Agris Academy: Educating the Ag Industry
We sit down with AgrisAcademy founders, Jeff Kazin and Mike Rohlfsen. Jeff shares his 30 years of grain trade experience, from wild HTA corn squeezes to bizarre customer inspector encounters. Mike's journey, from Cargill's first employee in Ukraine to ag entrepreneurship, is equally fascinating. Learn how AgrisAcademy is transforming agricultural education, and don't miss their exciting Masters Class announcement.
AgrisAcademy-Founders Jeff Kazin and Mike Rohlfsen
- Jeff: spent 30 years in the grain trade. Tell us some of the craziest/interesting things you saw
- HTA squeeze on corn during the early days of farmers and HTA- No illegal behavior 😊
- Customer inspectors from buying countries
- Dead rats
- Found in a jail in Houston
- a first gen farmer. Can you describe your operation and how your day job as a merchant/trading leader impacted it. (the tailgate comparison of cost with our local BTO and friend)
- Mike: includes 20 years in the grain trade before moving to the ag start up side of the industry.
- Cargills first employee in Ukraine. What type of things did you see as you arrived post communist rule.
- How are things now in Ukraine?
- not from a farming family. What was the draw into ag and trading?
- What’s something wild you saw in the US trade
- Still wild today?
- Jeff& Mike What was the trade/series of trades you made the most money?
- Jeff and Mike founded AgrisAcademy. We have hundreds of brokers/advisors serving the ag industry. You make it clear your business is neither broker or advisor.
- You focus on education
- WHY? “You cant win”
- “We see millions of dollars that should go from the market to farmers
- Story- SE corn farmer
- “the buyer/bully” Story of harvesting late corn in MN
- Clients scattered across the US corn belt. Is there one thing in common they could do to improve their merchandising and marketing?
- AgrisAcademy has three different practices.
- Producer, industry partners, commercial
- Banks -Seed companies - Peanut crushers- other consumers
- Jeff: You guys are putting on a Masters Class in merchandising and risk management this fall. Why?
- Comment from young lady post speaking engagement- “They don’t want to teach us these skills”
- No platform available to learn at this level
- Ability to share information to a broader group than our retained clients
- Can you describe the Masters Class
- 10 weeks / 2x per week/ 2 hours instruction + 1 hr open interaction 40hours +, evening live class starting December, Office hours for 1-1 instruction, Recorded classes if unable to attend
- How does a producer sign up for the class? How are you going to handle the amount of time needed?
- Limit class size -Interactive teaching with live QA -Scheduled office hours
- How can someone connect if they are an industry partner or a commercial looking for help?
- Website / email
- Micro consulting
If you could go back to yourself at age 18 – what advice would you give?