The High Plains program features two weeks of classes, lectures, tours and hands-on interaction in all phases of cotton production, harvesting, ginning, classing, testing, preparation and processing.
The cotton school is structured to provide an integrated understanding of the Texas cotton industry and how it interacts with the global cotton/textile complex, said Noureddine Abidi, FBRI Director and the Leidigh Professor in Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science.
A polymer chemist, Abidi’s research focuses on the physical and chemical characteristics of biopolymers and their functionalization and transformation, which leads to practical, advanced applications.
The cotton school program provides hands-on instruction in cotton breeding, production, harvesting, ginning, classing, testing, processing, transporting, marketing, exporting and logistics. In addition, participants are offered an integrated, vertical understanding of the U.S. cotton industry, with a Texas focus, and its interactions with the ever-changing cotton/textile sector.
The curriculum for this year’s session includes:·
• Breeding strategies, production systems, cottonseed biotechnology.
• Field-to-fiber, fiber-to-yarn, yarn-to-fabric.
• Fiber properties & measurements, contaminants, textile chemical process, yarn & fabric properties.
• Precision agriculture, sustainability issues, pima cotton, cotton ginning & classing, bale selection.
• Marketing Topics – Cotton economics, futures and options, contracts, government programs, role of the merchant, exports, U.S. certification and delivery process through ICE.
• International market promotion, international arbitration, trade finance, cotton insurance.
Since its inception in 1989, more than 600 students from 60 countries and 17 U.S. states have attended the Texas International Cotton School. Texas annually produces between 25 and 30 percent of the entire U.S.’s cotton crop, more than any other state.
Texas Tech University’s FBRI is located approximately six miles east of the main campus. It occupies 110,000 square feet of space allowing Texas Tech researchers to conduct testing and evaluation from the raw fiber stage through the finished textile product. Facilities include a multimedia classroom and conference room, biopolymer research laboratory, cotton phenomics laboratory, cotton ginning laboratory and cotton processing laboratory (spinning and weaving).
Texas Tech contributed this article.