AG NEWS

Master Marketer program a resource for producers

By Todd Vineyard | Published Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Agricultural producers interested in learning to increase their net returns more than $250,000 over the next 10 years need to attend the Master Marketer Program set for 2014, according to Stan Bevers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in Vernon.

“The Master Marketer Program can help you do it,” Bevers said. The national award-winning program provides in-depth, intensive risk management education training.

The training will begin 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.

This program 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 a risk management and marketing plan, 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 all meals and materials. The fee falls short of covering all costs of this program, he said, but 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 and Texas Wheat Producers Board make up the difference.

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 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 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 10 years when considering signing up for the program. Personally, I think it’s a no-brainer.”

The instructors for the training consist of top professionals from industry and universities from around the country. A wide range of topics are covered to enhance marketing/risk management skills, Bevers said.

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

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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