For Immediate Release


Darren Siekman, President

DTN Ag Companies

(402) 398-8642, darrens@dtn.com

Lynn Sabbara, Account Director

Ayres Kahler

(402) 861-9600, lsabbara@kahlerco.com



 - DTN Elite Delivers Agribusiness Advantage for Individual Producers -


OMAHA, Nebraska - AgPRonline - April 8, 2003 - DTN and the Sparks Companies, Inc. have launched a new product, DTN Elite, to help individual growers better control their operations and manage their profitability. Developed as a decision-making solution, DTN Elite connects individual ag producers with enhanced information and service, on a level traditionally only available to large agribusinesses.


            One of the product's most distinctive highlights is the inclusion and delivery of audio messages from Sparks Companies, Inc., the world leader in agriculture and commodity market research and analysis.

"The world is changing and for today's top ag producers to stay competitive, they need access to the 'big-picture' market information that Sparks provides," says Darren Siekman, president of DTN Ag Companies. "We believe this is a real sustainable advantage."


            "This partnership represents exciting progress," adds Bruce Scherr, president and chief executive officer of Sparks. "Today's crop and livestock farmers truly understand how their marketing works and they want the best, most timely research and analysis to support their ongoing enterprise planning, crop and livestock marketings and overall risk management strategies. By working with DTN, Sparks will bring to America's producers the same quality information about the agricultural markets that it has supplied to the world's leading agricultural commercial and government enterprises for over 25 years."  Currently, Sparks provides agribusiness research and economic and strategic planning consulting services to more than 750 firms and institutions worldwide.


            According to Siekman, DTN Elite will be launched first among DTN Ag's current subscribers, as well as to new customers. In addition to Sparks reports and audio messages, DTN Elite subscribers will

have access to enhanced information and services.


            "This is a solution geared to the lives of today's top producers," says Siekman. Subscribers will have the ability, he says, to use interactive messaging to seek  out ideas and business advice about their operations from industry and DTN Ag professionals from across the country.


            DTN Elite features comprehensive information, including county-by-county, 72-hour weather forecasts, as well as DTN's highly regarded regional and local news reports, market hotline updates and other weather information. The innovative content, says Siekman, is coupled with service enhancements, including "fast track" call routing for customer assistance and consulting, and next-day, on-site service.


            "DTN Elite is the total package," says Siekman. He notes that easy-to-use charting packages, instant quotes on demand and an always-on Internet tool are built-in to the structure of DTN Elite.


            DTN Ag Companies has delivered time-sensitive information, including weather, news, commodity quotes and cash prices, market updates, industry commentary, original content and sophisticated charting packages to over 150,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide. Founded in 1984, the company's communications system has grown to encompass satellite, Internet, leased lines and other technologies. For more information on DTN Elite, contact DTN Ag Companies at 1-800-511-0095, ext. 403, or visit www.dtnelite.com.


            Sparks Companies, Inc., is the world leader in agriculture, food industry, agribusiness and commodity research, information, analysis and consulting. With a core team of research analysts and consulting specialists, Sparks provides unique insights and strategic and long-term planning for agribusinesses around the world. For more information, visit www.sparksco.com.


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