My name is Luke Lovgren and I am currently a senior at Illinois State University studying Agribusiness and Agronomy Management. I am pleased to have been given a great opportunity to learn more about the grain and feed industry through the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois and FS Grain. Both of these organizations have and are connected to very knowledgeable people that are able to share a great deal of information about the industry they are involved in each and every day.
Having the chance to spend some time doing some job shadowing with FS Grain gave me a brand-new perspective on the grain industry as a whole and a company from my local area. During the two days I spent in the Morris office, I was able to meet and speak with a wide variety of professionals within the company from those in human resources and grain settlements to others that work with farmer customers to purchase grain and develop marketing strategies. On the first of my two days I was able to learn about different markets that the company participates in. The markets I was able to learn the most about were the rail and container markets. The container markets are especially difficult to take part in at this particular moment in time for not only FS Grain, but companies all across the country and the world. Issues related to supply lines and export shipping have tied up containers, therefore decreasing the number available for grain export. FS Grain also ships grain by rail to the southeastern and southwestern United States and the west coast. This variety gives them an array of opportunities to generate a profit.
The second day, I was able to spend some time with the market strategy manager on the structure and process of grain origination within FS Grain. She was able to share with me some of the techniques and approaches she and her team take to develop good customer relationships and continue to build a larger book of business. In addition to that, I was able to learn about the platform the company uses to be able to determine what upcoming opportunities may be advantageous to participate in for the business and its customers.
To conclude my fall job shadowing, I was able to see several containers being loaded for export at one of the larger facilities. This was one of the pieces of the puzzle that helped bring everything full circle within the organization.
All in all, these two days were great experiences and very educational and I look forward to continue to learn more about FS Grain and the grain and feed industry in the spring.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.