Rural commodities broker Tom Leffler checks the markets and speaks to a client on the phone. As the bankruptcy drags on and clients continue their efforts to claw back their funds, rural commodities brokers remain caught in the middle of uneasy markets and miles of red tape. These small town brokers are the connection between the vital commodities markets and the farmers and ranchers that depend on the markets to help manage their risk.


The industry is still working to repair itself, according to John Roe, a partner at a brokerage firm in Chicago and a co-founder of the Commodities Customer Coalition, a non-profit group fighting for the rights of over 300 MF Global clients. Patty and Tom Leffler run their small commodities brokerage, Leffler Commodities, from the basement of their home in Augusta, Kan.
Many brokers are hurting, according to Melinda Schramm, the founder and chairman of the National Introducing Brokers Association, which represents about half of the 700 or so people who make their living as Introducing Brokers.


He works with his clients and then passes their trades to a large brokerage house like MF Global.



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