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New hire Chris Lehner

Published on 19 November 2009

Chris Lehner
Director of Commodities at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Assoc. in Baraboo, Wisconsin

Territory: United States
Background/Experience/Education
I went to Michigan State to learn about breeding and nutrition for horses, but in my senior year became interested in livestock marketing after an internship at a daily hog auction. When I graduated, I became a packer buyer at the Sioux City Stockyards and over three years I was transferred four times promoting grade and yield sales and producer direct selling. When I left the packing industry, I managed the daily hog buying and auction for a cooperative in Ohio for three years.
What I did in college, except for my major in animal husbandry being livestock-based, has little to do with what I am doing now. From the time I became a broker, the commodity markets have gone through monumental changes. It is an industry where experience is the best teacher. I have been a licensed broker since 1981 and have been fortunate enough to have worked at some of the best commodity firms in the business and with some excellent mentors.
What territory will you cover?
There are no boundaries or specific territories. However, I will focus where Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association’s auction barns, patrons and buyers are located. At the same time, if somebody is interested in our services from Key West, Florida, to Fairbanks, Alaska, I will be happy to work with them. The majority of my clients are in the Midwest.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
My college internship was with a livestock cooperative, and from that time I have firmly believed in cooperative marketing. I see the terrific potential service the commodity division can offer for members of Equity Livestock, employees throughout and a service to producers currently not patrons of the cooperative. I like to build and see growth. The position fulfills several objectives I want in my career at this time.
What previous positions have you held?
General Manager of Commodities for National Livestock Producers Association, branch manager for two commodity firms as well as senior hedge analyst. PD

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