About Our Staff

Grain marketing is our passion

Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson

Writer, Editor, Partner

Katie grew up in the Midwest and moved to southern California for college. She was awarded her BA in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and her MA in Molecular Pathology from the School of Medicine, UC San Diego. Katie co-founded two biotechnology companies and won 4 patents before moving back to the Midwest to try something different.

In 1999, Katie got a job as a reporter for a small local newspaper in rural northwest Iowa. She worked her way up to writing freelance for Successful Farming magazine. Her first article for SF was about the 2001 arrival of soybean aphids in the US. In her spare time she wrote a fiction thriller about a commodities trader gone rogue.

While in Brazil writing for Successful Farming about sugar cane ethanol, and about American farmers in Bahia, Katie met an actual commodities trader, Al Kluis. Al was also there to learn about farming in Brazil. Back in the US they started work on the first Kluis Commodity Calendar, which came out in 2006. The next year, they started Al's Farmer's Almanac. In 2010 Katie moved from Iowa to Minnesota to work full-time on Al's publishing, which now includes everything from the 5 AM daily updates, to the winter marketing school curriculum, to the new online self-paced marketing school they call "Kluis U", and the new 'Al Now!' app.

Cory Bratland

Cory Bratland

Chief Grain Strategist, Private Client Manager

Cory Bratland is the youngest of 5 children who grew up on the family farm near Willow Lake, South Dakota. Cory attended school at Willow Lake High School and graduated with an A.A.S. degree in Ag Business Management at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD.

Cory began his career in the agriculture field working as a cash grain marketer and grain trader with Cargill, Inc. While working for Cargill, Inc. Cory held various merchandising jobs across South Dakota and Minnesota. In 2003, Cory got licensed as a Series 3 and 30 commodity broker.

In 2008, Cory left Cargill to be an independent commodity broker and started Prairie Ag Marketing Services. In 2009, he partnered with Al Kluis as an affiliate office and in 2010 became Kluis Commodities' Chief Grain Strategist. In addition to working with Al daily on marketing strategies, Cory also serves private clients through Kluis Publishing and Prairie Ag Marketing.

Cory lives near Willow Lake, SD with his wife Erica and 3 children, Hunter, Elliot and Isabella.  He actively participates in the family farm that raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa and also runs a cow/calf operation.

In Cory’s spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and most recently has gotten involved in competition BBQ. 


Mark Mason

Mark Mason

Commodities Broker

Mark was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Edina, Minnesota – making him the only “city kid” at Kluis Commodities.  He attended Arizona State University, majoring in Finance, and also earned an M.B.A. in Finance at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Mark has been in the Financial Services industry for the past 20 years.  His experience includes 8 years as a Trader in the Eurodollar pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, trading bonds and equities for Ameriprise Financial and as a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch.  As a Series 7 certified broker with Kluis Commodities, Mark works on a personal level with farmers in helping them to implement a complete marketing strategy.  He also enjoys charting the various grain markets, and looking for opportunities for his clients.

Mark and his wife, Sara, have four children – a daughter and three sons – who keep them very busy.  He is involved in coaching their various sports teams and helping at their school and in the community.  When he isn’t in the car driving the kids, Mark enjoys playing hockey and golf, reading a good spy novel and traveling with his family.

Nick Repke

Nick Repke

Commodities Broker

In 2001, Nick started working with gold and silver coins, selling bullion, and trading futures and options for retail customers. In 2005, after stepping aside as President of his company, he started All Access Financial Corporation to trade futures and options for retail customers. In 2009, Nick partnered with Gary Adkins Associates in the gold and silver rare coin business, allowing client access to futures and cash markets.

In 2014, Nick came to Kluis Publishing and Kluis Commodities to focus on the grain markets and work with the farming community.  His knowledge of commodity markets and technical analysis are a great resource for investors.

Nick grew up in Clearwater, Minnesota, working on field irrigators, potato and tree farms. He graduated from Winona State University and currently lives in the Minneapolis area with his wife, Lucy, and three young boys.


