NAMA Team Takes 3rd at National Competition

By Nellie Hill
From the K-State Collegian

After a year of preparation and practice, the final placing of the National Agri-Marketing Association Student Marketing Competition was announced to a packed hall on April 15.

This year, the annual Agri-Marketing Conference, hosted by NAMA professionals, was held April 13-15 in Kansas City, Mo. The K-State NAMA team placed 3rd overall in the competition of the 30 top agricultural universities in the country, including Ohio State University and Texas A&M, both of which K-State placed ahead of in the final round.

For the competition, each team develops an agricultural product and creates a marketing plan that establishes clear need, target market, financials, public relations, as well as monitoring and measurement of product success. This is presented in a written executive summary and a formal presentation to judges at the conference.

K-State’s product this year was VitaGold, a power supplement for bees that halts Colony Collapse Disorder. Each year, 32 percent of the United States bee population dies due to CCD, costing the agricultural industry $15 billion annually, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

VitaGold isolates, treats and prevents the disease Nosema in bees, thus ending colony destruction.

After arriving at the Agri-Marketing Conference, universities are split into one of five heats, each of which is composed of six teams. The top two from the round move on to semi-finals to compete against three other teams. To move onto the final round, teams must be in the top two of their semi-final heat. Judges for each round are leaders in agricultural business and communications.

During each round, the team makes a presentation on their marketing plan to the judges with the challenge to establish need, proper market analysis, strategy, action plan, and follow-up monitoring and measurement to product launch.

“This team was successful because of talent, hard work, practice and team chemistry,” said David Lehman, team advisor and marketing instructor. “We had a diverse team of talented students who worked hard to be one of the best agri-marketing teams in the nation.”

Students and professionals alike gain valuable contacts, experience, and skills through involvement in NAMA.

“(NAMA) provides leadership, focus, business relationships and professional improvement,” said Barry E. Nelson, public relations manager for the John Deere Ag Marketing Center.

NAMA at K-State welcome students from all colleges. Laura Nigro, senior in marketing and team member, encourages students to get involved.

“It gives your real life experience building a business plan and working with people from diverse backgrounds. Plus, it’s great for networking,” Nigro said.

“K-State students should get involved in NAMA to learn how to create a marketing plan, apply what they have learned in many different classes to a real-world marketing situation and have a positive experience working as part of a team,” Lehman said. “Also, students have a great opportunity for networking with professional NAMA members to learn about careers and make connections that will help them get internships and jobs after graduation.”

Such a successful year has established a momentum that the team will use to fuel next year’s competition preparation. Lehman has nothing but a positive attitude about the team and its future.

“This is our best placing since winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007,” Lehman said. “I want us to win the championship again next year.”


One response to “NAMA Team Takes 3rd at National Competition

  1. Phyllis & Alan Linnebur September 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Congratulations to the Kansas State NAMA team on their invention of VitaGold! This is the first I’ve heard of it but it should have been front page news here in California.

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