WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Offered only once every other year, the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) Seminar on Trading, Trade Rules and Dispute Resolution to be conducted May 8 will provide attendees with a primer on contracting principles and trading practices designed to minimize costly trade disputes and contract non-performance.

The seminar will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S. A welcome reception is planned on May 7.

This year’s seminar will be particularly timely, given increased market volatility, projected increases in production and volumes being transacted, and comparatively high commodity prices.   

Registration now is open for the one-day event, which also will focus on the use of NGFA arbitration to resolve trade disputes if and when they occur.  

The seminar is designed particularly for merchandisers responsible for buying and selling grains, oilseeds, feed ingredients and grain co-products, including those employed by grain elevators, feed mills, feed ingredient manufacturers, grain processing facilities and biofuels plants.  

“This seminar is an essential training resource for new or recently hired employees and those assigned responsibilities for trading agricultural commodities and products,” said NGFA Trade Rules Committee Chairman James W. Keistler, merchandising manager for CGB Enterprises Inc., Smithshire, Illinois, U.S. “But even veteran merchandisers and managers who oversee traders benefit by being able to brush up on ways to avoid trade disputes by writing thorough contracts and properly applying the trade rules and current trade practices to everyday trading activities. The same applies to company attorneys and other professionals responsible for originating and reviewing language used in contracts and trade confirmations.”  

Among specific topics to be addressed are:
•           The NGFA’s Trade Rules, and their application to grain, feed and feed ingredient transactions between commercial firms, as well as with farmer-customers.
•           Legal principles that undergird grain, feed and feed ingredient contracting, including the Uniform Commercial Code.
•           Contracting issues pertinent to cash and forward contracts, as well as essential elements to include in purchase contracts and confirmations to reduce the potential for disputes, as well as to secure access to NGFA arbitration.
•           A review of the operation of the NGFA’s Arbitration System – believed to be North America’s oldest – with a special focus on contracting pitfalls that can determine whether a dispute is resolved through arbitration or court litigation.  
            Participants will evaluate case studies and attend panel discussions facilitated by leading industry and legal professionals, including:
•           John Augspurger, manager of merchandising, Gavilon Grain 
•           David Barrett Jr., attorney, Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth 
•           Sean Broderick, DDGS marketing manager, CHS
•           Chip Buckner, corporate counsel, Bartlett Grain Co.
•           Dustin Buntrock, rail transportation coordinator, South Dakota Wheat Growers Association 
•           Jacob Bylund, attorney, Faegre Baker Daniels 
•           Charlie Delacruz, vice-president, general counsel & secretary, NGFA
•           Chris Egland, senior freight manager, Bunge North America
•           Randy Fardelmann, senior corn merchandiser, Perdue Grain & Oilseed 
•           Laurie Hiler, southbound barge freight manager, CGB Enterprises
•           Jim Keistler, merchandising manager, CGB Enterprises
•           Roger Krueger, senior vice-president, South Dakota Wheat Growers Association
•           J. Steven Lucas, president, Jayhawker Consulting Co.
•           Mike Meyers, director of wheat By-Products, APEX
•           Dean O’Harris, commodity manager, Parrish & Heimbecker
•           David Ragan, product line manager, Archer Daniels Midland 
•           Billy Shortal, assistant vice-president of marketing, Central States Enterprises 
•           Michael Sumpter, trading manager, Zen-Noh Grain Corp.
•           Bill Ton, senior market manager, The Scoular Company
•           Ryan Warner, Western rail manager, Bunge North America

      An exam is distributed at the close of the seminar, and those successfully completing it receive a certificate from the NGFA as proof of their achievement. 

More information on the seminar is available by contacting the NGFA at, or by visiting its website at www.ngfa.org.