Starting from a very young age, Kristin’s on-farm influences of feeding cattle and showing heifers helped define who she would become someday – an established futures & options broker helping to guide farmers and ranchers every day on making educated risk management decisions. Under the tutelage of an accomplished trader and and economist, Kristin took her passion from Animal Science at Texas A & M to a whole new level, carving out her own niche in the male-dominated world of commodity trading.
Q. Let’s start from the beginning. Where did you grow up? What inspired you to start a career in the F&B industry?
A. I grew up with the best of both worlds. Although I was born and raised in Austin, TX, we spent nearly every weekend working and feeding cattle, climbing trees, and running free on our family ranch outside of the city. I developed a deep love and passion for agriculture at a young age. Thankfully, my parents and grandparents cultivated this passion: I was enrolled in 4H, I raised rabbits, showed Simbrah heifers, and spent every moment possible with my horse, Deuce- my constant companion of twenty years.
Q. Can you share what your career journey has entailed? Where are you today?
A. My passion for agriculture led me to pursue a degree in Animal Science (Production/Industry) from Texas A&M University in College Station. While in school, I worked in the Animal Science Department’s main office. This enabled me to form connections with professors, graduate students, and other industry professionals. Upon graduation in 2014, my connections landed me a job as a Research Analyst and Broker in Corpus Christi with Daniel Bluntzer at New Frontier Capital Markets. Daniel is an accomplished trader and economist. He taught me the ins and outs of data analysis, commodity trading, and risk management. I continue to work closely with Daniel at New Frontier Capital Markets, although I am now located in my own office in Austin.
New Frontier Capital Markets (NFC Markets) is a full-service brokerage firm that also provides proprietary, fundamental market research and price analysis. I work closely with producers to provide tailored option and futures hedging strategies. Every day, I maintain our databases and send out fundamental research to our clients. In addition, I write bi-monthly commodity market updates. Currently, I am expanding the educational side of my job by giving commodity market overviews and outlooks at various conferences and meetings. I recently created my own website, Research by Ritchie, to distribute my writing and research to producers interested in receiving it.
Q. What career achievements have been the most impactful to you?
A. I’ve had several college professors and industry specialists who receive my monthly market newsletter exclaim the value that they find in my research and writing. In August, I was invited to return to my alma mater to present a Cattle & Beef Outlook to over 600 participates at the 68th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course. The experience solidified the path that I am on within the industry.
I also consider it a great achievement every time that I gain a client through a referral. In my opinion, it is the ultimate pat-on-the-back.
Q. What are your areas of expertise for Females in Food members to connect with you on?
A. I am well-versed in futures and options trading, proficient in excel, and experienced at creating presentations. If you want to learn more about the futures markets, or if you simply need someone to review your presentation for a speaking engagement, I am happy to help. I am also prolific in organizing data in excel and making it easy to access.
Q. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
A. When I am not behind the computer screen, you will most likely find me outside, whether I am riding my horse, tending to our chickens, or working in the garden. In addition, my husband and I love to cook, spend time with our families, and help my parents on the ranch.
Q. What advice would you give your younger self? Or What advice do you have for those who are just coming into the food industry?
A. I would tell my younger self to remember that experience gives you confidence and that gaining experience takes time. You do not need to have all the answers.
For those entering the industry, I think that it is important to be a walking question mark. You are surrounded by people who are eager to share their experiences and knowledge. There is great value in learning things by asking questions, rather than presuming that you know how to do something. By showing a genuine interest in others, you will gain their knowledge and their confidence in your abilities.
Q. What is your favorite “on the go” breakfast?
A. This is a loaded question because breakfast is life. I wake up every morning thinking about breakfast and since I leave a solid fifteen minutes every morning dedicated to it, I almost never take breakfast “on the go.” If I had to choose, however, my two favorite meals are biscuits with honey butter and pan-fried bacon, or vanilla Greek yogurt with berries and granola. I am not a “light” eater.