By Madeline Schultz
“My husband and I plan to start using this information to make our market plans for the spring and to keep better records of the cost of the crop,” reported a recent Women Marketing Grain participant when asked about her goals. Another participant said the most important part of the course was knowing, “Lots of women want this knowledge to empower them to make decisions. We are not alone!”
Through their survey responses, participants are helping the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag team and the Farm Management team improve the Women Marketing Grain courses. The teams are working together to better meet the requests for more education on managing price risk in challenging times. And because surveys indicated 92% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the all-women learning environment is important, we plan to offer more courses like this for women.
The next opportunity to take the Women Marketing Grain course is in Ames, Iowa, June 2 to 23, 2016. Interested women can download a program brochure or register at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/. The course is being offered by Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension Farm Management Specialist and Mary Clancy, Boone County Extension Program Coordinator.
As we work to improve the course and offer the best experience possible, we plan to incorporate more hands-on activities within the class sessions as requested by survey respondents. Steve Johnson and the farm management team offer the Iowa Commodity Challenge activities and several grain marketing videos on the Ag Decision Maker web site: /agdm/info/icc.html. These are helpful resources for course participants, as well as anyone else. “I enrolled in the Iowa Commodity Challenge to continue reinforcing what I have learned,” stated one survey respondent.
Women Marketing Grain participants tell us some of the most valuable course topics are: 1) cost of production and crop margin estimates, 2) cash, futures and options contracts, 3) basis, futures, carry and cost of ownership, and 4) the role of the grain merchandiser. Other topics high in importance to participants were developing a marketing plan and the crop marketing fundamentals of supply and demand. “I have a much better understanding of the fundamentals of marketing. Now I have more confidence in talking with others about marketing plans,” explained a survey respondent.
Women Marketing Grain courses in Iowa are made possible by the USDA North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, Farm Credit Services of America and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
To contact an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm Management Specialist or ask about other programs for men and women, click: /ag/farm-management-0.