A one-of-a-kind event focused on the data and technology impacting commodity markets.
2019 Conference Highlights
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May 8 - Barchart HQ (View Directions)
4-6pm - Opening Reception
May 9 - VenueSIX10 (View Directions)
8am - Registration
9am - Innovation in Ag (Feinberg Theater)
Hear from four new startups about how the industry is growing.
10:30am - Coffee Break on the Landing
11am - Grain Market Perspectives from a Market Analyst, Producer, Merchandiser and Broker (Feinberg Theater)
Each will bring their own unique perspective on the grain markets to an engaging on-stage discussion on market drivers, fundamentals and the impact of technology.
12pm - Lunch & Exhibit Hall overlooking Grant Park (9th Floor)
1-4pm - Panels (Feinberg Theater):
Panel 1: "The New Harvest - Ag Data"
Ag markets are evolving at a faster pace than ever before with new distribution models and emerging data products leading the trend. Learn more about the new types of data being harvested in ag - from predictive AI models and farm machinery IoT, to geospatial insights. Our esteemed panelists have deep knowledge in harvesting greenfield data opportunities in the space and will share their experiences in developing new product and implementing into key workflow decisions.
Panel 2: "Is Electronification of Physical Trading Finally Here?"
For the past decade AgTech upstarts and industry giants alike have attempted to electronify and drive automation in the physical grain trading space. The market for these services has been slower to develop than many anticipated, but that hasn’t slowed the pace of innovation. With the latest offerings available to the marketplace, are farmers and grain buyers finally ready to embrace change? Has it already happened? Join our panelists as they discuss the past, present, and future of physical grain trading.
Panel 3: "Moving Grain Transportation Forward"
The markets surrounding agriculture are changing in many ways with new players, benchmarks, and direct to producer models emerging. Our panelists discuss possible disruptions to the existing business model, predictions for the marketplace going forward, and the impact of new technology on grain transportation. Join our panelists from major transportation firms, emerging service providers, sector experts, and the firms who move product throughout the value chain.
4-6pm - Cocktail Reception (9th Floor)
May 10 - VenueSIX10
9-11am - Barchart Commodity Redefined & Breakfast (Invite Only)
This exclusive and invite-only session will include Barchart's Chief Technology Office (Chris Harrison), Head of Commodities (Michael Browne) and Head of Strategy (Keith Petersen), and will feature an overview of the Barchart ecosystem, in-depth analysis of the flagship cmdtyView platform, a review of Barchart's proprietary data sets and grain data, as well as a review of Barchart's new whitepaper (How Grain Buyers and Sellers can Increase Profits with Basis Indexes from Barchart). There will also be time for Q&A and discussion with industry peers and Barchart staff.
**Breakfast will be available for all registered attendees starting at 8am before the presentation begins
Innovation In Ag
Founder - Grain Discovery
Rory O’Sullivan has held a diverse range of roles in the agricultural commodity space over the past 18 years, from unloading trucks at the local grain elevator to running a profitable commodity trading book at one of the world’s biggest funds. Travelling and witnessing inefficiencies and opaque supply chains cemented his vision for Grain Discovery. Studied Agricultural Science at University of Melbourne.
Co-Founder - Agrograph
Co-Founder of Agrograph, James has been helping corporations and startups navigate innovation initiatives and build sustainable processes for over a decade. James has held leadership positions at four startups, two of which he co-founded. He’s also lead product innovation teams at three multinational corporations ranging from financial services, to insurance to weather and healthcare. James holds an MBA from Edgewood College, a Masters of Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor degree from Iowa State University.
Jonathan has more than 25 years of business experience in regulated and unregulated commodity markets, including 15 years in commodity data services advising on strategy, financing, M&A, sales, partnerships, and new business creation. He co-founded and launched New Leaf Data Services, LLC and its Cannabis Benchmarks® division in February 2015 to bring transparency and efficiency to cultivators, dispensaries, investors, traders and other cannabis market participants through validated, standardized benchmark price assessments.
CEO - Prescient Weather
Dr. Jan Dutton is the CEO of Prescient Weather Ltd and ClimBiz Ltd. His career spans positions at Weather Ventures, Earth Networks, Storm Exchange, Schneider Electric, and DTN. Dr. Dutton’s career objective is to enable business decision making based on weather and climate information. He received a dual degree B.A. in Physics and Science and Technology Studies from Colby College in Waterville, ME in 1994. He received a Ph.D. from the Penn State Department of Meteorology in 2000. He also received an MBA from the Smeal College Business at Penn State in 2000. His dissertation focused on the simulation of interannual climate variability using regional climate models.
