The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) are jointly sponsoring three risk management sessions this December on volatile agricultural markets, high input costs and high capital costs facing farm operations.

The regional sessions will be followed by a series of in-depth, small group sessions for persons interested in additional information about daily swine risk management decisions.

Regional sessions will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Dec. 6 at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, IA;
  • Dec. 7 at the Borlaug Learning Center at the Iowa State University Northeast Research Farm, Nashua, IA; and
  • Dec. 8 at Johnson County Extension Office at Iowa City, IA.

Sessions begin with John Lawrence, associate dean of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources helping attendees understand the magnitude of risks farmers face today.

Chad Hart, ISU assistant professor of Economics and Extension grain marketing specialist, will outline the big-picture issues impacting feed and livestock prices including value of the dollar, demand for corn and soybean meal, world economy, exports, production levels and more.

Mark Greenwood, vice president of agri-business capital, AgStar Financial, Mankato, MN, will explain the most important components of a successful risk management strategy. Greenwood will address the importance of a competitive cost structure, the mindset it takes to capture profit opportunities and the critical nature of combining feed cost risk with lean hog market price.

A local producer will discuss success in risk management and how to implement risk management based on crush margin, allowing producers to lock in profit while the window is there.

Local ISU swine specialists will close each session by assisting attendees apply lessons from the day’s session, make tools available for implementing change and preface small group sessions for further risk management education opportunities.

Each location also offers an optional 9 a.m. session to review the basics of hedging, options, insurance and other risk management tools, hosted by Shane Ellis, ISU Extension livestock and marketing specialist.

“Knowing the basics is an important step in risk management implementation,” says Dave Stender, ISU Extension swine specialist. “Even if one is hiring an outside firm for risk management strategies, it is important to understand the common tools and strategies used.”

Seminar cost is $10 for those pre-registered or $15 at the door. Lunch and meeting materials will be guaranteed to those pre-registered. For more information or to pre-register, contact IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or Tyler Bettin at

“Effectively managing risk is increasingly important in today’s volatile ag markets,” says Leon Sheets, IPPA president. “We hope these conferences can help pork producers and allied industry representatives build on their knowledge, more effectively manage risk, better serve customers and remain profitable.”