MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — For the first time Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP) teamed up with the American Soybean Association International Marketing (ASA-IM) to provide companies across South America the opportunity to learn more about risk management with hands-on training and formal presentations.
“The objective of this course is to teach participants about U.S. soybean and soybean meal, how to purchase it or trade it and to show the different opportunities when practicing risk management,” said Carlos Campabadal, IGP outreach specialist and course manager.
The ASA-IM Latin America Risk Management course was hosted at the IGP Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S. from May 22-25 rather than in Latin America. Thirty-six participants and four ASA-IM consultants from eight different countries traveled to IGP to kick off the first time course.
“We found that in these types of events with IGP that we have added an extra value to the course that we didn’t have before,” said Belinda Pignotti, consultant for ASA-IM, “Participants not only learn in the seminars, but they are here for the networking opportunities. They can exchange ideas and build future business relationships.”
The short course included two days of class lectures where they learned about trading strategies and risks management principals. Prior to their arrival to IGP the group traveled to the Kansas City Board of Trade and toured a grain terminal in Topeka, Kansas, U.S. Participants had the opportunity to learn how soybeans are being planted, produced, traded and stored in the U.S. The field trips provided the group the opportunity to witness what they were learning in the classroom. On the last day of the program participants were able to apply what they had learned through participation in a futures trading simulation.
“They participated in one day of simulation exercise where they could buy and trade soybeans and soybean meal and hedge it,” Campabadal said. “They made the decisions of how much to buy/trade based on the risk management they learned and were able to evaluate their decision at the end.”
This course also highlighted the importance of understanding the U.S. export system and other issues with brokers. These issues include understanding the language, rules and contract terms.
“The prices we have experienced the last two months have been dramatic and this course was offered at a good time so I wanted to come learn,” said Antonio Alma, Dominican Republic. “I wanted to talk and meet other buyers and experts to be able to benchmark on where we are.”
This is just one example of the many partnership trainings offered through IGP. In addition, IGP offers standard short courses in feed manufacturing and grain management, flour milling and grain processing, and grain marketing and risk management. For more information about IGP, visit www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.