Why I started Fieldgram

I worked 25 years on Wall Street, most of that time developing new trading systems for bonds. During my tenure, we experienced six, large-scale market crises. Each led to an ever-larger bank bailout, the latest costing trillions of dollars.

It became obvious that neither voting nor grass-roots uprisings (e.g., Occupy Wall Street) could stop these boom-bust cycles and subsequent looting sprees. Entrepreneurs would have to solve the problem. The solution would need to provide opportunities for commercial, trading, and investment activities comparable to those Wall Street offered.

Only one other segment of the economy was large, deep, and important enough, and sufficiently similar in structure, to supply opportunities on such a scale: the markets for basic commodities. These held another advantage. Having tangible, essential goods as their foundation offered a possible hedge against Wall Street’s dematerialized stocks and bonds, the actual ownership of which had become a legal fiction.

I decided to find a way to put my knowledge and experience to good use in commodity markets, and to encourage others to do the same. My research led me to hay–one of the most widely-planted and valuable crops–but opportunities abound throughout the markets for agriculture, energy, and metals.

I started Fieldgram to help people produce, transform, and obtain forage products more easily and economically. We share, freely and openly, the data models we use for describing and sourcing hay, welcoming others to use them and contribute to their improvement. As we work every day to improve the information, trading, and financial systems and processes available for hay and other commodities, we will also continue to share our knowledge and encourage others to participate in these vital markets.

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