Ray Grabanski, J.D.
President, Lead Market Analyst, Entreprenuer, Attorney
Ray has roots that run deep in agriculture. Ray developed his passion for agriculture growing up on a small grain and livestock farm near Inkster, ND. Balancing working on the farm and college education through his 25th birthday, Ray worked with his brothers Russell and George (who together managed the farm) to triple their acreage while he graduated magna cum laude from North Dakota State University, getting his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Agricultural Economics. Ray, as part of his M.S. Education, worked as a legislative intern at the 1989–1990 session of the North Dakota Legislature writing bill amendments and bill summaries for the House Ag and State and Federal Government committees, where he developed his passion for the law.
After becoming an extension agent in Grand Forks County in 1989, Ray was quickly promoted to the state office as a farm management specialist. In 1992, Ray struck out on his own to form Progressive Ag, a market consulting/commodity brokerage firm which expanded into crop insurance for a total risk management package, thereby leading to Progressive Ag Systems, Inc., one of the largest crop insurance agencies in the upper Midwest.
Ray continues to be the President providing visionary leadership and direction to all Progressive Ag firms, (Law, Marketing, and Systems—the crop insurance agency), and he is the lead market analyst at Progressive Ag Marketing, Inc. (PAM) who makes all final decisions on recommendations (even while attending law school). PAM is a firm which either has been ranked the best or second best marketing firm each year for corn and soybeans the last 8 years running. For the 8 year track record from 2007–2014, Progressive Ag has blown every CBOT firm out of the water, getting 67c/bu more for corn and $1.03 more for soybeans over the #2 firms—every year for the past 8 years. Ray is very proud of what this small, regional firm in Fargo, ND—made up of MN and ND farm kids with humble roots—has accomplished in such a short period of time, simply becoming the best in the world at what they do, by far.
In 2010 at the age of 48, Ray decided to tackle a lifelong dream and “bucket list” desire and went to law school. While continuing to provide leadership as President of both PAM (Marketing) and PAS (crop insurance)—still servicing all his crop insurance clientele and still making all marketing recommendations/writing market commentary every year in law school—Ray graduated cum laude from the University of North Dakota Law School. It was in law school where Ray met Will Wiebolt, Trevor Dahl, Tom Kading, and Amanda Wiebolt, all Progressive Ag affiliated attorneys (in one way or another). Ray is licensed to practice law in North Dakota and Minnesota, and he prides himself on not his only legal expertise, but also his in-depth knowledge of agriculture gained from a career spanning decades.