Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MU Extension Offers Educational Grain Marketing Game Starting July 14

As a beginning farmer many people don't understand how traditional crops, especially grain crops, are marketed.  Well, here's your chance to learn.

Marketing commodities ahead of harvest carries some big financial risks, but not for participants in an online grain marketing game.

University of Missouri Extension is coordinating the Show-Me Market Showdown, an educational online grain marketing simulation, reports Whitney Wiegel, an MU Extension agricultural business specialist based in Lafayette County. The overall goal of the program is to improve farmers’ knowledge of grain marketing strategies and encourage them to develop sound marketing plans. 

The game employs a website called CommodityChallenge.com to link real-time market information with players’ ability to execute virtual marketing transactions. The website monitors players’ market positions, executes their trades, and summarizes players’ virtual marketing account balances.

The Show-Me Market Showdown will run from July 14 to Sept. 19, according to Wiegel.
Although the game is competitive, the main focus of the game is for players to learn the risks and rewards of alternative marketing strategies and to learn the mechanics of various marketing tools. While all trades in the game utilize real market quotes and life-like brokerage execution, players have no risk of financial loss by participating in the game.

“The game gives an opportunity to the players to experiment with different types of grain marketing tools and strategies,” says Wiegel. “The whole idea is to learn about grain marketing through a “hands on” experience by executing lifelike trades in a risk-free environment.”
MU Extension agricultural business specialists will offer players guidance and instruction through weekly educational emails and a game blog. Those instructional tools will provide a valuable means of discussion and learning among the game coordinators and participants.

“Players can participate on their own time wherever they have an Internet connection,” Wiegel says. “So they can put as much or as little into the game as they want, but the more participants put into the game the more they are likely to learn from it. “

An additional program objective is to educate non-farmer participants about the complexities of grain marketing and to increase their awareness of the challenges farmers face concerning marketing decisions.

More information and instructions to register for the Show-Me Market Showdown can be found at http://extension.missouri.edu/lafayette/ShowMeMarketShowdown.aspx or by contacting Wiegel at 660-584-3658.

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