Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES--New Mexico State University's Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) chapter received its second outstanding chapter award and placed fourth in the marketing competition, NMSU's best finish to date at the national conference.
NMSU competed against 29 teams from across the country in two separate contests April 7-8 in Atlanta. "It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but when you get there and compete it's all worth it," Lori Schlotfeldt, team member.
NAMA collegiate chapters focus on undergraduates interested in agricultural marketing, sales and business careers. Sixty students belong to NMSU's chapter. The chapter was created five years ago and has won a national award each year.
The event in which NMSU's chapter outshone the rest this year was the outstanding chapter competition, based on an annual report.
The report includes information on chapter management, programs, membership, financial evaluations, communication objectives and career development. The chapter's future goals and activities also are included. Some of this year's activities included in the annual report were garage sales to fund the conference trip and a golf tournament for chapter scholarships. Alison Sudderth of El Paso was in charge of compiling the annual report.
The marketing competition is based on work done in a semester-long class called agribusiness market planning. Students research a product, develop a one-to three-year marketing plan and present it to the product's manufacturer.
This year, NMSU marketed a feed additive called Rumizyme. Rumizyme, a real product produced by Agri-Science, is designed to aid milk production in dairy cattle.
The students were responsible for market research, financial analysis, designing promotions and and presenting their marketing plan to the judges. "NAMA gives the students the opportunity to market themselves and gets them thinking about future careers," said Cynda Clary, NAMA adviser and assistant professor of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business.
The chapter's marketing plan and 20-minute oral presentation placed fourth overall, NMSU's highest placing ever. "I am proud of our students' consistently strong performance year after year," Clary said.
The chapter also received two innovative idea awards for chapter management and programs. The program award recognized NMSU's success in promoting the chapter's programs to students, Clary said.
NMSU's chapter president, Lucia Bond, a junior agricultural economics and agricultural business major, also was recognized with a $1,000 national NAMA scholarship.
More than 1,200 business professionals attended the national conference. "Our students volunteered their time to help the national NAMA office during the conference," Clary said. "This gave our students great exposure and contacts with the business professionals."
Students on the team said the best part of the competition was being complimented and recognized by other universities and professionals.
Students who presented NMSU's marketing project at the competition were Kirby Chacon, Avery Culberston, Caleb Kerr, Kris Massey, Ira Pearson, Raelynn Pirtle and Anna Serrano.
The teaching assistant for this year's group was Tomás Baca. Other NAMA members who attended the conference were Joey Bedoya, Lucia Bond, Shaundra Gardner, Teri Hall, Shacey Hatch, Adam Kusmak, Gabe Ludwig, Jodie Matejcek, Twilla Parker, T.J. Runyan, Lori Schlotfeldt, Derik Stucker and Alison Sudderth.
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