by Blair Fannin

The 2018 Master Marketer series, which assists farmers and ranchers in developing marketing plans to increase gross farm revenue up to 5 percent, is scheduled January through February in Waco at the Texas Farm Bureau Conference Center, 7410 Fish Pond Road.

“The goal of the program is to equip participants to develop a marketing plan, adopt good marketing practices and increase the use of basic market analysis,” said Dr. Mark Welch, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service grains marketing economist in College Station.

Sponsors include AgriLife Extension, Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board, Texas Wheat Producers Board, Cotton State Support Committee, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Risk Management Agency and Capital Farm Credit.

Welch said the program curriculum covers a wide range of risk management topics including budgets, marketing, crop insurance, legal and financial risk, and weather.

“The subject matter is taught in an applied approach, and teaching technique blends lecture, problem-solving, small group work and simulation exercises,” he said. “The program is taught by the best instructors we have.”

The following is a schedule and topics:

–Session I, Jan. 17-18: Optional leveling workshop, which reviews the basics of futures and options markets. Session I program will review market basics such as budgets, breakevens, seasonality and the importance of a marketing plan.

–Session II, Jan. 30-31: Cotton, grain and livestock fundamentals and crop and livestock insurance.

–Session III, Feb. 13-14: Technical analysis, climate and trade simulation exercise.

–Session IV, Feb. 27-28: Legal issues; working with a broker.

“To date, surveys of more than 1,000 Master Marketer graduates since 1996 attribute increased returns on average of 4.7 percent or $34,806 per participant per year,” Welch said.

Registration is $350 for up to 60 applicants. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 15. Online registration is available at

For more information, call 979-845-8011.