Agribusiness and Applied Economics


Commodity Trading Room in the News

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CHS Awards NDSU 2.5 Million Grant

March 23, 2016 7:24 AM

CHS Foundation, NDSU announce chair in risk management and trading

FARGO, N.D., March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The CHS Foundation, the major giving entity of CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP), the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, announced today it has awarded a $2.5 million grant to North Dakota State University (NDSU) to create the CHS Chair in Risk Management and Trading.

The endowment, and related programs funded by it, will better prepare more students entering the regional and national commodity marketing business, create a state-of-the-art teaching and training platform for students pursuing careers in risk and trading, and expand and upgrade the university's producer outreach and extension programs. The CHS Chair in Risk Management and Trading will be part of the Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department of the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources. The first director of the endowed chair will be William Wilson, Ph.D. and distinguished professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at NDSU.  

"CHS has a long and very strong commitment to North Dakota, and the CHS Foundation has an equally solid tradition of partnership and shared success with North Dakota State University," said Linda Tank, CHS senior vice president, Communications and Public Affairs. "This new commitment deepens our relationship to the state and NDSU and will provide significant, long-term benefit to the agriculture industry."

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani said he appreciates the vision of CHS. "As the leading researcher and educator in agriculture for North Dakota, NDSU greatly values its partnership with CHS and the CHS Foundation. The vision and commitment of the private sector is a powerful testament to the importance of educating future leaders for the industry. On behalf of NDSU, I want to extend a warm thank you to the CHS Foundation and to CHS cooperative- and farmer-owners." 

CHS Foundation investments support university curriculum and programs to expand student skills, opportunities and career prospects. Other CHS Foundation funding includes: $100,000 in North Dakota scholarships awarded over the past five years, a $250,000 grant to the NDSU Commodity Trading Lab, $250,000 in support of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives and ongoing support for the NDSU Harvest Bowl.

"Students pursuing careers as global commodities traders, or in risk management, will clearly benefit by having curriculum specifically tailored to their education and focus," said Tank. "In turn, regional agribusinesses benefit by having a solid pipeline of highly qualified, future employees."

The CHS Foundation is the major giving entity of CHS Inc., the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company. As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation supports education and leadership programs that invest in the future of agriculture, cooperative business and rural America.

CHS Inc. ( is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.


SOURCE CHS Foundation

For More Information: Annette Degnan, (651) 355-5126(651) 355-5126


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AgWeek TV Highlights the Ag Commodity Trading Room

Coverage from AgWeek TV April 2016 highlight Dr. Frayne Olson during a hands on workshop.


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Students learn high-tech world of commodity trading

It’s an amazing introduction to the fast-paced, pressure-packed world of risk management and trading. The scene is NDSU’s new Commodity Trading Room.
Students learn high-tech world of commodity trading

Paul Rice and Vance Zacharias

It’s an amazing introduction to the fast-paced, pressure-packed world  of risk management and trading. The scene is NDSU’s new Commodity Trading Room.

Described as a laboratory to analyze commodity markets, the facility features the latest and best in technology.

 “It’s all very state-of-the-art. Students learn the technology that is becoming commonplace in the commodity marketing field,” said William Wilson, University Distinguished Professor of agribusiness and applied economics. “With a few clicks of a button, you can now do things that would have taken months previously.”

 The assignments are prime examples of learning by doing.

 Using dynamic linkages, students can produce spreadsheet analysis using multiple sources of information. Anything on a monitored screen can be linked to another screen, and the instant a number or order changes anywhere, it automatically updates the spreadsheet statistics.

 “The Commodity Trading Room is probably the best teaching tool that has been presented to me during my time at NDSU,” said senior Matt Poulson, an agricultural economics major from Casselton, N.D., who enjoys following rapid market changes through trading programs by Bloomberg and DTN-ProphetX. “It allows us to get a feel for what we can expect as commodity traders. I like using the same technology that we will be using once we are out in the working world as grain merchandisers and traders.”

 Meantime, Tanner Rohloff, a senior majoring in agricultural economics from Morris, Minn., said the high-tech equipment and marketing programs provide an essential real-world experience. “Th Commodity Trading Room is a top-of-the-line facility that has had a tremendous impact on my education here at NDSU,” he said. “It is incredible how simple these programs make extracting important data such as basis history and price trends that would typically be a serious time commitment.”

 Stephan Johansen, a graduate student in international agribusiness from Furnes, Norway, used information and software available in the facility for his thesis. “The information and analytical software at our disposition allows you to find all information imaginable,” Johansen explained. “It has prepared me to take a question, find the data and analyze it to find the answer. In the end, I think this is one of the most important things you can learn.”

 Located on the first floor of Richard H. Barry Hall, the trading room has 32 workstations and can be expanded to 48 seats.

 “Our goal is to teach students how to extract data efficiently from the multi-media world we live in,” Wilson said. “Employers tell us they want more students, more technology and better training. With the Commodity Trading Room, we are doing that.”

 Funding for the facility has come from a variety of sources. The Office of the Provost and NDSU Technology Fee Advisory Committee supplied seed money. Also, agribusiness companies provided fi   ncial support, including ADM, CHS, Gavilon, Th Rice Trader and George M. Schuler III of Minn-Kota Ag Products Inc. State commodity organizations also provided funds, including the North Dakota Corn Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Northern Crops Institute.

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