The Texas Cooperative Extension's popular Master Marketer education program will be returning to Amarillo in January, according to Dr. Steve Amosson, Extension farm management economist.

“We're looking for a few good marketers who wish to update their own skills and individuals who will help their neighbors do the same,” he said.

Now nationally recognized, the Texas marketing training is an in-depth, intensive risk management education programs. Instructors teach participants how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, manage production and price risk, in addition to the skills and discipline necessary to execute the plan.

The 64-hour curriculum is offered as four two-day sessions held every two weeks. It is the most intensive marketing and risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the United States, say Texas Extension economists.

The instructors are top professionals from industry and universities around the country. A wide range of topics is covered to enhance marketing and risk management skills.

“We use case study examples and simulation exercises wherever possible,” said Amosson. Students are able to gain experience using real tools that they will put into action on their own farm and ranch operations.

The Amarillo session will focus on the principle commodities of the area — wheat, feed grains and cattle. Results of a two-year post survey of the first five classes suggest that using what they have learned has increased their gross revenues approximately 3 percent to 10 percent (or over $30,000) on average, annually.

Statewide demand for the program continues to grow. The winter program slated for Amarillo will be held at the Texas Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The first two-day session will be Jan. 16-17, 2002, with following sessions on Jan. 30-31, Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 27-28.

The registration fee is $250. Participants must maintain a commitment to work with their county agents to try to start or revitalize an existing marketing club.

Program costs primarily are met by grants from sponsors, including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Wheat Producers Association, Texas Farm Bureau, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Cotton State Support Committee.

Anyone interested in attending or learning more about this program can get more information by contacting their county Extension agents. Specific questions can be addressed to Dr. Steve Amosson or Fran Bretz at 806-359-5401.