Farmers and others interested in the Master Marketer program, which has been recognized nationally for it’s success rate, can sign up for the next offering, beginning Jan. 20 in Vernon, Texas. The course consists of four two-day sessions held every two weeks.

“Master Marketer is the most intensive marketing and risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the United States,” says Stan Bevers, Extension economist and coordinator for the Vernon program. He says Master Marketer participants learn how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, and manage production and price risk.

“It also helps teach the skills and discipline necessary to execute a risk management and marketing plan,” Bevers says.

He says a survey of past participants, taken more than two years after completion of the course, indicated gross income increased $28,000 to $33,000 on average, annually. "There is no reason program graduates shouldn't receive this level of increased returns for the next ten years."

Instructors for the training consist of top professionals from industry and universities from across the country. “We cover a wide range of topics to enhance marketing/risk management skills,” Bevers says. “The curriculum includes case studies, group discussions and simulation exercises wherever possible to provide students experience with tools they can use on their own farm and ranch operations when they leave the class.”

First class will be Jan. 20 and 21 at the Texas Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Vernon. The registration fee is $250, which includes noon meals and materials. Most of the program cost is covered by grants from sponsors including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Wheat Producers Association, Texas Farm Bureau, and Cotton Incorporated.

Anyone interested in attending or learning more about this program can get more information by contacting a County Extension Agent or by calling Stan Bevers at (940) 552-9941. Due to the hands-on nature of the course, attendance is limited. The deadline for registration is Jan. 7, 2004.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com