OUR TEAM

It is our mission to provide excellent customer service and marketing advice through our network of experienced brokers. While providing excellent customer service isn't exactly a ground breaking mission statement, we'd like to think that the way we are doing it is. We are making it personal. (Mind if we come over?) We are making it accessible. (Nights? Weekends? No problem!) Marketing meetings aren't for the masses anymore. We offer confidential, personalized service, at your door. (Your front door, barn door, or our office door...we aren't picky.) If you think you're too old, too busy or too dumb (your words, not mine), you're wrong. Give your livelihood the attention it deserves and find out how a full service broker can help you out. 

 

We are proud of the network of brokers we have built, and will continue to build, here at Frontier. We value experience, ideas and character and only hire brokers with a passion for what they do. Get to know a little bit more about us below, and then drop us a line and introduce yourself. We look forward to meeting you!

Melissa Johnson
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I got my start in commodity trading in 2004, in a tiny office for a small brokerage firm in Cedar Rapids. I started as a temp, I had a small child and needed a job. My temp job turned into a full time position, and I earned my series 3 license in late 2004, and I spent the next 12 years learning, and falling in love with trading the commodity markets in this small office environment. When I walked through the door on my first day, I had no idea this world existed. So, if you are looking for someone to explain things to you from square one, I was there, I'm your girl. I had a real interest in the markets, and was in an environment where I learned by asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. I am thankful for my teachers and the customers who provided a very valuable education on not only the commodity markets, but the in's and out's of farming as well. 

Through business connections, I met Ted and we bonded over margin calls and margaritas. We got married in 2011 when we knew our debates were meant to last a lifetime. I remained at my former company until 2015, and joined the Frontier family, as family, in 2016. I can skip over some of the grey and mushy parts of my job the last few years here, but just know that as hard as change can be, it can also be a great opportunity to learn and grow. Sounds cheesy, but I hope you are lucky enough to understand. 

In early 2017, with the help of Ted, family and friends, I created a new business plan for Frontier Full Service. I made Frontier my new favorite F-word, started working with customers again, and we hired our first round of interns in the summer of 2017. A breath of fresh air! I rediscovered my passion for trading and teaching, and found my purpose with the freedom to pursue it.    

I am really proud of what we have created here and credit Ted and the entire Frontier family for the strong foundation from which this is all built. 

Ted Johnson
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

My interest in the futures markets began in the late ‘80s on the floor of the CBOT.  My father, Kent, founded Frontier Futures when I was a freshman in college at Northwestern University. I worked for him for a summer during college, but it wasn’t until I worked on the floor at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) that I considered a career in commodity trading. With my father’s guidance, I began my career with Frontier by opening an office in Minneapolis. For the next decade, I worked with commercial grain firms, exporters, co-ops and fund traders. It was there that I discovered how much I enjoyed the markets and the different aspects of trading. I worked on the floors of several exchanges and was a member of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) and the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) for 10+ years. In the mid 90’s I returned to Cedar Rapids to continue working for Frontier, at first to develop and supervise our branch offices, and then as President following my father’s retirement in 2003. The addition of our full service office has been a welcome and natural fit for Frontier. Melissa and I have worked hard to develop our internship program and to find quality students who see the value in what we do here. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and communicating with farmers as we devise and execute hedging and risk management strategies.

For me, Frontier has always been a family affair, and I am proud of what we have built and excited for what is to come!

Brad Ohrt
Reinbeck, Iowa

I was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in NE Iowa, west of Reinbeck, where I still currently live. While attending Hawkeye Community College in the late 70’s, I also worked for John Deere as a machinist. I earned my degree in Tool & Die Making and because of the beginning of the farm crisis, I returned to the family farm in 1980. I farmed many years with my father and brothers, as we managed the farrow to finish hog operation, raised cattle, custom harvested seed corn, and produced soybeans, commercial corn and seed corn. In 2004 our family discontinued the hog operation after 128 years of being in the business. In 2003, I got my Series 3 license and began my career as a commodity broker. I have worked with customers since then to develop marketing plans, “talk shop” and to help them reach their marketing goals. Today, I am at the head of running our family farm, as we continue to raise soybeans, commercial corn and seed corn. I am a proud 5th generation farmer, and I have assembled and maintained a lot of family farm artifacts and memorabilia over the years. The nature of the business has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and I have used technology to help improve farm operations, as well as provide personalized service to my customers as a broker.