Bob Linneman

Bob Linneman

Commodities Broker

Bob Linneman grew up on a diverse farm in eastern South Dakota. Between milking cows, managing a beef herd, and farming various crops, Bob has experienced many aspects of agriculture first-hand. After graduating from North Dakota State University with a degree in Business, he moved to Hawaii with his wife.  There he was an Associate Portfolio manager for a fixed income firm that managed $2 billion in assets. After nearly two years in Hawaii, it was time to move back to the Midwest, where Bob began his career in commodities. He is licensed as a Series 3 and Series 30 commodity broker. Bob currently works with Al, Cory and the rest of the team at Kluis Commodities. You'll hear Bob speak during the Al Kluis AM update, and can read the articles he contributes to Kluis Publishing. Bob enjoys spending time with his wife Elizabeth and their three wonderful and energetic children.

Danielle Bruflodt

Danielle Bruflodt

Information Manager

Danielle was born and raised in the farm country of Southeastern Minnesota, and educated among Iowa’s vast corn fields at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. As a former FFA Historian, Danielle naturally went on to study History, Museum Studies and Archival Studies while attending school. She was awarded her Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Museum Studies. 

She worked in our Wayzata office for several years before relocating with her husband to Madison, Wisconsin. Dani now works remotely, assisting with the sending of our AM Update reports, graphic design, template design and handling our social media presence. Dani also assists with our monthly webinars---she records them so that they are available to you in our online archive. Once a year you can also catch her presenting at our annual Lafayette Trading Academy where she discusses the latest apps and technology.

In her spare time Dani can be found biking around the city, enjoying time with her Jack Russell Terrier, reading a good book or planning her next vacation.

Christa Wagner

Christa Wagner

Accounting/Project Management

Christa was born and raised in eastern Montana and moved east for college.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.  After graduating Christa moved to Minneapolis and spent the next 10 years working for software companies doing IT recruiting and Human Resources.  

Today, Christa stays busy raising her 2 boys and has been working for Kluis since 2010.  Her responsibilities include accounts payable and receivable and company reporting, managing large customer-outreach projects, updating the Al Kluis website, managing the Lafayette Trading Academy winter class, and various office administration projects.


Diane Hesslund

Diane Hesslund

Customer Service Manager

Diane was born into a family that farmed for many generations in Goodhue County, Minnesota.  Raised in Red Wing she later moved to Minneapolis and worked as a paralegal in a law firm and subsequently in the securities department of the law division of a large bank.  Diane then moved to the position of Compliance Officer for a firm that included a hedge fund, executing broker, and market maker.  She has been with the Kluis team since October of 2011 and works with our customers, marketing and publishing.

Diane lives in Plymouth, Minnesota with her husband Brad.  They enjoy their children and grandchildren and, among their many hobbies, they like to drag race their 1968 Chevy Nova.


Mara Clysdale

Mara Clysdale

Customer Service Manager

Mara was born in St. Cloud, MN and grew up in the small central Minnesota town of St. Joseph.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict.  Upon her graduation, she moved to the Twin Cities where she started a career in Human Resources.  Mara spent the next 10+ years in the HR field, taking some time off in between to spend with her three young daughters.

Mara and her family live in Plymouth, Minnesota where they stay busy attending their daughter’s sports games and spending time with friends.  Starting with Kluis in October of 2012, Mara’s role includes working closely with the seed companies and district sales managers, working with our subscribers and customer service, and additional office related projects.


Joline Zepcevski

Joline Zepcevski

Curriculum Manager

Joline Zepcevski was born in Florida and spent much of her life in Sydney, Australia. She moved to Minnesota in 2004 to go to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, receiving her PhD in the history of science and technology.

In 2015, Joline began helping improve the curriculum for Kluis U and the Lafayette Trading Academy, promising to help make things more teachery. Her mission is to help our instructors finally explain bull call spreads, key reversals, Fibonacci retracements, and options, in a way you will understand and absorb, with the least pain.


In addition to her work with the Kluis team, Joline is an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Joline lives in South Minneapolis with her four cats, but explains that she is not, technically, a cat lady, because although she does knit, she does not crochet.