WI NAMA shows mettle at student marketing competition

Wisconsin State Farmer
The UW-Madison NAMA team shows off their hardware, front row from left, Nicole Nehls, Ciera Ballmer, Taylre Wilke, Dakota Walker,  Emily Matzke, Mariah Martin, Allie Breunig, Kavya Rathi,  Josie Russo, and Nicole Pralle; middle row from left,
 Sara Griswold, Jordan Gaal, Emma Olstead,  Lauren Baker, Natalie Endres, Maryjane Behm, Jordan Ripp, Megan Lauber, McKenzie Rowley Sydney Endres, Kristen Broege, and Jessica Wendt; back row from left,
 Savannah Waller, Sarah Botham  (NAMA Advisor), Alison Wedig, Elizabeth Sarbacker, Molly Hendrickson, Sarah Krier, Nicholas Troiola, and Izak Walker. Not Pictured: Zackary Propst, Keisha Verbeten

MADISON – UW-Madison National Agri-Marketing Association (Wisconsin  NAMA) earned high honors at the 2017 National Agri--‐Marketing Association Student Competition receiving second place against 30 student teams from across the U.S. and Canada.

Over the past 13 years under faculty leadership by Sarah Botham, Wisconsin NAMA has earned eight Top Four finishes, including four Reserve Championships and in 2016 a National  Championship.

The competition —  hosted by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA — is part of its annual April conference that was held this year held in Dallas. Each school developed a full-scale marketing campaign for an agricultural product following the same principles used in the professional marketing and business world.

Thirty‐one students from a variety of majors within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) worked diligently throughout the 2016-17 academic year to develop the five-page executive summary, full scale marketing plan and competition presentation, said faculty advisor Sarah Botham.

Simply UpRooted, a ginseng-powered energy bar is the product for which this year’s marketing team developed. Wisconsin produces 95 percent of the nation's ginseng and the team chose to capitalize on the root’s health benefits and producer value in developing the plan.

The team marketed Simply UpRooted to the adventure travel audience as a simple-ingredient energy bar, powered by ginseng. Mariah Martin, a junior majoring in Life Sciences Communication at UW-Madison and marketing team leader, credits her team members for their commitment, dedication and creative ideas in earning this high honor.

“We had a phenomenal product and after all of our hard work, it was great to be in Dallas to compete. The best part was the amount of fun we had giving our presentation, answering questions and showing the judges all of our hard work,” Martin said.

Twenty-one students traveled to Dallas for the annual competition. Additionally, Martin took home the highest NAMA student honor, earning the Successful Farming/R.C. Ferguson Award and a $4000 scholarship. Marketing team member, Ciera Ballmer, received a $1,000 scholarship through the Agri-Business Educational Foundation, Inc.

NAMA is a professional student organization at UW-Madison. Involvement in the organization and its marketing team provides professional connections and real-world experiences in agri-marketing and business.

Wisconsin NAMA is housed in the Department of Life Sciences Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UW-Madison.