Volatile agricultural markets, high input costs and rising capital requirements for farming operations illustrate the need for effective risk management by pork producers today. That's why Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC), Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension swine specialists are teaming up to offer regional risk management educational seminars for producers and allied industry representatives in early December.
ISU Extension swine program specialist Dave Stender says three regional sessions of "Managing Margins: Risk Management for Pork Producers" are scheduled to provide people from around the state the opportunity to attend.
Sessions will be held in Sheldon, Nashua and Iowa City, and all will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be an optional 9 a.m. session at each location to review the basics of hedging, options, insurance and other risk management tools. This session will be hosted by Shane Ellis, ISU Extension livestock marketing specialist. See more information, including agenda and a preregistration form, in the on the Iowa Pork Industry Center website .
Seminar speakers will cover a number of interesting, practical topics
John Lawrence, director of ISU Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and associate dean of ISU College of Agriculture will speak about understanding the magnitude of risk facing today's farmers. Chad Hart, ISU assistant professor of economics and extension grain marketing specialist, will look at big picture issues impacting feed and livestock prices.
Mark Greenwood, vice president of agri-business capital, Ag Star Financial Services, ACA will cover the most important components of a successful risk management strategy. A local producer, one with proven success in risk management, will explain how to implement risk management based on crush margin. An Iowa State swine specialist will be on hand at each location to discuss how to apply lessons learned from the day's session, make tools available for implementing change and describe small group sessions for further risk management education opportunities.
Seminar dates and locations
Tuesday, Dec. 6, Sheldon. Northwest Iowa Community College, Highway 18 West, Building C, Room 149
Wednesday, Dec. 7, Nashua. The Borlaug Learning Center, ISU Northeast Research Farm, 3327 290th St.
Thursday, Dec. 8, Iowa City. Johnson County Extension Office, 3109 Old Highway 218 S.
Seminar cost is $10 per person when preregistered or $15 at the door. Lunch and meeting materials are guaranteed for those preregistered. For more information or to preregister for the seminars and the optional early sessions at each location, contact Tyler Bettin at IPPA by phone at 800-372-7675 or email at
Additional risk management educational offerings for producers this winter
The learning will continue beyond these regional sessions. For those pork producers who are interested in getting additional information and learning about the hands-on practical application of risk management tools, a series of in-depth small group sessions will be held throughout the winter months in a local office space and risk management experts will be available through an online connection to share a short mini-topic and answer specific questions. Economic risk management specialists from Iowa State University and University of Missouri will be available for these online connections.
Educational material from the Board of Trade will be used to refresh attendees' knowledge about the application of risk management tools. A simulated account will be set up for small group participants to "practice" real-time risk management strategies. Homework assignment will help participants know their feed costs, total production costs and crush cost. However, you will need to register ahead if you want to attend one of these additional risk management seminars.
Six small group sessions will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on selected dates from Dec. 13, 2011 through April 10, 2012 with locations to be determined based on participant registration. Cost is $20 per person, and attendance at a regional seminar is not required to participate. Registration for this small group series can be made at any of the regional seminars.