Angie Setzer, whom many know by her Twitter persona, "The Goddess of Grain," has made an impressive name for herself in the world of agriculture. From her segments on US Farm Report Market Analysis, the Weather Channel, Ag Day, and Iowa Public Television's Market to Market, Setzer makes her living being in the know about grain markets. She has a large Twitter following where she tweets about current market trends, grain trading tips, and amusing updates about her son Kolton, the newest addition to her family.
Setzer grew up on a potato farm in Michigan that started with her grandfather, who had originally grown corn, beans, peas, and green beans. Despite her background in ag, she did not have plans to work in the industry. As an English major in college, Setzer wanted to become a teacher or middle school guidance counselor.
"My sophomore year, I looked around and saw everyone was going to school for english or wanting to become a teacher," she described. "I realized it would be difficult to get a job after graduation due to an oversupply of people entering the field."
Her first job was trading grain as a cash grain broker, and although she was one of only 3 women in the entire state in that position, she worked hard and developed business relationships that would serve her well in her career.
Currently, Setzer is Vice President of Grain at Citizens, LLC., and she splits her time between their Michigan division and her home in Iowa. She manages 5 elevator locations and handles over 11 million bushels each year. Her main focus is on maximizing farm margins in a male-dominated industry faced with low margins and bearish prices.
"You have to convince your customers, who are 95% male, that you know enough of the market to handle their most important commodities with experience and skill. Setzer described the "bushel baby theory," which explains why most growers feel so attached to their crops as their most prized possession. "It's ironic because women are very skilled at writing out a plan for their grain and then sending it off to market without much emotional attachment," she said.
For Setzer, a typical day starts at 4:30am so she can spend some time with her son, hit the treadmill for a workout, and get into the office at 7am. She juggles phone calls, emails, and text messages often all at the same time, while prioritizing calls from clients wanting to make a trade before the market changes direction.
"Its been a difficult year with prices where they are," she said, and according to Purdue Ag Economist Chris Hurt, "Farmers will need to align their marketing strategies to these lower commodity prices and watch closely for any price rallies to sell more bushels."
Strategic advice like this is something that Setzer is poised to take advantage of as she's done for years, and she hopes to be a role model for other women in ag careers. So far this appears to be the case, and her 9,000+ twitter followers seem to be growing right along with her.