Kansas State University’s IGP Institute held its annual IGP–KSU Grain Purchasing course, April 9–20, at the IGP Institute Conference Center. The training involved nine participants from four countries and gave these professionals an understanding of how to best manage their grain purchases. The course also included a trip to an export facility in the Pacific Northwest.

“We had an excellent course with a good give and take between participants,” says Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist at the IGP Institute. “I know the participants received a lot of useful information that they can take back home and will make them feel more comfortable buying U.S. commodities and encourage them to purchase U.S. grain with the quality specifications they desire.”

The first week of the training focused on several topics in grain marketing fundamentals including USDA grading standards and how they are implemented; how to read a USDA report; examination of world supply and demand for grains; how to establish a proper contract; grain trade rules; and international contracts along with arbitration systems and issues. 

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The second part of the course focused on topics including the workings of commodity exchanges, futures trading, hedging and price risk management. This also involved discussions of futures, options and OTC contracts, and how they are applied to a risk management strategy.

During the course, participants took a field trip to the United Grain Corporation Vancouver Export Terminal in Vancouver, Washington where they observed the application of the information they received during the course.

“I think this is a really good course,” says Jerry Kim, agricultural products trading and purchasing at PanOcean Co., Ltd. in Seoul, South Korea. “I really enjoyed the time visiting the UGC elevator, and the other lectures were also really helpful for me. By taking this course, I can recognize what I’m doing exactly and use some of the effective tools to do those tasks continuously.”