Thirty-two students, about half of which come from 12 countries around the world, graduated from the Texas International Cotton School, held August 8-12 and 15-19 at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University.

The school, held annually in Lubbock, is now in its 22ndyear and this session attracted a record enrollment. Since its inception in 1989, a total of 514 students from 59 countries in the world and 16 states in the United States have attended.

The school is a collaboration between the Texas cotton merchants who make up the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and FBRI faculty and staff. The intensive program allows students the opportunity to learn about cotton from field to fabric, taught by 31 experts from across the United States. Topics include seed breeding, farm production, harvesting, ginning, warehousing, merchandising, and textile manufacturing.

All aspects of U.S. and global cotton trade are covered, so students obtain an understanding of what is required to participate in the U.S. cotton market successfully and to deliver the cottons needed in a diverse U.S. and export market. They learn about the important quality attributes of cotton fibers and how these translate into processing efficiency and textile product quality. Students also have the opportunity to interact with members of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and others in the agribusiness community at social events.

Arwin Johnson, current president of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, is gratified by the schools’ success.

Demand growing

“The demand for enrollment to our Cotton School keeps growing each year,” Johnson said. “Students from all over the world come to Lubbock to learn the aspects of cotton marketing and to become better acquainted with Texas cotton. They also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with our merchant members and associate members during the social activities. Dr. (Dean) Ethridge and his staff, along with the many expert instructors that teach the classes and host the field trips, help make The Texas International Cotton School second to none.”

Graduates include Sanjit Acharya, TTU/FBRI; Reagan Anders, Texas AgriLife Research/TTU; Eddie Bergen, cotton producer, Seminole; Guy Story Brown, cotton producer, Slaton; Mary Jane Buerkle, Plains Cotton Growers, Lubbock; Justin Cave, Texas AgriLife Research/TTU; Johnson Chen, Shin Sheng Group, Taiwan; Tyler Cowie, TTU; Kyle Fadal, ECOM-USA/TTU; Bralie Hendon, TTU/cotton producer; Gervas Kaisi, Tanzania Bureau of Standards; Hyung-Ju Kim, Ilshin Mill Co., Ltd., South Korea; Young Kweon Kim, Ilshin Mill Co., Ltd., South Korea; Will Keeling, TTU; Howard Lu, D&A International Inc., China; Maryam Mbwana, Tanzania Cotton Board; Shay Morris, TTU; Bree Nelson, Crop Plus Insurance Agency, Seminole; Dev Raj Paudel, TTU/FBRI; Carlos De Lao Perez, Algodonera Intenacional de Mexico; Alejandro Plastina, International Cotton Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C.; Rajeev Rajbhandari, TTU/FBRI; Lorena Ruiz, Conolgodon, Colombia; Jahanzaib Saeed, Mahmood Cotton Ginners, Pakistan; Laura Salazar, Colimar Inc., Mission; Tarik Sonmez, Taya Textile, Turkey/New York; Sterling Terrell, Ocho Gin Co., Seminole; Mamadou Togola, Cerfitex, Mali; Dylan Wann, Texas AgriLife Research/TTU; Bobby Wuertz, CalCot; Kimberly Vining, TTU; and Gustave Zongo, Sofitex, Burkina Faso.

For more information on the Texas International Cotton School, visit