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U of M and American Cotton Shippers Association Form Partnership to Train Future Leaders of Global Cotton Industry
For release: Dec. 13, 2005
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The University of Memphis has entered into a partnership with the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) to train future leaders in the global cotton industry.

The ACSA International Cotton Institute will be held May 31-July 18 at the Fogelman Executive Center on the U of M campus. The eight-week residential program is designed to provide a basic education in all aspects of the cotton industry and the international business environment. Some 40 participants are expected to attend. They are involved in all facets of the cotton industry and typically represent several U.S. states as well as such foreign countries as Australia and Zimbabwe.

Students will learn the cotton trade from field to fabric. Coursework covers manual classing, the use of high volume instruments for classing raw cotton, buying, transportation, fiber manufacturing, risk management, and the basics of price protection. In addition to classroom instruction, field trips are planned to cotton fields, classing and shipping facilities, a warehouse, and a textile mill.

"Almost a fourth of the nation's cotton is grown in the Mid-South, with the major Memphis cotton firms trading 50 to 60 percent of the world's cotton," said U of M President Shirley Raines. "Innovations in cotton's production, processing, classification, and transportation, as well as the evolution of new trade patterns brought on by the expansion of free trade in cotton throughout the world, require expanded educational programs for those involved in the cotton industry. Therefore, it is appropriate that the University of Memphis, a leading educator of business professionals, is the new home of the Cotton Institute. We welcome cotton professionals from around the world."

During the Institute, participants will stay in the newly renovated fourth-floor hotel in the FEC. "This is a great development for ACSA and the young men and women from over 40 countries who will come here for intensive training in all aspects of the cotton industry," said ACSA President John D. Mitchell. "The Fogelman Executive Center is a world-class facility, and that's appropriate for our caliber of students."

Since its creation in 1995, the Cotton Institute has educated more than 500 men and women from some 50 countries.

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