AFN FAQ

What is the Ag Forecast Network?

  • AFN is a platform that helps its users navigate today’s agricultural uncertainties; from crop yields to policy decisions made in Washington, D.C. AFN offers a proprietary decision framework that challenges its members to learn from each other and make themselves better.
  • Click here to learn more.

Who is AFN for?

  • The AFN community is a diverse membership of savvy farmers, agribusiness decision-makers, engaged ag lenders, ag policy wonks, commodity market observers and more.
  • AFN is designed for those who read a piece of news and immediately begin to think about the event’s implications, running through what-if scenarios, reading the article’s sources, feeding the new knowledge back in, fleshing out the second and third-order consequences, and so on.  Their mind never ceases exploration. If that sounds like you, we think AFN will be a great fit.

What exactly do I get with my AFN subscription?

  • First, AFN offers a decision framework. We’ll pose the toughest questions facing agriculture, challenge your thinking, and foster an environment of self-generated insights. Leave yourself notes so you can track how your thinking on a topic changes over time. Be your own guru.
  • Second, you get feedback on your forecasts: how does your forecast compare to the consensus, how has your forecast changed over time, how well did your forecast score? You will receive measured, quantitative feedback on your accuracy and how your expectations line-up with others’.
  • Third, the AFN platform provides exclusive content that helps you dial-in and calibrate your forecasts. Not click-bait. Not sponsored content or native advertising. Content that drives to the essence of the issue and helps you think about the forecasted questions and uncertainties facing agriculture.

How will AFN broaden my thinking?

  • The AFN subscription is jammed pack with ideas to help you improve how you think about uncertainties in agriculture.
  • AFN founders Brent and David started writing blog posts for aei.ag in 2014. The more they wrote, the more ideas they had. The content on AFN builds on that foundation. You will find articles focused on three different themes:
      • “The Deeper Dive” – digs into the forecast platform data for insights and includes interviews with experts.
      • “Ideas That Make Us Better” – takes you beyond the world of agriculture to challenge your thinking.
      • “Tips for Using AFN” – shares strategies to improve your forecasts.

How are forecasts scored?

  • AFN’s method compares your forecast to other users who submitted a forecast on the same topic, for the same time frame. Users can find the details here.
  • Here’s the most relevant part: if your score is 80%, this means your forecast was more accurate than 80% of other users that submitted forecasts for the same days you submitted a forecast.

Can I see other people’s forecasts?

  • Not right now, but stay tuned. We are working on a way for you to share your forecasts with others. This will be completely optional and you will always be in control of who can see what. Truth be told, Brent and David want to see each other’s forecasts within the platform, and we believe that would bring value to other users, too. So we’ll roll that feature out later to keep the founders happy.

Why do I have to pay a subscription?

  • This whole idea started as a way for Brent and David to share their expectations with each other. Excel sheets and emails were tricky, so they pondered building an internal web tool. Then they wondered how they could involve more people. Things quickly expanded to AFN today. Click here to read more about our origin story.
  • Ever since AEI’s bootstrapped beginning, Brent and David wanted to build a company that was independent (which sometimes conflicts with paid advertising) and respected users’ privacy (which sometimes conflicts with social media). We have a simple, no-strings-attached subscription model to keep the servers running, programmers making improvements, and AEI staff writing great content. You can sign up for a no-risk 30-day trial here.
  • With this model, we have a simple promise: “we will never try selling you someone else’s stuff, and we will never sell your information to other people.”

Do you sell my data?

  • No, never. Your individual results will never be shared outside of the platform. To be honest, we aren’t smart enough to set up a Cambridge Analytica- type scheme… plus we think that’s a horrible way to structure a business.
  • We are here to help you think through uncertainties in agriculture. AFN was built to create value for you. With that, we rely on your subscription support.

What happens after I sign up?

  • You can sign up for a no-risk 30-day trial here. Welcome aboard. You will receive weekly emails from Brent and David to help you get started on AFN. First things first, choose a few questions on a topic that interests you most and get forecasting. We recommend logging into AFN at least once a week so you can stay updated on changes that may impact your forecasts.

Is AFN sponsored by a specific group? Is the content biased to one perspective?

  • No, AFN was founded by Brent and David, the voices behind aei.ag. They set up a simple user subscription model to avoid any potential conflicts of interest that could arise from taking on sponsored content or advertisements.
  • The resources shared on AFN are specific to the questions asked on the platform. They come from a variety of sources and viewpoints.
  • AFN is about being open, critical, and always re-calibrating. We strive to provide opportunities for meaningful discourse.

I have another question that isn’t answered here. Can I speak to someone at AFN?

  • Sure, reach out to us at admin@aei.ag. We’ll get you connected with the right person.
  • Or call us, if that’s your thing: 765-203-1073. (Spoiler alert: plan to leave a message and we’ll call you back. We sometimes forget whose job it is to answer the phone and it just rings through to voicemail… #StartUpProblems.)