Greater price volatility in agricultural markets is demanding producers develop better marketing skills to improve their bottom line, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist.

Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo, will be leading a group of instructors from within the agency, several universities and private industries to put on the third Master Marketer Program.

Master Marketer is a national award-winning risk-management educational program where students learn how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, manage production and price risk, and execute a risk management and marketing plan, Amosson said.

A wide range of topics are covered to enhance marketing/risk management skills, he said. Case studies, group discussions and simulation exercises will be used to provide experience with real tools that can be used on individual farm and ranch operations after the class.

The 64-hour curriculum is offered as four, two-day sessions held every two weeks. It is the most intensive marketing/risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the U.S., Amosson said.

The next Master Marketer Program will be held in Amarillo, starting Jan. 13-14, with follow-up dates of Jan. 27-28, Feb. 10-11, and Feb. 24-25. All the meetings will be held at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Service Center of Amarillo, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd.

A free futures and options leveling workshop will be held on Jan. 12, before the program begins for anyone who doesn't feel they are ready for intermediate to advanced level training.

The final date to register is Jan. 4, but Amosson said the class generally fills up fast, and he has never seen interest this high this early. Only 60 participants can be accepted, so those interested shouldn't wait to register.

The registration fee for the program is $250, which includes noon meals and educational materials. Amosson said previous registrants say it is well worth the money, reporting their incomes have increased more than $37,000 per year on average.

The training in the Amarillo area will focus on cotton, wheat, livestock and feedgrains, Amosson said.

Program costs are partially covered by grants from sponsors, including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau, the Cotton State Support Committee, and the Risk Management Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information or to register, call Amosson at 806-677-5600. Fees may be paid by check or money order, made payable to account #222100-60025 and sent with a completed registration form.

For those who want to use a credit card and register over the Internet, go to http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu. Registration forms may be obtained at http://mastermarketer.tamu.edu.