Trying to figure out the grain markets can be a daunting task for farmers. Should you sell? Should you wait? When it’s your livelihood on the line, any errors can be costly mistakes. Ag Watch Grain Market University teaches students how to look at the markets, understand the indicators and know when to make decisions.
Ag Watch Grain Market University is a mentorship program led by Dewey Strickler, a commodities expert with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. During the four-month program, participants will spend 45-50 sessions working one-on-one with Strickler to gain the tools needed to be successful at marketing.
“For those who don’t have a method or system, there’s fear,” said Strickler. “They’re afraid they’ll miss a rally in the market or they’ll hold out too long.”
Ag Watch Grain Market University provides students with a 7-point checklist to help analyze indicators and patterns in the market. “The mentorship gives students discipline and direction. It helps remove the fear from marketing and gives them a system to better see what the market’s going to do,” he said.
Stephanie Halcomb and her husband, Sam, are graduates of Ag Watch Grain Market University. “I had very little marketing background and no degree in agriculture,” said Stephanie. “Marketing was nervewracking. I’d look at the markets and charts and not understand what was going on. It felt like a foreign language.”
The Halcombs operate Walnut Grove Farms, in Kentucky, and farm 7,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. “Working with Dewey helps you feel more comfortable analyzing the technical aspects of grain marketing,” said Stephanie.
Ag Watch Grain Market University sessions are conducted over the phone with data and charts e-mailed to students in advance.
“We go over real-time information to learn how to make price projections, how to understand market cycles and how to look at indicators,” said Dewey. “The first sessions might be 30 minutes, and then we drop it down to 20, 15 or 10 over the course of the program. I teach them what I’ve learned as a trader.”
In many cases, Dewey’s students are the next generation taking over a family farm or a husband-and-wife team working together. “A lot of times, women do a better job of marketing. They’re looking for value. They know what their breakevens and profit margins are. They’ll ask questions,” he said.
The Halcombs participated in Ag Watch Grain Market University classes together. “It’s an intense course. You learn a lot in a short amount of time, but it’s valuable because you’re able to apply it to the work you do daily,” said Stephanie. “Because Dewey understands marketing, he’s able to tailor sessions to our needs and focus on the crops we grow.”
She added, “Before, I’d look at grain prices and think, ‘OK, that looks good,’ or ‘That looks bad,” but I didn’t have the technical understanding. I’d highly recommend Ag Watch Grain Market University to any farmer who wants to understand more about how the markets work.”
“The program’s results are based on a student’s own commitment and willingness to put time and dedication into it,” said Strickler. “When we’re done, they can use the 7-point checklist to determine if they should make a sale. Each point is a different factor. It’s not a perfect world, so all 7 points might not line up, but they’ll still know other parameters to look at and consider. I tell people there’s a time to look at the forest (big broad picture) and a time to look at the trees (day-to-day developments).”
To enroll in Ag Watch Grain Market University, or for more information, visit www.agwatch.biz.
ABOVE: Dewey Strickler, a commodities expert with more than 40 years experience in the grain marketing industry, talks to a student in his Ag Watch Grain Market University program. Ag Watch Grain Market University offers one-on-one training to help farmers and ag professionals gain the tools and understanding they need to be successful at marketing.
Stephanie and Sam Halcomb, owners of Walnut Grove Farms, in Kentucky, are graduates of Ag Watch Grain Market University. Stephanie said before she participated in the training, the commodities markets “felt like a foreign language.” She added, “Working with Dewey Strickler helps you feel more comfortable analyzing the technical aspects of grain marketing.”