When his original plan to return to the family dairy farm after college didn’t work out, Mike North, EverAg’s Principal of Risk Management, decided to use his education and dairy background to help producers.
One of Mike’s passions growing up was the business side of his family’s farm, which he planned to manage one day. When that door closed, Mike found a new path to maintain a connection to the agriculture industry by working as a broker in commodity markets.
“It was an opportunity for me to keep working with farmers and engage with them in a business conversation. There wasn’t a lot I could do to help them grow more corn per acre or get more milk per cow, but there was the opportunity for me to help them manage their revenue and the input costs around their operation. That excited me, and it was a natural way for me to still be ‘on the farm’ even if it wasn’t my own,” Mike says.
A Career Path Focused on Ag MarketsMike graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. After college, he worked for the same brokerage firm for 19 years before seeing an opportunity to launch his own company, CRMG. In 2019, Mike merged CRMG with Rice Dairy to form ever.ag, which recently transitioned to the slightly modified naming of Ever.Ag. Rice Dairy and CRMG both worked in dairy markets. In addition, Mike also had a grain market focus and had several offerings within that sector. “When we formed, it was a collaborative effort across the entire new company to take what we had done in grain and melding that into a broader dairy focus in an effort to raise both parts of the business,” Mike says.
Mike North, Principal of Risk
“There wasn’t a lot I could do to help them [farms] grow more corn per acre or get more milk per cow, but there was the opportunity for me to help them manage their revenue and the input costs around their operation. That excited me, and it was a natural way for me to still be ‘on the farm’ even if it wasn’t my own.”
Transitions in RolesMike starts every day knowing there will be challenges. He loves every minute of this aspect of his work. “You don’t know if markets will be up or down, and consequently what next steps you will be guiding your processor, commercial, or farm clients through to help them manage market risk,” Mike says. Mike realizes the markets can be perplexing to people. His passion lies in breaking down and simplifying the markets and giving his customers the platform to manage their business successfully. While he enjoys working the frontline and working with clients, Mike’s focus today is helping educate and equip his team of brokers to help clients. “Success is measured more by how the team is doing collectively rather than what I’m doing. I learned that there’s more power in developing a strong team and having your people go after the problem than there is in just going after it yourself,” Mike says.
A Cornerstone for Helping Producers
Mike knows firsthand the risks and challenges that come with farming. After the 1980s farm crisis, Mike’s parents could not financially help him attend college. As a result, he worked as a cattle fitter to support himself through school.
Through this work, Mike was also building a network of producers within the dairy industry. Later, this became the same network that he would go back to and help producers manage risk on their farms.
Mike North and his wife,
Jennifer, with their four daughters
Given his dairy upbringing, Mike knows his children’s exposure to the challenges and joys of farming is priceless. Today, Mike, his wife, Jennifer, and their four daughters, own and operate a crop farm and raise a herd of red Angus cattle near Platteville, Wisconsin.
A Team Dedicated to Managing Market Risk and Price Protection
Today, Mike North uses his depth of market knowledge and decades of experience to lead a talented and dedicated team of brokers. Together, they educate today’s producers and business owners about the tools available for price protection and risk management.
About EverAg Risk Management
If you are interested in learning more about brokerage services specializing in solutions for dairy, livestock, and grain, insurance services specializing in DRP, advisory services to buyers and sellers of grain products, or customized CTRM software solutions for your business, please contact us.