COLLEGE STATION — Marketing education and training pay dividends and improve the bottom line for farmers and ranchers, especially in light of the challenges they face today. With that in mind, the Texas Agricultural Extension Service is offering Master Marketer programs in Vernon and Waco.
“The Federal Agricultural Improvement Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996 presents new challenges for Texas agricultural producers,” said Dr. Mark Waller, Extension agricultural economist.
“FAIR allows them more planting flexibility, but also reduces the price support safety net.”
The Master Marketer program is a series of four two-day sessions that focuses on helping agricultural producers increase their skills in marketing agricultural commodities.
The Vernon course, coordinated by Extension Agricultural Economist Stan Bevers, will be held Jan. 6-7, 20-21 and Feb. 3-4 and 17-18 at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center.
The Waco course, coordinated by Extension Agricultural Economist Dr. Kenneth Stokes of Stephenville, Extension agricultural economist, will be held Jan. 7-8 and 21-22 and Feb. 4-5 and 18-19 at the Texas Farm Bureau Service Center, 5800 Franklin Ave.
Top professionals from industry and universities around the country have been invited to teach participants. Teaching is approached from a real-world standpoint, using case study examples and simulated problems. It provides students with real tools they can use on their own farm and ranch operations.
Topics will vary at each course. The Vernon sessions will focus on primarily cow/calf operations and wheat production while the Waco sessions will focus on feed grains, cotton, wheat and some cattle production.
Master Marketer participants agree to share what they have learned by assisting their county Extension agent in starting and leading a marketing club. In this way, the training is spread to a much larger group.
Master Marketer trainings began in Amarillo and Lubbock and were offered this fall in Wharton. In its first two years, the program trained more than 120 Master Marketer graduates, who went back to their home counties to start more than 40 new marketing clubs. These clubs were so successful that the decision was made to expand the program to the rest of the state.
Participants must register by Dec. 15; the fee is $250.
Since the registration fee only covers a small portion of the cost of the program, other sponsors — including the Texas Corn Producers Board, the Texas Wheat Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Rural Communities and area agribusinesses — share the cost of the sessions.
Further information is available from Stan Bevers of Vernon, (940) 552-9946; Dr. Kenneth Stokes of Stephenville, (254) 968-4144; or Dr. Mark Waller of College Station, (979) 845-8011.