PULLMAN, Wash. – T. Randall Fortenbery, professor and Tom Mick Small Grains Endowed Chair of the Washington State University School of Economic Sciences, has been appointed chairman of the Agricultural Markets Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, an independent federal agency which regulates commodity futures and option markets in the United States.
During the two-year tenure of his appointment as head of the commission’s agricultural advisory panel, Fortenbery’s primary responsibility will be to represent the views and interests of a wide range of U.S. agricultural product consumers.
“Chairing this committee, which provides oversight to ensure futures trading in agricultural commodities is conducted in a fair, open and objective manner – and is appropriately driven by market forces – is a highly important national responsibility, said R.C. Mittelhammer, interim dean of WSU’s College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources (CAHNRS). “It attests to the substantial professional achievements and reputation of Dr. Fortenbery and reflects the very high quality of our faculty in CAHNRS.”
Fortenbery said the role of the Agricultural Advisory Committee is to bring input from the agribusiness and trading community before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to aid them evaluating their strategies for managing efficient and fair derivative markets.
“With an expected increased emphasis in the next farm bill on market-based risk management programs, including the use of futures and options prices in determining coverage levels and premiums for revenue-based producer insurance programs, insuring that the markets are, in fact, operating in the most efficient manner possible relative to price discovery becomes even more critical,” he said.
“Over the last few years several important issues related to agricultural markets have come to the forefront,” said Fortenbery. “These include understanding the relationship between futures and cash markets in this relatively new era of increased price volatility, examining the roles of speculative activity in overall price formation, and the appropriate level of regulation of market activity.”
Fortenbery earned his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. He served as a member of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison immediately prior to joining WSU in 2011.
His research currently focuses on agricultural price performance in local and national markets, examining the impacts of new information on relative prices, as well as overall price levels. He is also engaged in studying the impact of futures price action on the stability of cash prices.