To learn more about making wise investment decisions in these times of volatile hog markets, attend the financial risk overview at the 2010 World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA, by Thomas Clark, associate director of Commodity Products for CME Group, including Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Clark’s seminar, “Risk Management for Pork Producers,” will focus on the importance of risk management in operating a successful hog operation. Clark will present a brief overview about hedging investments with futures and options, discuss how producers can develop a marketing plan and explain educational training tools producers can use to leverage their risks.

“I hope producers that attend the educational seminar at World Pork Expo will walk away with a basic understanding of why risk management is important to their financial future,” says Clark. “The markets are different now than they were 10 years ago, and the way previous generations ran their operations and managed ‘the bottom line’ may not be the best way for our generation to do business.”

Clark will provide details on how to operate with good risk management. “If you’re not using futures and options or other means to lock-in pricing, you’re speculating the market and the market is always changing,” he says.

Producers need to create marketing plans to leverage their financial risks to provide a road map for the next appropriate step in financial planning.

Financial planning is very important but must be done with current financial information. “Producers need to evaluate their operating costs in today’s market,” says Clark. “Ideally, a producer can look at his marketing plan and say, ‘I need to lock-in X percent of my investments at X price to at least break even.”

Clark’s “Risk Management for Pork Producers” seminar will be presented several times during World Pork Expo, June 9 from 9-10 a.m. and from 3-4 p.m. The seminar will be repeated from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. on June 10. The presentations will be held in the Marketing Information Center located in the upper level of the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

World Pork Expo is June 9-11, 2010. Producers can pre-register at www.worldpork.org. Admission is $5 in advance or $15 at the gate.