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Tools for Profitable Cattle and Commodities Programs

Farm Business Management Update, December 1998

By Mike Roberts of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

With market challenges on just about every front, agricultural producers are facing difficult times ahead. Farm business owners must develop marketing strategies that will see them through these tough times and beyond.

Two workshops will be held in Culpeper at the Aberdeen Barn (near the Holiday Inn). The first, on December 15, 1998, will feature Dr. Wayne Purcell. He will talk about current market conditions and what might be done regarding cattle marketings in 1999. Dr. Purcell is a well-known authority on the subject, founder of the Research Institute on Livestock Pricing, and is known and respected throughout the United States for his research.

Mr. Chistian Comberg will also give a short course in market terminology, basic mechanics of trading futures and options, and typical brokerage fees and costs for trading. He works for A.G. Edwards and Sons in Charlottesville, Virginia as a commodities and stockbroker.

The main topic of the second workshop will be developing a marketing plan for 1999 for corn and wheat. When participants leave, they will know how to plan specific pricing points and the percentage of the crop to sell. Explanations of why, when, and how they should use cash contracts, futures, and/or options will be included. Very little time will be spent on the mechanics of futures and options trading.

Dr. David Kenyon, a much sought-after agricultural economist from Virginia Tech, will give all presentations for this workshop.

The cost of each workshop is $15.00. Registration will cover the cost of lunch, breaks, and any materials that will be handed out. These workshops are being sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Culpeper Farmers Cooperative, A.G. Edwards and Sons, and Farm Credit. Please register early since space is limited.

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