New timetable for trading roomFARGO, N.D. — A proposed commodity trading room at North Dakota State University in Fargo won’t be opening this fall after all.
By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek
FARGO, N.D. — A proposed commodity trading room at North Dakota State University in Fargo won’t be opening this fall after all.
But the trading room — which NDSU officials say will be the first and only of its kind in the nation — is expected to open next year and play a broader role than originally intended, according to the NDSU professor spearheading the project.
“We’re pretty well ready to pull the trigger on a few things. We’re hoping to have it up and running by spring semester (of 2012) or during the summer,” says William Wilson, professor in the NDSU Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department.
It’s expected that the trading room will be incorporated into the NDSU curriculum by fall 2012, he says.
NDSU sent out a news release in August stating that the commodity trading room would be opening and available to students this fall in NDSU’s Barry Hall in downtown Fargo.
Contributions come through
The project ran into financial difficulties that set back the original timetable. However, financial contributions from commodity groups and agricultural companies will allow the project to proceed, Wilson says.
The growing importance of understanding complicated ag commodity markets makes the room increasingly useful for both future farmers and NDSU students who go into agribusiness, says Cole Gustafson, who chairs the university’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
Originally, the trading room was intended to be based around agriculture for NDSU ag students. That focus has been broadened.
Now, plans call for the trading room to be utilized by students in NDSU’s Business School as well, Wilson says.
There also are “outreach possibilities” such as using the room to provide “mid-career” training for employees of agricultural companies, he says.
In addition, plans now call for the 32-computer trading room to be utilized for training in energy trading, as well as ag trading, through an affiliation with the Tulane (University) Energy Center in New Orleans.
The trading room also is affiliating with Thomson-Reuters, which will provide core financial data, and Trading-Technology, which will provide “front-end software for trading,” i.e. a trading platform, according to information provided by Wilson.
‘Laboratory for marketing’
The term “trading room” doesn’t fully convey what will occur there, Wilson says.
“It’s really a laboratory for marketing. We will teach trading there, and trading will be a big part of it,” Wilson says.
“But it’s no different than a biology lab or chemistry lab. It’s a place where you go to do research in the area of commodity markets, financial markets, financial companies and all these types of things,” he says.
Plans still call for Barry Hall to be the site of the trading room. But it’s too soon to say where in Barry Hall the trading room will be located or how much the project will cost, Wilson says.