The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has announced unique Pro Farmer marketing opportunities for those attending the Commodity Classic March 5 to 7 in Orlando, FL. The two organizations will conduct two first-of-their-kind marketing clinics March 7 and 8 to help growers improve their bottom lines. The clinics will be held at the Omni Hotel, the Commodity Classic hotel.

Nearly 3,800 growers are expected for Commodity Classic, the fifth annual combined convention and trade show of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and NCGA.

"It is not enough anymore to be good farmers. Today we have to be equally good economists and even better marketers," says NCGA President Lynn Jensen of Lake Preston, SD. "Pro Farmer has designed marketing clinics to give growers plenty of information, especially as they prepare for the 2000 planting season."

The two clinics planned are "Mastering the Basics of Marketing," 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 7; and "Beyond the Marketing," 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 8.

"These two sessions are held consecutively to allow producers to progress quickly toward a 'masters in marketing' in just a day's worth of time," says Jensen. "There may never be a more convenient time or inexpensive time to take in two workshops of this caliber-save travel costs by attending these two workshops immediately following Commodity Classic 2000.

He notes that, normally, corporations and cooperatives pay Pro Farmer tens of thousands of dollars to put on the exact same classes. Because of the working agreement with NCGA, these workshops are available at great money saving rates.

Here are the details of the two clinics:

"Master the Basics of Marketing." This is no ordinary outlook session. Using real-world examples every producer will understand, Pro Farmer will provide a half-day of foundational teaching. Growers will learn sound marketing using today's realities rather than "hypothetical examples" and how they can be implemented for success on their farm. Topics include:

Introduction to basics: How to calculate and analyze, why it is important and how it affects producers' profit margin.

--Understanding the basics of fundamental and technical analysis. The importance of a marketing plan and how to develop one.

--The basics of options. Quick and clear definitions of options and examples of times to use calls or puts in a marketing plan.

--The life of a hedge: contract specifications and discussion of the differences and similarities among the major exchanges.

--The 12 marketing tools every producer must have in his or her marketing toolbox. Starts with definitions and moves into applications of what to use in each specific market environment.

--To use (or not to use) an ag advisory service.

"Beyond the Marketing." Designed to be a perfect complement to "Master the Basics of Marketing," this half-day session will take of where the first one ends. Producers will get an incredible array of information, perspective and analysis from Pro Farmer that could pay huge dividends in the years ahead. Topics include:

--Current status of Washington ag policy and what producers can expect in the months and years ahead.

--Technical analysis--how to capture big profits from what the charts tell us.

--Advanced options. Strategies to help producers build profits while offsetting risk-using options; include basics, writing calls-puts, building fences and vertical spreads with real-time examples.

--Fundamentals of selecting a broker including some secret "do's" and "don'ts."

--Actual marketing case studies.

--How do you make sense of it all? Information management in today's agriculture.

--Strategies for the remainder of 2000.

Information about the Pro Farmer--NCGA marketing clinics is available on the NCGA web site: www.ncga.com, the Pro Farmer web site: www.profarmer.com, or by calling 314-275-9915, ext. 114; or 319-277-1278.

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