Marketing, management program offered for agriculture producers

Master Marketer Program begins in January at Vernon

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contacts: Stan Bevers, 940-552-9941, sbevers@ag.tamu.edu

VERNON – The Master Marketer Program, only offered in a region about every five years, is set to return to the Rolling Plains in 2014, according to Stan Bevers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in Vernon.

The training dates will be Jan. 22-23 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center near Vernon. The 64-hour curriculum is offered as four, two-day sessions held every two weeks, and is the most intensive marketing/risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the U.S., Bevers said. Other dates are Feb. 5-6, Feb. 19-20 and March 5-6.

The Master Marketer Program is a national, award-winning curriculum that provides in-depth, intensive risk management education training. It teaches participants how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, manage production and price risk, and helps teach the skills and discipline necessary to execute those plans, he said.

“It’s been six years since the last Master Marketer training was held in Vernon,” Bevers said. “If a producer ever thought about attending the training or a past graduate wants a refresher, they need to sign up early. It may be their last chance for a while.”

The registration fee is $340, which includes meals and materials. The registration fees fall short of covering all costs of the program, he said.

Most of the costs are covered by grants and partnerships with other organizations, including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau, the Cotton State Support Committee, Texas Wheat Producers Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency.

Anyone interested in attending can get more information by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent or by calling Bevers at 940-552-9941, ext. 231. Registration is available online at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. Due to the hands-on nature of the course, attendance is limited. The deadline for registration is Jan. 15.

Bevers said in post-training surveys in the previous years, 186 Vernon Master Marketer participants indicated their gross income increased on average $34,000 annually based on what they had learned in the training.

“There is no reason that program graduates shouldn’t receive this level of increased returns for the next 10 years,” he said. “Interested participants should weigh carefully the registration fee, the time commitment and travel costs associated with the program against the potential of a $250,000-plus increase in returns over the next decade when considering signing up for the program. Personally, I think it is a no brainer.”

The instructors are top professionals from industry and universities from around the country, Bevers said.

Case studies, group discussions and simulation exercises will be utilized to provide students with experience using real tools they can apply on their farm and ranch operations when they leave the class, he said.

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