Kirk Berry
Brooklyn, Iowa

I grew up on our family farm in Brooklyn, Iowa and attended Iowa State University after graduating high school. I graduated from ISU in December of 2017 with a Major in Agricultural Studies and a Minor in Agronomy. I joined Frontier as an intern in the summer of 2017 and earned my Series 3 license during that time. I have always had an interest in the commodity markets, and the months I spent as an intern deepened my understanding and value of using the commodity markets as a marketing and risk management tool. Our family farm has seen the value of this, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with other operations who could also benefit from the services we have to offer at Frontier. I enjoy the fundamentals of trading, looking at charts, developing option strategies and keeping an eye on all the things that can affect the agricultural markets. I am a regular on “Full Service Press”, our in-house podcast, and have also been featured on WMT’s “Ask The Expert”. In my spare time I enjoy bow hunting, wakeboarding, football (Go Packers!), Crossfit and the show “The Office”.

Cody Forde
Decorah, Iowa

Like many of my full service counterparts, I grew up on our family farm learning and working alongside my parents and sister. I have been active in the agriculture community in my hometown, as well as at Iowa State University. I will graduate in December of 2019 with a degree in Ag Business and Economics. I started working with Frontier Futures in the Summer of 2017 as an intern. I am now a licensed broker and am managing a small book of clients as I broaden my skill set and finish my classes in Ames. I enjoy learning about using milk futures to protect profits and manage risk and figuring out option strategies that can help dairy farmers. When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with friends, and cheering for the Cyclones in Hilton Coliseum. I look forward to continuing to learn and build my business as a broker with Frontier! 

J.R. Edmondson
Clayton, Indiana
Neil Welsh
Oxford, Iowa

I farm corn, soybeans and alfalfa with my father on our family farm, where I grew up in rural Williamsburg, Iowa. I have always been passionate about agriculture, so after graduation, I decided to further my ag education at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. I graduated from ISU in May of 2017 with a Major in Agricultural Business and a Minor in Ag Systems Technology. I chose to pursue a career path in helping farmers manage risk in the commodity markets because I believe one of the most valuable assets to farmers is a solid marketing and risk management plan. I became a licensed broker for Frontier in September of 2017 and look forward to helping other farmers develop risk management plans with my experience as a broker and a fellow farmer. I am passionate about ag business, economics, finance, technology, mechanics, day to day operations, agronomy, soil fertility, fertilizer markets, and finding ways to be more efficient. I keep up to date with what is going on in the grain markets on the world-wide spectrum while also staying in touch with local cash markets. I live in rural Williamsburg with my girlfriend, Kate, and enjoy spending time with friends in my spare time. My favorite time of year is spring because it is a fresh start to a new crop and the grain markets start to pick up volatility, making things more exciting and creating opportunity. Most importantly, the temps are perfect, and the days get longer!

 

 

I grew up on my family's farm in central Indiana producing corn and soybeans, and my interest in markets started at a very young age. My grandmother was responsible for the grain marketing on our farm and I can still remember playing on her DTN machine as she taught me how the markets worked. Since that young age, I have had a passion for the markets and always dreamed of building a career that involved commodity trading.

I am a fifth generation Purdue Boilermaker, and will graduate in May 2020 with my Agricultural Economics degree. I have spent time out west on a wheat crop tour, and also interned with ADM as a grain merchandiser. There are many aspects of farming that I have loved learning about, and those experiences have helped shaped my perspective and knowledge of the markets.  

I have been a broker with Frontier since July 2018, and look forward to growing my client base further after I complete my education in May. In my spare time I enjoy cross country running, Purdue Athletics and of course, talking shop with other farmers! 

 

  • facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • White SoundCloud Icon

Visit

4000 River Ridge Drive NE

Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Call

800-777-2438

319-393-4747 

© 2019

Frontier Futures, Inc.

The ideas expressed and the data from which they are drawn are believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  Commodity trading may not be suitable for all recipients.  Those acting on this information are responsible for their own actions.