On September 29, 2020, I completed my first fall work day at Advance Trading, Inc. in Bloomington, IL. I spent the first few hours of the morning with Nathan Mangold. I was first given an overview of the territories and companies that ATI works with and Nathan showed me some of the commodity price tracking programs he utilizes to complete his job. I then listened in on a call that Nathan had with several operators at an elevator in Kansas, where they discussed the state of the markets and what to watch for in the days to come as the harvest season progresses.
I then met Curt Strubhar and sat in on a virtual meeting with representatives from the NGFA, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and a railroad company that transports received grain. These groups discussed how the markets are conducted and how important the railroads are in transporting the grain. It was interesting to see how workers from different areas of the same industry taught each other about how these seemingly distant trades tie in together to accomplish the goal of getting grain where it needs to be.
After lunch, I sat in on the weekly meeting with about 10 brokers at ATI. In this meeting, they covered the pressing issues that would be encountered in the coming week and throughout the harvest season. Much of the information involved supply and demand trends across the world and how they will impact us here in central IL.
Overall, this was a very beneficial day for me as I again learned how widespread and yet interconnected the grain industry is.