MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Individuals from around the world responsible for buying U.S. food and feed grains attended the Basic and Advanced Risk Management short course that was held at the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University IGP Aug. 13-15, and Aug. 16-17.

“World commodity prices continue to be extremely volatile and food inflation is on the minds of all global grain buyers and governments; therefore, managing price risk is essential,” said Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist.

A management trainee for Stafford County Flour Mill, Derek Foote, hoped to expand his knowledge of the current market and learn how to improve his techniques.

“I wanted to gain a broader perspective on market tools to use,” Foote said. “I have learned different strategies and options to use that we haven’t used in the past.”

These courses allowed participants the opportunity to understand the relationship between cash and futures markets, futures spreads principles of hedging, and principles of risk management and trading strategies.

“The risk management courses give participants a good understanding of commodity risk management principles as well as providing them tools and real world strategies that can be used to control costs and maintain profitability,” O’Neil said.

Several of the concepts covered in these courses were introduced during O’Neil’s grain purchasing short course held in April. Assistant Supply Chain Manager Ivonne de Alvarado from Productos Alimenticios in El Salvador, came back to participate in the risk management courses after attending the grain purchasing course. The components that were covered in the grain purchasing course proved to be beneficial for her company.

“I came home after the grain purchasing course and talked to my boss about the things I learned and we changed the way we were buying and saved nearly $200,000,” Alvarado said. “He sent me back to learn more.”