Linda Brooks and Chris Kramedjian had some preconceived ideas about this year’s International Cotton Institute at the University of Memphis.
They knew the school had an excellent reputation and figured they would learn a lot about cotton during seven weeks of instruction and field trips. But the experience even exceeded their expectations.
The school, sponsored by the American Cotton Shippers Association, concluded another successful session this summer. And, once again, the students – most of whom were from other countries – walked away better informed about all facets of the cotton industry.
Brooks has worked for nine years at Cargill Cotton in Cordova, Tenn., and recently moved from accounting to merchandising. She is a contract administrator and is responsible for the input of contracts and carrying them from input to their final destination.
Kramedjian is a newly employed market analyst for FC Stone, a commodity trading company in Nashville, Tenn. The two participants were the only Americans in the class, which had 20 students.
Sneak Preview Of School
Sharing Important Information
Brooks had the benefit of working with several staffers at Cargill who had already attended the cotton school. So, she was prepared to be exposed to a large amount of information in a short period of time.
Her fellow Cargill workers also said her knowledge of the cotton industry would be advanced by three years after participating in the school.
“Being from the merchant side, I had never been out on a farm, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to see one on our visit in Mississippi,” she said. “It really helped me understand the kinds of problems that farmers face. I really needed that perspective.”
The class visited the Mike Sturdivant farm in Glendora, Miss., and had a chance to learn about all facets of cotton production.
Brooks also said she was glad to have had Chinese students seated on either side of her during classes. The questions and answers from the Chinese students were beneficial and informative. However, she particularly enjoyed answering their questions about American culture.
“I can say this much for sure,” she said. “The misconceptions about each other were there, but the communication among us definitely eliminated those misconceptions.”
Contact Tommy Horton at (901) 767-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about next year’s International Cotton Institute, contact program director Bill Griffin at (901) 680-8281 or email@example.com.
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