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Master of Agribusiness

Online Cash Grain Exchange: Examining Factors Impacting the Level of Web-based Trades and Potential Future Adaption of Mobile Technology

Kevin Heikes, Lenexa, Kan., defended his thesis, “Online Cash Grain Exchange: Examining Factors Impacting the Level of Web-based Trades and Potential Future Adaption of Mobile Technology,” on Thursday, May 6, 2010. Heikes is a Director of Operations of Farms Technology in Overland Park, Kan. Farms Technology provides different grain procurement applications for the agricultural industry. He graduated from Kansas State University in August with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

In recent years, the grain marketing industry has evolved due to the availability of overnight grain trading, electronic trading and the increasing level of technology used by producers to stay up to date with the markets. The use of web-based applications allow growers to make, manage and monitor grain offers and be more efficient in their cash grain transactions. 

“The electronic trading system, Globex, introduced an overnight trading session that has led to more than 13 additional hours of trading and greater volatility to the market. More producers are turning to web-based applications to track the markets,” Heikes said.

In the future, producers will have more opportunity to use mobile technology for grain marketing solutions, but will they take advantage of these opportunities? Heikes conducted research to determine which growers are likely to adopt mobile trading technology.

“Kevin provides a masterful study of online grain trading and its potential in a mobile framework. His research highlights the potential to expand trading online by agricultural producers, bringing them further into the information revolution,” Jason Bergtold, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Heikes’s thesis advisor, said.

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness sector and are located in more than 35 states within the United States and in 25 countries. The MAB program, launched in 1998 is now in its 13th year of agribusiness education. The executive-style, distance education delivery breaks down barriers associated with earning a master’s degree, such as access to a university campus, job changes, relocations and job-related travel.

“The thesis project provided an opportunity to integrate skills from coursework, professional experiences, interaction with colleagues, and mentoring with professors to create a product that helped me think differently and guides our business decisions,” Heikes said.

The full thesis publication can be found online on K-State’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/11971.