Simply stated, I love farming. Having grown up on the family dairy farm, it was my hope and dream to return to farming upon finishing my ag business degree at UW Platteville. By the time I was to graduate, a series of events, not uncommon to family farms, would prevent me from realizing my dream.
Uncertain of what was to come or what I would do next, I received an invitation in 1995 to interview at a local commodity brokerage firm. From the moment I arrived, I was fascinated by the buzz in the office. I was experiencing in real-time the crossroad where the farm meets the marketplace. I was standing in a place where my love for agriculture and the farm collided with my passion for business. In an instant it became very clear why I was not going back to the farm: I was destined to become a commodity broker.
Many people enter the brokerage industry for the thrill of the trade - buy sell - buy sell. My approach is different. Instead, I prefer to help farmers manage their individual market risk. As we all know, weather doesn’t wait, cows don’t feed themselves, and markets don’t often give second chances. This idea of managing risk was well received. I began working with farmers across the country. My farm clients led me to commercial enterprises, which led to larger scale end-user operations.
The more people I met, the more my love for agriculture and its people grew. I loved sharing solutions with people and seeing their increased successes as they made informed decisions. To this day, one of the greatest joys I have is getting out among my clients to walk through the fields, ride on the combine, see the cows, tour the plant, meet the staff, or simply talk over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Over the years, my clients have become like family to me. I love the markets, but my passion is people.
It is on the foundation of managing risk and valuing relationships, that I began Commodity Risk Management Group (CRMG). Farmers and end-users need trusted advisors they can rely on; advisors who will take the time to educate, inform, and guide them. They need someone who can be a sounding board for their decision making and know them well enough to empower them to make wise and informed choices.
I started CRMG because I wanted to create a company with heart, a company built on trust, a company where a handshake still means something, and company where people still matter. These ideals govern this industry we call agriculture, and they are born out of the values of hard work, honesty, and integrity. These are the values I was raised with. These are the values upon which I built CRMG. I share my heart in this matter because it takes heart to be a farmer.
I understand that… because I am one.