New MA&D course helps farmers ‘switch’ to a better marketing strategy

At a time of volatile prices and unpredictable markets, ADM launched a training course to help farmers develop a grain marketing plan and increase farm profitability.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” says Doug Roose, vice president of product marketing at ADM. “Things are getting harder and harder every day. They don’t get any easier. There is more volatility in the markets. There is more noise. There is more of everything. So no matter how hard you try, it’s harder than ever to stay on track and execute.

Roose says ADM’s new program, Shift, was developed to help producers navigate the chaos. The free online course has six lessons, called “gears,” covering everything from developing a marketing plan to understanding crop insurance to managing input costs. The course is estimated to last about three hours, but it’s designed so users can jump back and forth as needed, jumping around and picking up where they left off.

Lessons cover the basics of grain marketing and farm business management. Roose says they intentionally stayed away from the weeds.

“We just tried to set it up in a way that people could stay grounded and remember the fundamentals,” he says.

Shift is designed to help farmers avoid being crippled by what prices might do, as Roose says, “The simplest decision a farmer can make is not to make a decision.”

The program is packed with ideas from agricultural experts inside and outside ADM as well as links to a variety of resources to help farmers develop their plans.

Roose says ADM doesn’t collect any user data and won’t use the course as a way to contact potential customers. However, the course is quick to highlight how ADM can help farmers save money with their products and grower services, and they hope users will reach out.

Roose says Shift aims to help ADM gain the trust of producers as well as business.

“That’s the most important thing we try to do well, helping people come up with a plan and stay on track.”

Learn more about Shift here.