It’s all fun and games now, but an inter-collegiate challenge is teaching future farmers and grain marketers the skills they need to master risk management.
The schools will use the AgYield Simulator software that pushes participants through an accelerated mock growing season of just 36 days.
“Think fantasy football for grain marketing,” says Chris Beavers, business developer for AgYield. “Participants start with the same size operation and costs. They must develop their own strategy, while managing changing corn and soybean prices, USDA reports, weather and changing yields.”
Participants will get a chance to learn about managing risk and marketing grain, Beavers says. They’ll also learn how crop insurance is used, how hedging works and practice other strategies like futures/options pricing, forward contracting, HTAs and basis contracts. Students must learn how to manage risk within their hedge line of credit limits.
“It will provide a friendly, competitive environment for students, keep them engaged and provide a taste of the decisions growers face every day,” Beavers says. "Further, it shows students how and when to use these tools once they are on the farm. We hope this helps the next generation of growers and lenders be ready for the major changes in the risk-management environment."
Participating schools include Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, University of Nebraska, Kansas State University, Illinois State University, Ft. Hays State University, Joliet Jr. College, Riverland Community College and Northeast Iowa Community College.
AgYield gave the schools free subscriptions to its risk-management software for the contest.
“We do not want cost and budgetary constraints to act as a barrier to entry and prevent students from learning risk management on the most effective resource available,” according to Beavers.
Winners will be announced later this fall and additional schools will sign up next semester. Regular Twitter updates are posted to @AYSimChallenge.
For more information, visit www.agyield.com/simulator/.