Executive Director and Senior VP - RJ O’Brien
Melisa Culbertson is the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of RJ O'Brien's Structured Products Team. She spear headed the development of the OTC offering at RJ O'Brien and is commonly recognized as a top agricultural derivatives trader in Chicago. She has been an independent trader and member of the CBOT/CME for many years both on and off the floor. She also operates her own small farm in Indiana. She is a graduate of Purdue University.
Senior Product Manager - TradeWx
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Main Street Data
Ron serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Main Street Data. Ron has spent more than 40 years pioneering new opportunities for traditional and emerging industries as a corporate executive, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He brings a unique perspective to Main Street Data’s leadership team that was achieved through diverse executive leadership experiences and spanning the full spectrum of company development.
In addition to his role with Main Street Data, Ron is the managing director and co-founder of OpenAir Equity Partners, where he recognizes innovation and guides up-and-coming companies in successfully applying technology in the marketplace. Prior to starting OpenAir Equity Partners, he spent decades in senior leadership roles with Sprint (President and COO), AT&T and Southwestern Bell, working in an environment known for innovation and budding technologies. As the first employee and CEO of Sprint PCS, Ron guided the company from start-up to $10B in annual revenue faster than any company in U.S. history. After leaving Sprint in 2003, Ron became a partner with Ripplewood Holdings, where he helped orchestrate the turn-around of Japan Telecom as its CEO. Ron also was instrumental in the formation of GoGo In flight Internet Services, the leading broadband in-flight Internet service, serving as CEO and now Chairman. He currently serves on the boards of GoGo In flight Internet Services (GOGO), Hyla Mobile (HYLA) and Zubie.
Grain Market Perspectives
Moderator: Alan Brugler
President - Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
Alan R. Brugler is the President of Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC, a Nebraska based marketing advisory and consulting service started in 2002. From 1992-2002 he was the Senior Analyst and then Director of Analysis and Product Research for Data Transmission Network (DTN). Prior to joining DTN, he was the Director of Market Information Services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation from 1978-1992. He has been writing market commentary and speaking to farm industry audiences on economics and marketing for more than 40 years.
President - Darin Newsom Analysis
Darin Newsom has 30 years experience analyzing commodity markets; covering grains and oilseeds, livestock, energies, metals, softs, etc and understanding the different characteristics of each. He has appeared on numerous financial television programs to talk markets, and is a regular analyst on the Iowa Public Television program Market to Market. He is a market columnist and technical analyst blogger, whose work has been featured on websites and in magazines for decades. Darin is well known internationally on the speaking tour, providing his unique analytical observations and years of experience on market outlook and how markets work by looking at trend, forward curves, and other market indicators.
Director - Risk Consulting - CHS Inc.
Kent is the Director of Risk Consulting Services for CHS Hedging, managing the market recommendations for the Russell Consulting Group, a wholly owned consulting arm of CHS Hedging. His time is spent analyzing the markets and advising Russell associates and clients via teleconference and a weekly electronic newsletter. He also provides numerous seminars in person to clients and the industry at large. Prior to his affiliation with the Russell Consulting Group, Kent was a senior market analyst with CHS Hedging, Inc. He worked with commercial agribusinesses and individual producers delivering futures and basis analysis, over-the-counter (OTC) derivative programs, and managed futures programs. Kent began his agribusiness career in 1985 with the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and then joined CHS in 1986 to work in the cash wheat, durum, and barley markets. Kent majored in Agricultural Business Administration at the University of Minnesota. He holds a Series 3 license and is a registered associate with the National Futures Association.
Futures and Options Broker - Daniels Trading
Tom Dosdall specializes in working with commercial participants in the agriculture industry, both growers and merchants, to better manage price risk and opportunity for the commodities they buy or sell. As a Series 3 licensed futures and options broker with over a decade of experience, Tom has focused expertise in the corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, dairy, and lean hog markets. Tom’s extensive brokerage experience includes intertwining physical/cash markets and client profit margins with the intricacies of futures and options strategy execution. Technical price chart analysis used to professionally manage risk or create leverage, as market conditions dictate, is a key component of Tom’s daily interaction with clients. With deep ancillary knowledge of currencies, energies and feed usage, Tom offers his clients a well-rounded perspective and comprehensive guidance. In addition to serving as a broker, Tom is the creator and publisher of Technical Ag Knowledge, a video e-newsletter spotlighting technical chart formations in the agricultural futures markets.
President - AgResource
Daniel Basse is President of AgResource Company. AgResource Co. is a domestic and international agricultural research firm located in Chicago. AgResource forecasts domestic and world agricultural price trends and provides information/research. Mr Basse is an economist that has been in the commodity business since 1979. Raised on a dairy/grain farm in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Mr Basse has a keen sense of production agriculture. Mr Basse graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has worked with Professional Farmers of America, Brock Associates and the ag research division of GNP Commodities in Chicago. In 1987, Mr Basse founded AgResource Company to serve the market research needs of the world agricultural community. Mr Basse sits as a board member of the US Farm Foundation and holds global conferences on agriculture in Canada, Switzerland and Brazil.
