Careers in Cotton with Mary Jane Buerkle – AgGrad Live 013

Mary Jane Buerkle is the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (PCG), a voluntary organization and commodity association that represents growers in 41 counties in the Texas Panhandle. With its headquarters in Lubbock, Texas, the area provides ⅔ of the state’s cotton crop, ⅓ of the nation’s, and 3 to 5% of the world’s. The company handles legislative and regulatory matters to ensure their producers and farmers throughout the cotton industry improve their profits.


Mary Jane joins me today to share the careers involved in the cotton industry. She shares what it’s like to work remotely and the traits and skills you need to hone to become successful as a remote worker in the agriculture industry. She also shares some of the entrepreneurial niches available throughout the cotton industry and how your network can open the doors to new opportunities for your career.


“Networking, networking, networking — you never know where that connection is going to lead.” – Mary Jane Buerkle


Today on AgGrad Live:


  • Plains Cotton Growers’ mission
  • Where PCG gets their support and funding
  • The post-harvest process that cotton crops go through before reaching consumers
  • Various uses for cotton and its co-products
  • Career opportunities available within the cotton industry
  • The growth in demand for homegrown Texas cotton products
  • The unconventional way she established her network within the agriculture industry
  • The importance of learning as much as you can about the industry you want to work in and how it can impact your career success
  • The importance of networking
  • The moment when she feels that everything she does is worth her while
  • How to be successful as a remote worker in the agricultural industry


Mary Jane Buerkle’s Advice for AgGrads:


  1. Learn as much as you can about the industry.
  2. Do your homework — research about the company or organization before going to any interviews and other affairs.
  3. Be self-organized and manage your time well.
  4. Be dedicated and devoted 100% to what you’re doing.


Resources Mentioned:


Connect with Mary Jane Buerkle:


Connect, Share & ADVANCE Your Career in Agriculture


Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of AgGrad Live – the podcast helping aspiring, new, and veteran professionals advance their careers in the agriculture industry. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show on iTunes, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Don’t forget to share each episode on your favorite social media platforms to help other professionals advance their careers in the agriculture industry!


Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.