Meet the MJ Team

Mike Briggs

Mike Briggs

Livestock Marketing Analyst

Briggs Feed Yard

Mike Briggs is a third-generation cattleman from Seward, Nebraska. His family has been feeding cattle since 1935.

Briggs, a graduate of Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, is an active member of the Nebraska Cattlemen. He also served as the vice-chair of the Animal Health and Nutrition Committee, and as chairman of the Feed Lot Council. He is a charter member of the board of the Nebraska Corn-fed Beef program and also served as president and vice-president of that organization.

Mike Briggs says he enjoys the beef business and says that he, "cannot imagine doing anything else."

Al Dutcher

Al Dutcher

Agricultural Climatologist, Nebraska Extension

Al Dutcher specializes in climate data analysis, soil moisture analysis, weather forecasting, crop/weather relationships, and drought monitoring. A member of NU's School of Natural Resource Sciences, Al has been with the University of Nebraska since 1989. He holds a B.S. in Meteorology and an M.S. in Climatology, both degrees earned at Iowa State University.

Dutcher is a past president and current member of the American Association of State Climatologists. He serves on the Governor's Climate Assessment Response Committee and chairs the state's Water Availability Outlook Committee. He's also a contributing editor/writer for Cropwatch.

Originally from Deckerville, Michigan, Al has also lived in Germany, Japan, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Todd Hultman

Todd Hultman

Commodities Market Analyst

DTN/The Progressive Farmer

Todd Hultman is a DTN market analyst, and has worked in the commodity futures industry since 1985.

Todd began his career as a broker with Delta Futures Group in Omaha, where he relied on DTN's news and market quotes. In 1997, he left the brokerage business with a desire to spend more time researching the futures markets and educating others. The move led to the creation of an online educational resource for futures traders that ended when he came to DTN. That same strong interest to research and teach brought a Todd to DTN’s newsroom in 2013 where he enjoys commenting on the ag markets. Todd is a 1981 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has lived in the Omaha area most of his life.

Elaine Kub

Elaine Kub

Grain Marketing Analyst

Author

Elaine Kub is the author of Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made — a 360-degree look at all aspects of grain trading, which draws on her experiences as a futures broker, market analyst, grain merchandiser, and farmer. Before earning an engineering degree from the University of Nebraska and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California San Diego, Kub grew up on a family farm in South Dakota, where she is still active in grain and livestock production.

Josh Maples

Josh Maples

Assistant Professor and Livestock Extension Economist

Mississippi State University

Dr. Josh Maples is an Assistant Professor and Livestock Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. His primary extension and research area is in livestock market analysis. In the classroom, Dr. Maples teaches the undergraduate Commodity Futures and Options Marketing course at MSU. He was raised on a registered angus cattle farm in Elkmont, AL.

John Meuret

John Meuret

Grain Marketing Analyst

J.E. Meuret Grain Company

John is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate with degrees in Economics and Business Management. He lives in Brunswick with his wife, Kendra, and their two daughters, Audrey and Emily. J.E. Meuret Grain Company has been family owned and operated since 1923 and assists farmers in northeast Nebraska with their grain and feed operations.

Darin Newsom

Darin Newsom

Grain Marketing Analyst

DTN senior analyst Darin Newsom has 25 years of experience analyzing commodity markets and developing risk-management strategies and is also the creator and guiding force behind DTN's Six Factor Marketing Strategies. Besides DTN, his articles and commentary are also consistently featured in industry publications such as The Progressive Farmer, Trader Planet, and Commodities Now Magazine, along with multiple newspapers and radio stations throughout the country.

Frayne Olson

Frayne Olson

Wheat Marketing Analyst

Crops Economist & Marketing Specialist, North Dakota State University

Dr. Olson conducts educational programs and research in crop marketing and market analysis, crop contracting and risk management. He also does collaborative research and educational work in the areas of agribusiness management and farm management. Dr. Olson received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri, and his M.S. and B.S. in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota State University.

