It's called the Master Marketers Program. And for some farmers, it's being offered at half price this year thanks to Ag Texas who is paying half the tuition for farmers under 35 years of age. The class is designed for farmers who want to become masters of the marketplace and learn ways to identify new marketing opportunities for their cotton.
Farmers have a few days left to sign up for this year's program scheduled to start January 22nd.
"It's an intense advanced risk management marketing type program that it takes a real commitment of time if somebody gets into it. It's eight days of training," says Jackie Smith, Ph.D., Texas A&M Extension Service.
For the next two months, farmers will take classes taught by specialists from around the country. They'll learn how to understand the marketplace and reduce the risk of losing money when cotton prices are low.
"A lot of that means understanding the futures options and understanding the various pricing strategies and risk management. Of course, it's gonna involve crop insurance and all kinds of things," says Smith.
Several farmers say the skills they learned in the classroom have helped them in the field.
"Participants, the ones who have graduated from the class, we see an average better than 5% increase that they think they've got on their price, and if you can increase your price by 5% on the margin, we're talking about it can mean a great percent change in your net returns," says Smith.
To sign up for the class, you can contact the Texas A&M Extension Service here in Lubbock at (806) 746-6101 . The two month class costs $250. For those under 35, it's $125.
Smith adds that marketing education is one of the best investments of time and money a farmer can make. Sessions begin January 22nd, and there are only a few spots left so call early.