International Cotton Schools Prepare to Host Rising Leaders of Global Cotton

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Young cotton professionals around the globe are once again gearing up for first class learning opportunities here in the United States.

Organizers from the International Cotton Institute, held annually in Memphis, TN, and the Texas International Cotton School, held each year in Lubbock, TX, are again preparing for comprehensive cotton industry educational sessions.

Representatives from the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) are making arrangements for the International Cotton Institute. Beginning on May 29, the school will host dozens of young industry professionals from around the world on campus at the University of Memphis. The eight-week course offers extensive study of the cotton industry, covering each stop along cotton’s supply chain.

Students at the Institute are housed on campus at the University of Memphis, and often travel into the surrounding states to see first-hand how cotton is produced, stored, ginned and transported in the United States. Special attention is paid to classing cotton. Traditionally, most of the students at the school come from overseas, so the course offers them a unique glimpse into the American cotton industry.

Classes at the International Cotton Institute are taught by a consortium of guest faculty members who are cotton industry professionals and leaders in their respective fields.

Similarly, the Texas International Cotton School will be held in Lubbock, TX, and draws its students from a wide array of nationalities and cotton industry backgrounds. The idea of the program is to provide an integrated understanding of the Texas cotton industry and how it interacts with global cotton and textile complex.

During the two week course, students reside at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lubbock. Classes are taught at the Texas Tech University Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, a large research facility on the eastern edge of Lubbock.

“The course is taught by top experts from their respective fields and gives you a broad understanding of the entire cotton complex, taking you from field to fabric,” says Brady Raindl, the newly announced president of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and a Texas International Cotton School event organizer. “With the volatility of today’s market, and the increasing importance of the global economy, knowing what happens once your cotton leaves the gin yard is more important than ever.”

The 2014 edition will mark the 34th session of the Texas International Cotton School, and is set to take place from August 4-15. Raindl noted that while the school draws students from around the globe, it has much to offer to those hoping to make a career out of cotton here in the United States.

“This is the perfect opportunity for growers, Extension agents, gin personnel and students hoping to enter the cotton industry, just to be able to gain extensive knowledge about the entire cotton complex,” Raindl says.

Organizers are accepting applications to the school through July 1. Raindl encourages those interested to visit www.texasintlcottonschool.com for further information.

Barnes is the senior editor for Cotton Grower magazine. In addition to writing for the magazine, he assists in online content production and in event production. He joined the Cotton Grower staff in May 2008.
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