Dr. Mark Welch has been named Texas Cooperative Extension state grain marketing and policy economist.

Welch, based in College Station, will specialize in all facets of grain marketing, providing Texas producers with market outlook and strategy for corn, wheat, sorghum, rice and soybeans.

"Grains in Texas are an integral part of our agriculture economy, and producers rely on Extension's expertise in evaluating market trends and strategies to manage risk and maximize returns," said Dr. Mark Waller, Extension economics program leader. "We're very pleased to have Mark on board to serve the grain industry throughout the state. He brings an extensive background of knowledge both in policy and research."

Previously, Welch was a research scientist with the Cotton Economics Research Institute at Texas Tech University's department of agricultural and applied economics. Prior to that, he was a corn, wheat and cattle producer in Castro County.

"I have a great respect for the dedicated staff and quality of work that Texas Cooperative Extension provides," Welch said. "I look forward to becoming a part of the Extension community and cooperating with producers and the grain industry in addressing the challenges they face today."

Welch earned a doctorate from Texas Tech, a master's degree from West Texas A&M University and a bachelor's degree from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa.