Illini Center in Chicago. Both an introductory course and an intermediate to advanced course are available.

The introductory workshop provides an overview of the latest trends in the world agricultural marketplace, grain flow, transportation, regulation, hedging, basis trading, spreads, market reports, and options.

"The introductory course explains the agricultural marketing system including production, transportation, processing, and risk-management," said Eugene Kunda, University of Illinois agricultural economist and workshop instructor. "We analyze market reports and create hedging plans using futures and options."

The intermediate to advanced course covers more in-depth information.

"After a review of hedging, basis, and spreads, this workshop dives into hedge scenarios, the practice and benefits of rolling hedges, calculating cost of carry, and covering carry charges in futures," Kunda said. "Delivery is explained with examples of calculating futures markets delivery to the cash market. A review of options is provided before moving into practical but more advanced options strategies."

The following workshops have been scheduled.

  • April 19 and 20   World Agricultural Marketplace and Risk-management Workshop


  • May 24 and 25    Intermediate to Advanced Agricultural Hedging


  • June 21 and 22   World Agricultural Marketplace and Risk-management Workshop


  • Nov. 15 and 16   World Agricultural Marketplace and Risk-management Workshop


  • Dec. 13 and 14   Intermediate to Advanced Agricultural Hedging

"Whether you are a trader looking to better understand the fundamentals, or a professional in any area of agriculture, financing, education, or government regulation, these workshops will provide you with useful insights into world agricultural markets," Kunda said.

Kunda serves as Visiting Assistant Director and Research Associate with the Office for Futures and Options Research in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the U of I. Prior to joining the U of I, he worked at John Deere Agri Services in agribusiness marketing development. He also served as Senior Economist in Business Development at the Chicago Board of Trade for 14 years.

Agricultural consultant Sue Goll joins Kunda in teaching the workshop. Goll has more than 20 years experience as a cash grain merchandiser and futures industry professional. As a grain merchandiser, she worked for A.E. Staley trading soybeans, soymeal, and corn out of the Des Moines, Iowa soybean processing plant, and the Lafayette, Indiana wet milling corn plant. Goll also worked for the Chicago Board of Trade where she traveled worldwide teaching the use of agricultural futures and options markets. Currently, she works with domestic and foreign business clients, teaching cash market fundamentals and the practical use of futures and options.

The workshops are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The cost per two-day workshop is $650, and includes all materials. For more information or to register for a workshop, visit:

Source: University of Illinois