Cornhusker Economics May 11, 2016
National Agri-Marketing Association Annual Conference Networking Opportunities for UNL Students
The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) annual conference April 12-15 in Kansas City, MO, provided plenty of opportunities for undergraduate students from across the nation and Canada to network with agribusiness industry professionals. Eleven UNL students and two guests, Brazilian students from the University of Sao Paulo ESALQ, attended the NAMA conference this year.
NAMA is comprised of 23 professional chapters in six regions nationwide and has more than 3,500 professional and student members. NAMA members include professionals in agribusinesses, commodity associations, advertising and public relations agencies, as well as faculty, staff, and students from universities across the U.S. and Canada. At the state level, Nebraska’s professional Cornhusker Chapter has nearly 70 members. Nebraska NAMA students are invited to attend monthly Cornhusker Chapter meetings at no cost. The meetings provide a venue for students to learn about the latest trends and rub shoulders with marketing professionals. This network of professionals—at the state and national levels—provides valuable opportunities for Nebraska NAMA student members.
NAMA students are often interested in careers in marketing, sales, promotion, and advertising. The experiences they have through NAMA help them to be career ready when they graduate. These experiences include developing a product marketing plan for competition at the national level, organizing and sponsoring career development events on campus, helping agribusinesses with set-up at trade shows, doing community service projects, and organizing social events with other organizations.
NAMA’s annual conference features outstanding sessions on relevant topics in agri-marketing and gives professional and student members opportunities to draw ideas and motivation from nationally recognized agribusiness leaders and speakers. NAMA conference also features the Connection Point Trade Show where, as the event name suggests, professionals and students have an opportunity to connect. The 2016 annual conference was one of the best. Joseph Grenny, co-author of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, discussed the Six Sources of Influence, a change model based on seven decades of research. Andrew Davis, author and former television producer, shared the five secrets to creating content that inspires demand. He challenged attendees to learn how to use Google Trends to measure their organization’s impact in the market and encouraged them to own the entire consumer journey.
Awards for NAMA professionals (Best of NAMA) are celebrated each year, and in the student track the marketing plan and outstanding chapter competitions are held and scholarship winners are recognized.
Eleven Nebraska NAMA students and two advisors traveled to Kansas City for the 2016 national conference. They attended seminars, attended a luncheon with professional mentors, met professionals at the trade show, and interacted with students from the other 29 student chapters. Team members who traveled to the national conference were: Back (l to r) Jake Werner (Humphrey, NE), Tate Emanuel (North Bend, NE), Andrew Pavlik (Omaha, NE), Eric Wemhoff (Humphrey, NE), Caleb Nuehring (Plainview, NE), Darin Knobbe (Imperial, NE), and John Bohaty (Seward, NE). Front (l to r) Jordan Damkroger (Firth, NE), Kristen Hudson (Maple Grove, MN), Erika Harms (Glenvil, NE), Leticia Junqueria (Brazil), Laura Monteiro Malzone (Brazil), and Leslie Harrison (Katy, TX).
This year sixteen UNL NAMA students and five students from ESALQ University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (who skyped into weekly meetings) were involved in developing a product marketing plan for SunSurfer, a new cultivar of buffalograss developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The cultivar is a premium turf-type grass that thrives on one inch of water a month, has an accelerated establishment rate, enhanced density, and a dark green color. It needs minimal inputs and maintenance. The team worked with Dr. Keenan Amundsen, UNL professor and primary developer of the new cultivar, and the Stock Seed Farms in Murdock, NE, to learn as much as possible about the product and important aspects of marketing it. SunSurfer was marketed in fifteen counties in two key areas of California — the San FranciscoBay area and the Los Angeles basin. Team members learned that research is an essential element of creating an effective marketing plan. From choosing a product to deciding on the right balance between electronic and print advertising based on prospective customer habits, students learned how to make effective decisions with respect to marketing a product.
The team worked with NAMA Cornhusker Chapter professionals and seed production professionals to get feedback on the plan before national conference. The team did extremely well in the competition, falling just short of going on to the second round. Two teams come from each of six flights in the competition. The two teams from the Nebraska team’s flight who went forward placed first and third in the final round.
Nebraska NAMA brought home several awards from the national conference. They were in the top ten outstanding chapters and won the award for most raffle tickets sold and top raffle ticket seller (Caleb Nuehring). These funds go toward student scholarships awarded through NAMA.
The UNL Student NAMA Chapter is proud of its accomplishments this year and is looking forward to a successful year in 2016-2017.
2015-2016 Nebraska NAMA President
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Nebraska-Lincoln