A pioneer in farm reporting and a good friend of mine passed away this week. Many Indiana farmers have heard Gary Wilhelmi on the radio for many years. He truly was a pioneer in the world of agriculture with his live reports from the Chicago Board of Trade. He was the first to do such reports, and it was a niche no one else ever filled. Gary was a fixture among the traders on the floor of the CBOT. They all knew him and all passed information to him on a daily basis. That same information became available to farmers across the country on some of the nation’s the top radio stations and networks which carried his live reports, and also, in recent years, on-line via the HAT website and e-newsletter.
Gary was not a trader or broker, so he could tell it like it is — and he usually did. Gary and I did many presentations at farm meetings around the state and called it “What The Other Guys Won’t Tell You About the Markets.” It was a program that was informative and somewhat irreverent. Gary was also a regular visitor at the Farm Progress show, where he always drew a crowd anxious to hear him talk about the markets.
Gary learned the business from the ground up, starting as a runner on the trading floor in Chicago. Over the years, he worked in various aspects of the grain trade and gained insights and contacts that few others had. In the mid 1970s, Gary began broadcasting live radio reports from the trading floors in Chicago. His reports were timely and informative. He off-the-air stories and anecdotes were colorful and extremely humorous.
During the past few years, Gary had struggled with the effects of diabetes. He still did his reports, but it seemed like one thing after another started to chip away at his health. Through it all, he still did his reports from his home in Porter County and never lost his sense of humor. He was a fun-loving character as well as a great father and husband. Those of us at HAT will miss him as will the thousands of farmers across the country who will miss his reports.