ELIMINATING the GUESS WORK
By: Timothy Rexrod
I had the chance to chat with Grain and Livestock marketing guru Kevin Van Trump at the Western Farm Show this past week in Kansas City, MO. To say the least Van Trump was a fascinating interview, he spoke extensively about where he see’s the market heading both long and short term, how farmers are often talked into trading futures or options they simply do not need, his company Farm Direction and more specifically the launch of his much anticipated FD PRO Marketing Plan & Strategy Tools.
When I caught up with Van Trump he was certainly the center of attention, with a large group of farmers huddled around listening intently to Van Trump tell stories of his days at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, at that time Van Trump was working for one of the largest Grain speculators in the World. He claims to have learned all of the in’s and out’s of the markets working his way up through the ranks at several of the countries top commodity exchanges.
After leaving a successful career as a top adviser and research director at one of the largest clearing firms in Chicago, Van Trump now calls Kansas City home and spends the majority of his time helping farmers develop marketing strategies to improve their results. Van Trump will be the first to tell you he is not real big on farmers using futures and options as a main strategy or pricing tool. That seemed odd to me as Van Trump’s background is so deeply entrenched in the trading world. He stated, “I believe there are certain select times and specific market conditions when futures and or option strategies could be considered, but for the most part a successful marketing campaign begins with cash strategies developed around a sound marketing plan.” That is exactly what Van Trump claims to bring to farmers with his new FD PRO format.
Van Trump is a huge hit with farmers because he brings them exactly what they are looking for. “I believe farmers are looking for good sound honest advise about the markets and strategies they can use to help improve their marketing results.” He went on to say, “I don’t own a brokerage firm or sell crop insurance, so I am not trying to talk the guys into something they don’t need, they appreciate that.” He believes that for the first time the farmers actually have someone on their team looking out for their best interest rather than an adviser who is constantly trying to sell them some strategy that involves paying for options that most generally expire worthless or leaves them constantly searching for money to meet heavy margin calls.
Van Trump loves being away from all of the hustle and bustle of the markets, and really feels good about being able to give farmers the information and advise they have so desperately needed and have been searching for. Van Trump said, “I get more gratification out of helping my clients today, than anything I have done in the past.” He stated that many of his clients have since become life long friends.
Van Trump told me that he left the trading world to start Farm Direction, not only for the gratification it has brought him but also for the freedom it has provide him and his family. Ask anyone and they will tell you Van Trump’s family is first and foremost. As rumors have it Van Trump walked away from several seven figure offers in Chicago, to move his family to a small rural community just outside of Kansas City. He closed our conversation by showing me pictures of his two beautiful children, bragged about his son’s athletic abilities, his daughters guitar playing skills and how he has been in love with best friend and high school sweet heart for over 25 years.
Regardless of if you do business with Mr. Van Trump and his company Farm Direction, he is certainly an individual you will want to call your friend and have on your team for years to come.