Local farmer seeks more transparency, better rule enforcement in commodity market

Doug Bell looks over his old farm land southeast of Thornton last Thursday. Bell lost the ground to a commodity broker over five years ago after a series of bad dealings. He has since been raising awareness and working with elected officials to gain more transparency in the agencies that monitor the commodity market and its brokers. (Photo by Nick Pedley)

     Doug Bell never thought he'd find himself fighting tooth and nail to change policy in Washington D.C.

     "To bring notice to a cause, you have to have a personal example," he said. "So much of the time people say, 'Well, this won't happen.' But when they hear more of an instance of it happening…they realize we need to put protection over it."

     Over the past few months, the Thornton man has been working hand-in-hand with federal lawmakers trying to improve transparency within the agencies that monitor the country's commodity exchange boards and brokers. Bell has focused his attention on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and more specifically the National Futures Association (NFA), during his campaign for accountability. Bell feels the self-regulatory nature of the NFA creates few safeguards that prevent farmers from getting burned by dishonest commodity brokers.

Read the full article in the Sept. 11 edition of the Hampton Chronicle.