News Releases

The Scoular Foundation Supports Agricultural Commodities Trading Room at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

October 3, 2013

Nebraska’s agricultural economics program will be among few offering real-time training

Helping to prepare the next generation of agricultural economists and business professionals, The Scoular Foundation is supporting an effort to create a modern agricultural commodities training room at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation supports a current fundraising initiative aimed at creating a state-of-the-art Agricultural Economics Commodities Trading Room within the Department of Agricultural Economics. It will give students real-time commodity marketing experiences and advanced training in markets, merchandising, futures and options.

“We are extremely thankful to The Scoular Foundation and The Scoular Company for being a major corporate partner on this important project,” said Larry Van Tassell, director of the Department of Agricultural Economics. “For years to come, this support will ensure students who pursue the commodities trading option receive the education and hands on experience they need.”

Supervised by agricultural economics faculty, the trading room will allow students to develop and test trading strategies, merchandize commodities, and develop risk management plans in a dynamic, real-time learning environment. It will also provide students and faculty the ability to conduct research in these areas.

The trading room will feature individual computer work stations loaded with the latest analytical and simulation software, connected to a market exchange, with each station having multiple monitors. The room will also feature smart boards for instruction on key topics related to commodities trading.

“The more realistic the educational environment, the more relevant the education will be,” Van Tassell said. “In short, it will give our students a real time education.”

The trading room will also be used for outreach training programs and training events for merchandisers and commodity traders.

Until now, UNL students interested in commodities trading have used marketing simulation games to experience commodities trading. While it provided a good educational experience before, giving students the opportunity to learn in a real-time commodities market provides better education and makes UNL one of only a few agricultural economics programs offering a commodities trading room for students.

Gifts made for the trading room go to purchase needed technology such as interactive presentation screens and Smart Boards, projectors and screens, interactive control systems and audio and video equipment. It also provides funds for future updates and software.

The gift from The Scoular Foundation provides support to the University of Nebraska’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, and a top priority to increase support for agriculture and life sciences programs.