Jeff Peterson

Jeff Peterson

Grain Marketing Analyst

Jeff Peterson created Heartland Farm Partners with Dan Cowger. The team's vision of Heartland Farm Partners is "A commitment to excellence in personalized service for farm operations, big or small."

Jeff has spent his professional life working in the grain industry. He began his career with Cargill and has spent over 17 years in the grain industry. Nine of those years were spent as a grain merchandiser and manager at large elevators throughout the Midwest. Jeff has spent the last eight years of his career working directly with farmers on their marketing needs.

Jeff enjoys working with farmers on an individual basis and realizes the personal, financial and emotional needs of each operation are different.

Ron Plain

Ron Plain

Hog Marketing Analyst

Extension Economist - Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia

Ron Plain serves as program leader for extension within the department and has been a faculty member at MU since 1981. Ron received his B.S. and Masters degrees in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. His areas of expertise include livestock marketing, farm business management, and swine production.

Ron grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm near El Dorado Springs, Missouri. He taught vocational agriculture for three years at Odessa, Missouri, before returning to graduate school. Dr. Plain is married and has three children.

Lee Shulz

Lee Shulz

Livestock Market Analyst

Extension Livestock Economist & Marketing Specialist, Iowa State University

Lee Schulz is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University and serves as the statewide specialist on livestock economics and markets. His areas of expertise are in production and marketing, price analysis, and risk management for the cattle/beef and hog/pork sectors. He publishes regularly in professional journals, extension publications, and the popular press and speaks at numerous professional and agricultural conferences.

Lee grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in central Wisconsin. He obtained a B.S. in Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University.

Doug

Doug Simon

Grain Marketing Analyst

tredas

Doug has been a risk management consultant and commodity broker since 1999, working with agribusinesses and diversified farms.

From 1990 to 1999, he was President/COO of RF Nature Farm Foods, a Lincoln-based natural foods start-up company that sold bakery mixes and housewares to national retailers such as Macy’s, WholeFoods, Crate & Barrel and Sam’s. During 1989 and 1990 he was also a principal in LandMark Meats, exporting specialty beef to the United Kingdom.

Doug graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BA in international affairs and economics and an MS in ag economics. Doug worked in the Agricultural Marketing Center at UNL and taught agricultural economics while completing his degree. He graduated from Louisville High School and worked on his parent’s farm, a local dairy, and put up hay and walked beans across most of Cass County with his four brothers and buddies. Doug’s wife, Nicole is from Toronto. Their children are Ben, Zach and Madeleine.

Roy Smith

Roy Smith

Grain Marketing Analyst

Roy Smith raises soybeans and corn and lives with his wife Sharon on a 1,000-acre farm near Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Roy is past president of the Nebraska Soybean Association, and past vice-president of the American Soybean Association. He's also represented the ASA on the agricultural advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other commodity exchanges.

Roy advocates the use of seasonal price charts and the development of "farmer-friendly" marketing strategies. Roy says that, above all, as a producer, "you need to set your farm and family goals and measure your success in marketing against those goals. Be sure that everyone in the family shares those goals. Don't let minor setbacks in markets distract you from the really important things in life."

Luke Beckman

Luke Beckman

Grain Marketing Analyst

ProEdge Grain Manager, Central Valley Ag

Luke is the ProEdge Grain Manager for Central Valley Ag, heading up CVA’s ProEdge division. This brand concentrates on risk management for the farm business as well as providing area producers with grain bids into CVA and direct ship destinations. Luke is a native of Elgin, Nebraska, having grown up on a farm consisting of irrigated corn and soybeans and market hogs. Luke began working for CVA as a Risk Management Consultant in 2011, following college at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. While in Lincoln, Luke obtained Bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Economics and Agronomy in addition to securing his commodity brokerage license. With the help of his ProEdge team, Luke coordinates all ProEdge risk management publications and provides official grain marketing recommendations for ProEdge Clients.