Posted by: usset001 | August 22, 2011

Ramping-up for another year of Commodity Challenge

Commodity Challenge is a premier on-line trading game, featuring “real time” cash, futures and options quotes. Primary users include FFA groups, farmer marketing groups, high schools, technical colleges and Universities – it complements and enhances any Ag curriculum.

Commodity Challenge began seven years ago, and last year the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) assumed day-to-day responsibilities. During our first year we started over 50 games, doubling the previous best year. We will continue to offer it at no charge in the year ahead.

Longer term, we are seeking sponsors to help us take Commodity Challenge to a new level. In its current form, we recognize the value of Commodity Challenge as a simulation game and as a teaching tool. However, we also recognize that Commodity Challenge needs software upgrades, functional improvements, and the availability of on-line curriculum. We are telling potential sponsors of three long-term goals for Commodity Challenge.

Goal #1: Upgrade the website to improve manageability and functionality. The website needs a fresh look that will streamline administrative functions, allow game leaders to monitor games, and incorporate links to Facebook and Twitter to enhance the fantasy ag marketing experience for younger audiences.

Goal #2: Develop on-line training and a broader curriculum to improve marketing education. New curriculum is needed on three levels; (1) lesson plans to assist teachers using Commodity Challenge into the classroom, (2) self study sections for training professionals in Ag Industry and, (3) upgrading and improving the current curriculum for farmers and marketing groups.

Goal #3:  Further expand usage with grain marketing competitions. In 2006, Corn & Soybean Digest used Commodity Challenge to manage a “MarketMaxx” competition, which drew thousands of participants from across the nation. Through promotion and the incorporation of social media, we aim to make it much easier for companies, organizations and groups to sponsor competitions for fun and education.

As you can see, our long-term plans are ambitious because CFFM believes that a revitalized Commodity Challenge represents the future of grain marketing education and on-line training.

If you would like to start a game, contact me by phone (651-308-8224) or email (usset001@umn.edu). Don’t forget to spread the word to friends and colleagues who you think could benefit from the use of Commodity Challenge.


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