Travis Brunner, far left, and his team at Sunrise AgriBusiness Solutions in Hays.
By CRISTINA JANNEY
A new agribusiness consulting company opened in Hays in August, Sunrise AgriBusiness Solutions.
The Hays location is the business's headquarters with branch locations outside of Leoti and in Salina.
The business focuses on cash grain and helping farmers make solid business decisions, Travis Brunner, president/owner, said.
Brunner, a Fort Hays State University graduate, has been trading grain for 22 years. He is a former employee of Cargill and Midland Marketing. Brunner has a family farm south of Abilene in Marion County. Another employee in the firm has been trading grain for 27 years.
"Our sales team/sales professionals will go to the farm and get to know who the farmer is and their farming operation," he said. "They will do cash break evens for the farm and develop a marketing plan around that particular individual's needs from a cash flow perspective, government programs or payments to family living expenses and build a game plan around that."
The company focuses on marketing the product once it is planted or harvested. The business does not focus on the agronomy side of the operation — what to plant, Brunner said.
Sunrise seeks to help farmers maximize revenue through a written marketing plan, Brunner said. The company uses an app so the farmer can see their cash grain position. It gives a snapshot of their farm in the current market.
"We look at it as a way to partner with the grower or rancher to help them to make good solid decisions that are good for their particular farming practices," Brunner said.
The counsel the advisers would give a western Kansas farmer is different than what Brunner would give a producer using irrigation in Nebraska or producers in eastern Kansas or Texas.
"We say that we are an extension of them," he said. "We are a part of their team. We work together and give candid feedback back and forth. We can help them do a better job of marketing their cash commodities."
Margins continue to shrink and cost of production continue to rise, so that is why Brunner said Sunrise's services are important.
How your grandfather or father did business might not be profitable today, Brunner said.
"Our job is to reduce that risk through a diverse side portfolio and knowing it is a complex, truly world market," he said.
Eighty percent of the farmer grain is sold at the bottom of the market, Brunner said.
"A farmer works so hard day in and day out to produce the goods that we all consume and need, and yet one misstep in their marketing can impact them on such a large scale," he said.
"If we can help farmers take away some of the risk and frustration and the time that it takes to do a good job of marketing, we've served our client and served them well."
Brunner said he hopes to continue to grow Sunrise's customer base. He also hopes to add more satellite offices, including locations in Nebraska and eastern Colorado.
The Hays Area of Chamber of Commerce will have a ribbon cutting at Sunrise on Dec. 3. There will be an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunrise's Hays location is at 201 W. 11th. They can be reached at 785-301-1164 or [email protected]. Business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.