Edward Usset

Commodity Challenge: A free resource for teaching about commodity markets and marketing

Discussion created by Edward Usset on Aug 26, 2013

Hi. My name is Edward Usset and I am a grain marketing specialist and teacher with the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. I am happy to introduce you to Commodity Challenge, an on-line trading game, featuring real-time cash, futures and options quotes for corn, soybeans and wheat (www.commoditychallenge.com).

Commodity Challenge is free. In order to use Commodity Challenge, participants must register to play. Go to http:\\www.commoditychallenge.com to establish your personal username and password. Commodity Challenge is used in high school and college classrooms for learning about grain markets and marketing strategies. It is also used by farmers and marketing groups to improve grain marketing skills.

Grain markets and risk management are difficult topics to teach in the classroom. A real-time trading game provides an educational opportunity that is hands-on, unique, and fun.

Establishing a game is easy and free. Simply send me an email at usset001@umn.edu and say ?I want to start a Commodity Challenge game.? You can request a Quick Start game, or a Custom game.

For a Quick Start game, I need the following information.

  • Group name and location: (e.g., Johnson High School in Cresco IA, Central High School FFA in Peoria, IL, etc.)
  • Game leader: name, email and phone number
  • Start and end dates: (We recommend a game last at least 4 weeks - enough time for players to experience the ups and downs of the market.)

With a Quick Start game, many games specs are defined for you. For example, grains traded, quantities and harvest dates will be selected based on your location. Registration will be open for several weeks after the start date, and Quick Start games are password protected. Brokerage fees and storage costs are set at $50/contract and 5 cents/bu. per month, respectively. Game specifications will be shared by email with the Game Leader.

If you want more say on your game specifications, you can request a Custom game. If you request a Custom game, I will send you an email that asks you to define the parameters for your game.

Supporting curriculum will soon be posted on the website!

The best way to introduce yourself to Commodity Challenge is register to play and join an open game (http://www.commoditychallenge.com/game/GameList.aspx). Open games are games without password protection. They give newcomers a chance to explore Commodity Challenge. You can place orders, check account actions and just develop a feel for how the system works, before starting your own game.

If you have any questions about Commodity Challenge, email me at usset001@umn.edu or call me at 612-625-7014. Good luck!