From regen ag to Latitude Marketing Services, Scoular innovates with farmers

Why Scoular FARM Event

Lee Grabau moderates a FARM advisory panel with producers Hazen Deeds,  Johnnie Witt, Kendal Peterson and Kyle Miller.

April 19, 2024

Helping farmers to market their grain isn’t new to Scoular – we’ve been doing it for over 130 years. 

But as technology, commodity markets, and consumer demands for sustainable food and feed increasingly impact how farmers operate, our partnership with them must evolve. 

Nearly three years ago, we launched a producer strategy initiative to dig deeper into the farm gate’s dynamic changes and explore how Scoular can better support growers. We decided to focus on four areas: producer outreach, technology, risk management and regenerative agriculture. 

Producer Outreach

We’re challenging ourselves to think differently about how we get our message to farmers and bring their voices into our growth strategies. We’re moving away from asking “What does a farmer think about this problem?” to “Let’s invite the farmer into our discussion.”

In 2022, we created the Farmer Advisory Roundtable Members group, or FARM. The mission is to develop a trusted advisory relationship with forward-thinking, growth-oriented producers. FARM represents a diverse agriculture portfolio, from a fourth-generation commodity and specialty crop farmer in western Nebraska to a row crop and hog farmer in central Illinois.

The group meets with us twice yearly, providing meaningful conversations on topics ranging from canola production to regenerative agriculture. Last summer the group toured advisor Jeff O’Connor’s conventional and specialty row crop farm in Kankakee, Illinois, and shared ideas on water management. During a recent meeting in Omaha, we asked the advisors how we can support their operations as a trusted partner.

Responded Hazen Deeds, a FARM member from Goodland, Kansas: “I need my equipment dealer to be two years ahead of me, my banker to be one year ahead of me and my grain marketer to be six months ahead of me.”

Within FARM and other producer outreach initiatives, we’ve experienced the power in farmers learning from each other and are proud to learn and lead alongside them.



Technology will support, not replace, the relationships our Scoular origination teams build with producers.  

An example is ScoularView, our suite of digital producer tools. In addition to helping producers manage their operations’ accounting, ScoularView includes action items such as making electronic grain offers and accessing production information.  

 “Technology makes my interaction with Scoular as seamless as possible,” said Ashley Colglazier, a fourth-generation farmer from Venango, Nebraska, and FARM advisor. “The ScoularView app is wonderful. I get to make that sale or utilize that tech on my time when I have time to think about it.” 

We continue to focus on data, given the demand to understand the farm-to-consumer supply chain. O’Connor collects operations, production, and soil health data.  

“In the future, the data behind my crops will help add resiliency to my farming operation, differentiate my commodities and provide an additional revenue source,” he said. “It’s because of this that I am focusing time on data capture on my farm.

Regen ag event in Adrian, MO

  A Scoular regenerative ag education event

Risk Management

Most producers would say that of all the hats they wear, grain marketer is among their least favorite. Think about the variables in crop production: seed variety, crop insurance, weed and pest management, equipment breakdowns, weather. What should be a gratifying experience is overshadowed by the pressure to profitably market the crop at the right time.

That’s why in December Scoular launched Latitude Marketing Services. LMS gives producers tools to manage their overall risk picture with individualized risk management plans.

Grain markets are becoming more volatile; over the past three years, corn futures have seen a $4.50/bushel trading range within a marketing year. This volatility doesn’t only create risk as the market moves down, but also opportunity as it moves up. LMS offers contracts that diversify risk and opportunity across time.

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is fundamental to Scoular’s long-term sustainability strategy, which reflects the high-integrity business practices Scoular has always believed in. Specifically, regen ag fits with our mission to foster responsible product sourcing and reduce our carbon footprint. We believe in focusing on stewardship of our company and our business partners.

Similarly, farmers focus on the stewardship of their operation – how can what they do today ensure the next generation of farmers is here for tomorrow? Within our regen ag initiative, we are a thought partner alongside farmers to evolve this stewardship.

This spring we launched a regenerative ag pilot program at our grain handling facilities in Adrian, Missouri, Coolidge, Kansas, and Fremont, Nebraska. As we designed the program, we talked to end-use customers, such as flour mills, as well as validation partners and one important voice often left out of these conversations – the farmer.

Kendal Peterson, a FARM advisor who operates with his dad, brothers and their families near Assaria, Kansas, appreciated the opportunity to talk with end users, including milling and distilling companies, at the recent FARM meeting.

“The sustainability partnership was a valuable discussion to hear what is coming down from food companies,” he said. “It allows us to place a value on our data and know what they are willing to pay for, and why.”

Looking Forward

Early in my new role as Director of Producer Strategy, I ran across a quote by futurist Alvin Toffler that represents our producer strategy work:

The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

Over the past few years, our Scoular producer strategy team has solved a lot of problems. Some days, we go home with two questions for every one we’ve answered. But that’s what’s fun and drives us to come back the next day with curiosity to partner with producers to tackle new challenges and opportunities.

Picture of Melissa Norem

Melissa Norem

Director of Producer Strategy