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Between the Fencerows: When forced to look for a new adviser, the search led to a good risk-management fit that suits my style.

Kyle Stackhouse, Blogger

February 16, 2024

2 Min Read
Farmer and adviser shaking hands
Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Many farmers use advisory services, marketing gurus, commodity brokers, local elevators, or a combination of all of the above to aid them in managing risk and finding good prices for their crops. I am no different. I have used a few different guys over the years, but this July I woke up to find that I had been dropped.

Summers are busy. I don’t like watching a downward market. So, I had pretty much shut off all the noise about commodities by the time July came. We were on the final softball trip to Florida when my dad called telling me there had been a surge in the market and suggested I should consider selling some of my wheat we had stored in the bins.

Doing due diligence, I went to my email to open up the latest commentary from my adviser. The freshest email was three weeks old! I checked spam. I checked trash. Nothing! I shot off a quick text and got the response back: ‘You hadn’t done anything for a while, I figured you were working with somebody else. I took you off the list.’ No phone call or email after more than a decade of working together. Had he just called and asked me to go on the subscription, I would have done it.

Since that time, I have been keeping a look out for a new marketing guy. In January, I went to a meeting to hear a guy talk. I liked what they were doing, but it did not end up working out. So, I asked around a little bit more and received a couple of recommendations.

I called one of them. He came out for a meeting and we seemed to be on the same page.

  • They offer a robust online platform that allows me to track where I’m at and see how I am doing.

  • I also run scenarios to see how actions or recommendations/sales may impact my marketing.

  • A daily video cast is available, but I prefer the good old fashion print edition that is emailed out.

  • The adviser is available anytime, but there are also regularly scheduled personalized zoom meetings where screen shares can help illustrate current strategies and opportunities.

  • It is a fee-based program determined by acres, so they are not relying on me making trades for revenue.

Everything seemed to be a good fit. I checked references, and a few days later I signed up for the service. I did the paperwork and contract last week. This week we had our first virtual meeting. All went well.

I’m glad to be back in the proactive mode of managing risk!

About the Author(s)

Kyle Stackhouse


After graduating from Purdue University in 1999 with a degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Kyle Stackhouse began farming in Plymouth, Ind., in northern Indiana. Kyle farms alongside his father Brad, not as an employee but as an owner who runs separate businesses in three counties in a 20-mile radius.  Kyle shares insight into day to day operations, current issues, and management of the family's mid-sized grain farm that specializes in NON-GMO and Identity Preserved crops.

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