Angie Setzer has been working in the grain industry for over 11 years. After beginning her career as a cash grain broker, she transitioned into a position as Vice President of Grain for Citizens Elevator in Charlotte, MI. At Citizens, she manages five elevator locations as well as a state-of-the-art on-farm program bringing the company’s overall yearly handling to over 12 mbu. She writes the “Cash is King” column for Pro Farmer and she has been seen on AgDay, U.S. Farm Report, Market to Market and the Weather Channel. She also makes regular appearances on Market Rally Radio, Benzinga’s Pre-Market Prep show and Agritalk. You can follow Angie on Twitter at @GoddessofGrain.
How did you get involved in trading, and what path took you to where you are now?
Angie: I grew up on a potato farm in Central Michigan. Throughout high school and college I had always been told how great of a teacher I would be, so I started down the path to my education degree. At the time, teaching appeared to be the most popular career path, so around my junior year I decided I would just graduate with my English degree and wing it from there (not my greatest plan looking back). Upon graduation, I got into sales. About a year after graduating with a degree, I responded to a help wanted ad in the newspaper looking for someone interested in an outside sales position with experience in agriculture. As it turns out, the position was for a cash grain brokerage firm. I joke the company only hired me because I was willing to work for $7.50 an hour. That was 12 years ago. I have grown from not even knowing this path existed to where I am today.
What are the challenges you face daily in your trading industry work?
Angie: My job is to turn farmer or elevator grain and soybeans into cash. Doing this has a whole host of challenges from trouble with grain quality to logistical headaches to your everyday trading issues. I’m a hedger, so in theory my risk should be limited on the futures side if I’m doing my job right, but the challenges that come with trading the physical seem to be never ending.
Do you have customers or do you trade for yourself?
Angie: I have customers I trade for. I work with farmers and smaller elevators to navigate the challenging market structure. We build marketing plans to help ensure profitability and work together to maximize the potential of their operations when it comes to trading the products they produce.
What are your top three requirements in a trading platform?
Angie: Ease of use. Access to information (charts, news updates etc.). Up-to-date and accurate bid/offer ladders.
Can you give us an example of how technology has changed your approach to something in life as much as it has changed your trading?
Angie: Technology growth via social media platforms—specifically Twitter—has not only changed how I approach the market as a trader, it has changed my ability to network as well as my career. Prior to Twitter, it was easy to feel isolated in my position and to question whether I was the only one who approached trading as I do. After Twitter, I know I’m most definitely not alone and am extremely fortunate to work in the industry that I do.