WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — When wanting to know the outlook for grain and livestock markets, as well as the agriculture industry, in general, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt is the man for the job.

He noted that his passion for tracking market tends first started as a kid when he helped keep the books for his family’s farm.

“I grew up hearing about the importance of keeping books for cost and revenue on the farm,” Hurt said.

However, it wasn’t until his first year of college at the University of Illinois where he started out studying animal science that he decided to pursue a career in agricultural economics.

Although he had developed a love for working with livestock from growing up on a farm, he said that he realized he enjoyed working with animal records more, such as how quickly an animal gained weight, market prices and the cost of feed.

After graduating from college, Hurt said he had the chance to work with both the food and grain markets, before returning to the family farm to start a hog production enterprise.

It was during this time, he said, that he began working at Purdue in the Agriculture Economics Department. Even though it didn’t work out to keep the farrow-to-finish hog operation going, Hurt did note that the farm he grew up on still is in the family today.

“My family purchased the land in 1940, and it’s been in the family for about 75 years,” he said, adding that he hopes to keep it in the family for quite a while because a family farm helps keep people grounded.

Hurt added that he feels his experience from growing up on a family farm helps him better understand the importance of market outlooks and the future of the agriculture industry to farmers.

People involved with the agriculture industry have all kinds of decisions to make, he said, that not only put their livelihood on the line, but that of their family, as well. Those decisions include what crop to plant the following season, based on the grain reports from the previous year.