Chief Economist - American Farm Bureau Federation
Dr. Newton is the Chief Economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest organization of independent farmers in the United States. In this role, Dr. Newton is responsible for the management of Farm Bureau’s economics department and coordinates and conducts analyses used for the development of and the advocacy for Farm Bureau policy. Prior to joining Farm Bureau, Newton worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as an agricultural economist and was detailed to both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. Following his service to USDA and the Congressional Committee, Dr. Newton was an award-winning faculty member at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The New Harvest - Ag Data
VP Strategic Partnerships - Geosys, Urthecast
Dave Gebhardt is Vice President of Analytics for UrtheCast, a geospatial data and analytics company, where he manages the recently acquired Geosys business. He grew up on a family farm in southeastern Minnesota where his three brothers are still farming. Dave earned his B.S. degree in agronomy from Iowa State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his position at UrtheCast, Dave has spent more than 25 years in the agriculture industry in various plant genetics, agronomy, and technology roles with companies such as Coors Brewing Company, DuPont Pioneer, WinField United, and Geosys.
Co-Founder and Director - AgriCensus
Tim is a co-founder and director of Census Commodity Data, bringing a wealth of price reporting and publishing experience. A former director at S&P Global Platts, Tim led the agriculture reporting team that was instrumental in the development of the Black Sea swaps market and has been at the forefront of price reporting for over 10 years. He was also responsible for Platts benchmark biofuels assessments, including global ethanol benchmarks. Before moving into agriculture, Tim was an oil market pricing expert focusing on the European refined product markets.
CEO, President and Co-Founder - Farmobile
Jason Tatge serves as CEO and co-founder of Farmobile — the Independent Farm Data Company — based in Leawood, KS. Since its inception in 2013, Farmobile builds foundational technology for the future of agriculture, which enables farmers and their channel partners to collect, standardize, share and monetize data to benefit farms and the agriculture and food industry. A driving force in the Midwest’s entrepreneurial community, Jason has been leading internet and agtech companies for more than 18 years.
Data Scientist - ACRE by McKinsey
Dan joined ACRE, the agriculture analytics group at McKinsey, in 2016 and provides long term engineering vision for core infrastructure with an emphasis on robustness, automation, and generalization. He works with clients across the agricultural space to deliver impact using advanced analytics and cloud-based solutions, such as advising on major digital transformations and designing dashboard solutions for hedging and procurement desks.
Owner - Fansler Farms
Is Electronification of Physical Grain Trading Finally Here?
Moderator: Candice Lucas
Director, Agricultural Products - CME Group
Candice Lucas has been a part of CME Group's agricultural product team since 2010 where she has managed a variety of niche agricultural products, including commodity indexes, dairy, fertilizer, and lumber products. Candice helped transition the CME’s Dairy Spot Call Markets, which are physical auctions hosted by the CME, from open outcry to an electronic venue in 2017. Prior to joining CME Group, Candice worked as a risk management consultant for commercial hedgers in the cotton industry at INTL FCStone. Candice holds a Bachelor of Science in International Agribusiness from Kansas State University and a Master of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
CEO - FarmLead
Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He’s originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, where his family started farming over 100 years ago. Today between there and extended family in Fargo, ND, the family is seeding over 60,000 acres this spring! His views on grain markets are regularly featured in the likes of Bloomberg and CNBC, as well as small-town community newspapers across North America
President - AgMark LLC
Mark Hafliger is the President of AgMark LLC based in Beloit, Kansas. AgMark LLC is a regional grain marketing organization owned by 5 farmer owned cooperatives. Mark's passion for agriculture started with being raised on farm in Western Kansas and still has involvement in the diverse grain and livestock family farm operation today. Including AgMark, Mark has spent over 27 years in the agriculture industry in various roles including management, merchandising and marketing consulting with companies like Advance Trading, Scoular and ADM. Mark did research for the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University where he earned his Master degree in Agricultural Economics.
Grain Division Manager - CoMark Equity Alliance
Troy Presley is the Grain Division Manager for Comark Equity Alliance. A member owned marking alliance in the central United States with 163 county elevator locations. Troy has been with Comark Equity Alliance (CEA) since the inception of the group in August of 2017. Prior to CEA, Mr. Presley was the Grain Merchandiser for Comark Grain Marketing. Before his time at Comark Grain Marketing he started his grain merchandising experience in southwest Kansas for Dodge City Coop. Troy has also spent quality time with Advance Trading Inc an introducing broker located in central Illinois. While with Advance Trading Inc, he traveled the Midwest consulting elevators as well as producers on risk management. He has an extensive merchandising background that started dumping trucks and has evolved into leading one of the largest marketing groups in the country. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University.
