Texas Tech University

Focus on Fiber: Texas Tech Hosting International Cotton School

Norman Martin

July 30, 2018


The two-week event includes classes, lectures, tours and hands-on interactions.

Texas Tech University's Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI), in conjunction with the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, will host the 38th session of the Texas International Cotton School, from Aug. 6-16.

The High Plains program includes two weeks of classes, lectures, tours and hands-on interaction in all phases of cotton production, harvesting, ginning, classing, testing, preparation and processing.

“The goal is to allow students and professionals to better understand the global cotton industry,” said Annalisa Clark, communication and recruiting coordinator with Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science within the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

Since its inception in 1989, more than 600 students from 60 countries and 17 U.S. states have attended the course. Texas annually produces approximately 25 percent of the entire U.S.'s cotton crop, more than any other state.

The curriculum's fluffy-fiber focus is U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing systems along with an examination of the industry's latest machinery and equipment.

The curriculum for this year's session includes:

  • Field to fiber, fiber to yarn and yarn to fabric
  • Breeding strategies, production systems and cottonseed biotechnology
  • International market promotion, international arbitration, trade finance and cotton insurance
  • Precision agriculture, sustainability issues, pima cotton, cotton ginning and classing and bale selection
  • Fiber properties and measurements, contaminants, textile chemical process and yarn and fabric properties
  • Marketing topics: cotton economics, futures and options, contracts, government programs, role of the merchant, exports, U.S. certification and delivery process through the International Cotton Exchange

Among the scheduled tours are Bayer CropScience's global cotton headquarters; USDA Classing Office to see how cotton is classed via high volume instrument; farm tours to see various types of cotton farming (drip irrigation, pivot irrigation and dryland fields); farmers compress with its 2.2 million bale storage capacity; and several dinners and social gatherings to meet and network with members of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange.

About FBRI

Located approximately six miles east of the main campus, FBRI 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).