AMARILLO — The Texas Agricultural Extension Service is looking for a few good agricultural marketers who want to sharpen their skills and help their neighbors do the same.
Dr. Steve Amosson, Extension farm management economist, noted that Extension’s Master Marketer Training Program will be returning to the Panhandle after a three-year absence. It premiered here in 1996, before going statewide. Since then, producers have been trained in Vernon, Wharton, Lubbock and Waco.
“Improved marketing techniques is one of the few areas left where producers can make great strides in upgrading their bottom line,” said Amosson, program coordinator. “The Master Marketer Program provides the information necessary for producers to take a major step to improve their marketing practices.”
The effort was designed to enable farmers and ranchers to develop a marketing plan, evaluate all their selling alternatives, and gain the skills necessary to execute their objectives for profit. A recently completed survey of the program’s l996 graduates also underscores its value, the economist explained.
“Ninety percent of the respondents indicated an average increase in net receipts of more than $30,000 annually as a direct result of what they had learned,” he said.
“Our goal is to train 60 area producers at a higher level than any previous program. We’ll be laying the groundwork for at least one marketing club in every county in the High Plains area,” he added.
Graduates are expected to share their newly acquired skills and knowledge with other producers, as part of the marketing club effort.
“This interaction, coupled with the investment in training by the Extension Service and the other supporters of the program, effectively spreads agricultural marketing expertise to a much larger group,” he said. Each enrollee must agree to share what he or she has learned by assisting the county agent in starting and leading a marketing club.
“This year’s program is geared toward wheat, feed grains and cattle marketing,” he added. The trainings will be offered in a series of four two-day, one-night sessions, and taught by outstanding speakers from across the country. Topics will be approached from a real world standpoint using numerous case study examples and simulated problems.
The first two-day session will be held Jan. 6-7, followed by the rest every two weeks on Jan. 20-21, Feb. 3-4, and Feb. 17-18 at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Amarillo.
Registration will be limited to 60 individuals, with a fee of $250 per person to help offset a small portion of the total cost, according to Amosson.
“The program is being underwritten by the Texas Wheat Producers Board, Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau and the Extension Service,” he said.
To apply, contact your county Extension agent, or Amosson or James Sartwelle III, risk management economist at the Amarillo center at (806) 359-5401.