Apr. 26, 2013 – A team of University of Guelph students won second place and the admiration of their competitors at a North American agricultural marketing contest this month in Kansas City, Missouri.
Nine students in agricultural business, science and marketing – all in U of G’s Ontario Agricultural College – won second at the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) student marketing competition. Guelph finished just two points behind the University of Minnesota, and was voted “most favourite team” by the 29 competing teams. The U of G team was only one of two Canadian schools at the event, the other being Saskatchewan.
Teams began brainstorming innovative agricultural products last fall. They created an executive summary, a PowerPoint presentation and speaking notes before this month’s contest.
“For the summary, we research the market and competitive analysis, create a marketing plan with events and advertisements, complete the financial breakdown of what it will cost the company with all expenses included, and finally create a monitoring and measuring section,” explained Emily Den Haan, president of the Guelph NAMA student chapter.
This is the first year Guelph has reached the contest final since placing third in 2007. The team trained twice a week this year and sought comment from local agricultural marketing professionals.
“Having professionals and sponsors watch and critique it helped us to think on our feet during the question-and-answer period, and made us feel confident in our product and marketing plan throughout the three presentations,” said Den Haan, a fourth-year student. “We are thankful for all the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association did for us; their support is the backbone to our chapter and its success.”
For Lucas Meyer, Guelph NAMA treasurer and co-president, winning silver was a bonus.
“After completing each presentation, we all were extremely happy, because we were proud of how we did and felt extremely confident about it,” he said. “It was a great feeling, because even if we hadn’t moved on to the next level, we were happy with our efforts.”
He credits the agricultural marketing courses he has taken with helping him prepare for the event.
“The competition is intense, and the teams are quite competitive,” he said. “The classes we took at Guelph helped with creating the marketing plan for our product.”
Joining Den Haan and Meyer as part of the Most Favourite Team were Rob Bos, Jill Brown, Jeremy Fallis, Eamonn McGuinty, Laura Nanne, Melissa Parkinson and Elizabeth Stubbs.
“We were honoured to win Most Favourite Team,” said Den Haan. “Our team had bonded very well throughout the year, and our team dynamic was great. We were all excited to be at the competition and meet other schools’ teams, find out what they have to offer, and learn from them.”
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