CEO - GrainBridge LLC
Mark was raised on family farm near Verdigre, Nebraska, where he gained experience with grain and livestock production. He graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1994 with a degree in agricultural education with an emphasis on agriculture business. Mark has worked in various roles in the agriculture industry including Dow Chemical and Monsanto. In 2002 Mark and two partners started Diversified Management Consulting, LLC, which helped farmers manage risk and market their commodities. In 2008 Mark and three partners started GrainBridge LLC which is a SaaS (Software as a Service) company that builds and services agricultural software for the grain and livestock industry. Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Tara and their two children, as well as hunting, fishing, and being outdoors.
Co-Founder & CEO - FarmLogs
Jesse grew up on his family's fifth-generation farm in Michigan and graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a BS in Computer Information Systems. He co-founded and managed a successful software consulting company where he was able to help clients use next-generation technology to bring their businesses into the digital era. In 2012, Vollmar founded FarmLogs to bring better technology to U.S. farms, and was named to the Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2014. As FarmLogs’ CEO, he has grown the company to over 80M acres of crops under management. In 2018, Vollmar worked with leaders in the grain marketing industry to bring accessible marketing software to row crop farms, and introduced FarmLogs AutoHedge to the platform.
Moving Grain Transportation Forward
Moderator: Adam Sparger
Economist - Transportation Services Division, USDA-AMS
Adam Sparger is the Deputy Director of the Transportation Services Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, providing economic analysis on agricultural transportation to industry stakeholders and policy officials. He leads projects responsible for providing data and information on truck, rail, barge, and ocean transportation including the weekly Grain Transportation Report, the Agricultural Refrigerated Truck Quarterly Report, and a transportation open-data initiative. He also supports the representation of agricultural producers and shippers before Federal transportation regulatory authorities. Prior to his current position, he was a USDA rail-freight economist and authored reports and academic articles on agricultural transportation used to inform industry stakeholders and USDA freight policy.
J. Fernando Quinonez
Global Client Manager - Agricultural Commodities for A.P. Moller - Maersk
Maersk, a leading ocean transportation and container logistics integrator. Transitioning to his current role effective January 1st, 2019, Fernando is responsible for a strategic account program focused on a portfolio of Agricultural clients transporting corn, soybeans, and DDG as well as various meals and fodder. Engaging an extensive network of global stakeholders - operational and commercial teams within Maersk - he is tasked with the development and support of key US-based Agricultural accounts while enabling Maersk’s service offering to connect this vital segment with key markets across the globe. Over his 21 years with the A.P. Moller – Maersk organization, he has held several commercial positions including Director of Sales – Midwest based in Chicago as well as Regional Marketing & Commercial Planning roles in Miami, Florida. Originally from El Salvador, Fernando moved to the US in his childhood and attended the University of Miami. He lives with his wife Kateri and their two children in the Chicago area.
Executive Director of Futures - FreightWaves
Addison Armstrong is FreightWaves Executive Director of Futures and is responsible for developing liquidity for Trucking Freight Futures. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Addison was an Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for JP Morgan, where he led efforts to develop and maintain key commodity-focused client relationships for the bank’s futures clearing broker. He has over 20 years experience in the commodity markets, developing liquidity for a number of futures markets in various commodities and exchanges as both a trader and a broker.
VP of Indigo Transport - Indigo Ag
Kearney applies over two decades’ experience and business acumen to optimizing the agriculture supply chain as Vice President, Indigo Transport. For more transparency, efficiency, and reliability in how grain and other harvests are shipped around the country, Kearney leads the business line to address pain points for a variety of stakeholders – including growers, shippers and carriers. Accustomed to establishing innovative business models for success in the digital-age, Kearney’s experience includes Bunge Limited, Air Products, and Marakon. He helped design and implement a global agribusiness organization while at Bunge, including functions and platforms to assess risk. Other areas of focus include growth strategy, organization restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. Kearney is results- driven and entrepreneurial-minded, positioning those that work for him to outperform their expectations. A graduate of Northeastern University, where he received BS in industrial engineering, and Vanderbilt University, where he received his MBA in finance and operations, Kearney began his career at General Electric as a quality engineer. On the weekends, you can find him doing everything outdoors with his wife and three children.
Freight Expert - NASDAQ NFX
- Accounting Providers
- Ag Lenders
- Ag Media
- Alternative Data Providers
- Commodity and Futures Traders
- Commodity Software
- Crop Insurance
- Ethanol Plants
- Farm Management
- Grain Originators
- Hedge Funds
- Risk Management
- Service Providers
- Trading Firms
Join us at Venue SIX10, 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. This contemporary building overlooks Grant Park and down town Chicago. It is conveniently located near many hotels, restaurants, and minutes from the Chicago Board of Trade and Financial District.