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Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts, Ph.D.

Dr. Roberts is an expert and speaker on the grain and energy markets. He is a former Senior Analyst for Grains and Oilseeds for American Ag Credit Association.

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Price range

  • $7,000 - $10,000
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Expert

  • Ag Policy
  • Agriculture
  • Commodity Price Outlook
  • Economy
  • Farm Bill
  • Generational Issues
  • Marketing/Merchandising
  • Outlook
  • Risk Management
  • Supply Chain Issues
  • Trends
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Experience

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Education
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Career

  • 21 Years
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  • About

    Matt Roberts is a former Senior Analyst for Grains and Oilseeds for American Ag Credit Association, based in Santa Rosa, CA, and Farm Credit Services of America, based in Omaha, NE. 

    He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Forbes, and interviewed on CNBC.

    Roberts received a BA in Economics in 1994 from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. From 1994 through 1996, Roberts was a commodity and energy derivatives broker for CA Global Futures AG in Vienna, Austria, with clients throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Roberts specialized in the copper and European petroleum markets.

    Dr. Roberts received a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University in 2001. During graduate school, Dr. Roberts was a market research consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. From 2001-2016, Dr. Roberts was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and an Extension Grain Marketing Specialist at The Ohio State University. Dr. Roberts left OSU in 2016 to concentrate on applied research and training to agricultural market participants. He is Managing Director of The Kernmantle Group, a commodity economics research, and training consultancy.

    Dr. Roberts’ research interests relate to his experience in the commodity markets. Dr. Roberts has published on technical analysis and the use of derivatives for risk management in agricultural production. His extension and outreach activities focus on biofuels markets and the grain market situation and outlook. He has given testimony before the Ohio House Alternative Energy Committee and assisted state and federal lawmakers on agricultural and energy issues. Dr. Roberts has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and Forbes, and has been interviewed on CNBC. Dr. Roberts is an active consultant to the commodity industry and nationally-renowned speaker, speaking approximately 50 times per year around the nation on grain, petroleum, and biofuels markets and policy.

  • Video Clips
  • Topics

    Keynote | Educational

    Whether corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, hogs, interest rates or energy, the last decade has seen as much market chaos as at any point in our lifetimes. As consumer (and voter) tastes continue to change, and the world moves away from globalization, we are entering a new era for agriculture and the economy. Dr. Roberts will explain the forces at work in the world and how they will move the numbers that matter to your audience.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    In a world wracked by war, COVID-19, accelerating inflation, bull and bear markets, and increasing division and political strife, how can position our farms and businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that exist. What can we learn from past price boom cycles and how to apply it to today? Are we in a demand-driven or supply-driven bull market? What does that mean for your marketing decisions, and how does that change if you are a grain, livestock, or dairy producer, or an input supplier? Join us to hear how Dr. Roberts will bring this together with insight and humor and walk away with actionable insight to make our businesses more profitable and resilient. 

    Keynote

    From Brexit to the US Election to China to KORUS to USMCA, trade is hot again. But like so much of economics, just because trade is easy to talk about doesn’t mean it is simple to understand. American policy-makers have spent the last 50 years negotiating free trade agreements, while economists have cheered them on, chanting ‘trade makes everyone better off.’ But if that’s the case, why are so many Americans so certain that the truth is entirely different? Dr. Roberts helps audiences understand how and why trade benefits the economy, but also who it helps and who it hurts. Most importantly, Dr. Roberts will help the audience understand the policies that we need to pursue as a country so that everyone can benefit from the global market, not just a few. This talk is appropriate for a wide range of audiences, from civic clubs to lender meetings, and is easily specialized to address the opportunities, challenges, and policies for any industry.  

     

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    After teaching and consulting with farmers of all sizes and types for over 20 years, and an even longer time spent in business, Roberts will help your audience understand the business, economic, and agricultural principles that will set them apart from their competitors and help them succeed in coming decades.

    Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    The first two decades of the new century have been filled with historic moves by any measure. Prices have been more volatile than ever, and so have consumers. We’ve seen Brazil’s become a leader in global agricultural production and China become the leader in global food consumption. Given all this, what is a producer to do? This session will summarize where we find ourselves and where we are going and lay out practical steps that every producer can do to increase their probability of survival in the 21st century. Dr. Roberts will touch on bookkeeping, financial decision-making, and household living expenses, providing benchmarks against which producers can compare themselves in planning the futures of their farms.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    Low prices make for stressful marketing decisions. High prices make for even more stressful marketing decisions. Dr. Roberts will lay out the national and global causes of current prices, the outlook for the next 6-24 months, and, most importantly, marketing strategies and decisions that producers can use to balance risk and rewards being presented by the market.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Educational

    Buckle up for a high-speed, high-energy drive through the political forces and machinations that affect your agricultural business. We’re going to talk about the Farm Bill, the Fiscal Cliff, and the European Debt Crisis. With wit and wisdom, Matt will explain farm programs, regulatory changes, and interest rates–the factors your audience needs to know.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    The years 2006-2012 will always be remembered by those in the commodity markets. Strong demand for all commodities drove prices to never before seen heights. Those high prices and the resulting profitability drove investment decisions and policy choices long enough to create real obstacles to readjusting when the inevitable crash came. Dr. Roberts starts by explaining why commodities—all commodities, whether corn, soybeans, milk, beef, oil or copper—will always have booms and busts, and what producers and/or end-users need to do right now to make it through, as well as what they need to remember the next time around. This talk inevitably combines strategy and finance with the market conditions and near and intermediate-term outlook for the industry at hand. This topic is applicable to agricultural commodities and fossil fuels, as well as lenders and suppliers. Dr. Roberts’ expertise and background makes this a particularly powerful talk for farmers and small businesses.

    Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Technical

    Ethanol continues to consume 35% of US corn production, but as the collapse in driving and fuel usage reminded us, that market is tied to consumer fuels demand. We often hear of the increases in hybrid vehicles, fuel economy standards, and battery technology that will soon render the internal combustion engine (ICE) obsolete, illegal, or both. Growing up as a car guy in the family Chevrolet dealership, and still spending too much time and money on his own (converted to E85) track car, this is a topic that is near and dear to Dr. Roberts’ heart. We’ll dissect the growth of the market for electric vehicles, the barriers to their adoption, and the forecasts for future market share. We’ll then turn to the future of ICEs and close with what it all means for agricultural markets.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Educational | Humorous | Technical

    Few things cause more worry among the ag industry than the rise of ‘adjectives’—local, organic, natural, free-range—in food production. Dr. Roberts will help audiences understand why consumers no longer care about ‘safe and affordable food’ and why simply trying to convince them to abandon ‘adjective-laden’ (vegan, organic, local, paleo, etc) foods are doomed. For the ag industry, this isn’t bad news, it’s good news; as these paths provide opportunities for the agricultural industry to be more successful and profitable by reversing the trend of ever-shrinking consumer spending on food. This talk is particularly suitable for any ag or food-related audience and includes audience participation polls to help listeners understand their role as consumers.

    Keynote

    In 2016, Millennials overtook Generation X as the largest segment of the workforce, but now in 2022, the youngest Millennials are in their mid-20s. If you thought Millennials were hard to understand, wait until you try to get the attention of Generation Z. To hear many managers and owners speak, kids these days are a lazy, entitled, social-media obsessed bunch of whiners, running from job to job with a phone full of photographs of their participation ribbons. These younger generations obviously disagree, citing themselves as the most creative, educated, socially aware generation in the history of humanity. What is the truth?  Dr. Roberts draws on his experiences as a father of four, a premature grandfather, fifteen years teaching and advising students at OSU, and his own experiences hiring, mentoring, leading, and firing millennials at 5.life, a chain of four indoor rock climbing gyms in Ohio and Pennsylvania of which he’s the CEO and co-owner. In this talk, he’ll help audiences understand how the world that today’s kids have grown up in has shaped their attitudes, desires, and motivation. Through that lens, Dr. Roberts will give participants new ways to relate to and motivate younger employees. Any business audience can benefit from this talk. Although much of the context is services, the content can be adapted to include useful content for an audience’s specific industry.

  • Testimonials
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    “Hi Rich, Matt did an awesome job with our group. He was great to work with throughout the planning process and very accommodating to our needs and timeline. He delivered a great message to our group. He participated in several other parts of the meeting and interacted with our guests which was great! He had a nice amount of humor in his message and was enthusiastic. The survey feedback from our guest on Matt was very good.”

    WinField Solutions
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    “As expected, Matt was awesome. He was on site all day, engaging with our guests and participated in a round table discussion with a group on grain marketing and they young farmers were over the top pleased with that discussion! He closed out the session and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better closing speaker. He referenced back to key points and resources our morning speaker hit on, he was funny and engaging, and the audience was tuned in the entire time.”

    FCS Financial Kate L
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    “Matt Roberts was great. We view him as an up and coming replacement for Dr. Kohl. He was energetic, entertaining, and informative.”

    FCS Financial Amy W.
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    “Matt did a great job and was very well received by the audience. He was able to identify with them and speak on specific on their level covering pertinent and ag related issues.”

    Farm Credit Services of ND Teresa K
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    “Matt was wonderful as always. It’s a pleasure working with him and his message always plays well. It’s great to have a speaker that you can plug in after lunch and not worry about your audience dozing. :) Thanks for all of your help, always.”

    American Soybean Assoc. Chris L.
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    “Matt was great. Very personable guy. From the minute he walked up I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him.”

    California ASFMRA Suzie R
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    “He informed and engaged the audience. Made them laugh when he sprinkled in humor. He was all we hoped for.”

    Arizona Farm Bureau Julie M
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    “Matt Roberts was an outstanding speaker. He brought a lot of great knowledge to our attendees of all ages and experience levels and left them excited about how they could do better book keeping so they can know their costs and be successful. He had people lined up all night long to talk to him after it was over.”

    FSA, Montana Lacy R
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    “Both Matt Roberts and David Parker were GREAT and were very well received by the group. Lots of positive comments and feedback from our folks. Their energy was so good and topics relevant. Outstanding!!! Thank you!!!”

    Tremont Ag Julie N.
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    “Dr. Roberts was great. His insight into the grain markets was probably the best we’ve had in years as he told it like it was and didn’t have an agenda to sell or promote a product or service. His sense of humor was perfect.”

    BMO Harris Bank
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    “Both speakers did an excellent job. Matt did a great job of covering some things happening in the rural area that needed to be covered plus some facts that are very interesting and not mentioned by the general media or anyone else. Very enlightening.”

    Longview Capital David A

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Matt was wonderful as always. It’s a pleasure working with him and his message always plays well. It’s great to have a speaker that you can plug in after lunch and not worry about your audience dozing. :) Thanks for all of your help, always.
American Soybean Assoc. Chris L.