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Farm Bureau specialists use streaming apps to report on national agricultural markets

Farm Bureau specialists use streaming apps to report on national agricultural markets

RICHMOND—Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is using popular streaming apps to present timely, relevant information to the state’s grain growers and cattle producers.

The VFBF Agriculture, Development and Innovation Department launched a podcast earlier this year and a YouTube channel in 2018 to assist farmers with frequent decisions they face about grain market pricing and feeder cattle markets. These free, streamable resources are fronted by ADI commodity specialist Elijah Griles and grain manager Robert Harper.

“The podcast and YouTube channel are just more ways for our specialists to connect with agricultural producers, sharing crucial information needed to make informed decisions,” said Wilmer Stoneman, vice president of ADI.

The weekly 10-minute Merchandiser Minute videos are packed with timely information that follows the ups and downs of the grain and oilseeds markets. The videos are posted on YouTube and available via links on Farm Bureau’s social media pages and the organization’s governmental relations blog, Plows and Politics. Videos are posted Friday afternoons after the Chicago Board of Trade market closes.

In the weekly updates, Harper looks at closing futures prices for corn, wheat and soybeans and gives a price range for that week. He then highlights key U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, which assist farmers in decision making.

“The Merchandiser Minute is a snapshot—another tool to use in looking at market influence and prices,” said Harper, who researches and presents the reports. “I try to tailor all that condensed information to our audience of Virginia grain farmers, so they’ll know the bellwethers to help them make marketing decisions with confidence.”

The monthly CattlePulse podcast explores national developments in the feeder cattle market that affect Virginia’s cow-calf operators, helping them make wise business decisions.

Feeder cattle are young cattle mature enough to be sold for finishing before slaughter. Each CattlePulse episode includes the average monthly prices of feeder cattle sales from Abingdon to Winchester, and unpacks the economic story they tell. Podcast guests share big-picture commentary, offering cattle producers timely economic insight regarding cattle retention or culling a herd.

“There is a lot of information available regarding agricultural economic trends, but we wanted to provide insight that was specific to Virginia cow-calf producers in a concise and easily accessible format—one that largely is not available elsewhere,” Griles said. “Providing this resource for our members is a way to add value to their operations.”

Visit to hear CattlePulse episodes. See the VFBF Merchandiser Minute page on YouTube at

Media: Contact Griles at 804-290-1713 or Harper at 804-290-1105.