Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Marketing Team, puts together a full-scale marketing plan and competes at the NAMA Student Marketing Competition each April. This year, 17 students and an advisor, Sarah Botham, travelled to Kansas City to present their plan about Good Life, a ready-to-drink protein-enhanced thickened wine. Targeting people with swallowing disorders, the plan incorporates a competitive analysis, market analysis, financials and marketing strategies and tactics. This year, Wisconsin NAMA received a first place finish for their plan beating 29 other teams from around the United States and Canada. In 2017, the team placed 2nd and in 2016, Wisconsin NAMA placed 1st.
NAMA is a great student organization to learn hands-on, real world, marketing skills, while having fun and making new friends. Mariah Martin, a senior who is majoring in Life Sciences Communication, has been heavily involved with NAMA for four years. “Someone should join NAMA to gain their best friends, have a hands on marketing experience and laugh a lot. This group of people is one of the most hardworking, dedicated and diverse groups of people, ever. But we become one big family who always finds something to laugh about and are able to support each other in all of our endeavors. It is also a nationally recognized organization and is recognized and appreciated by many employers – putting you above many of your peers when searching for an internship or job,” said Mariah, “I’ve grown from a shy freshman who did NOT talk at all to leading the team as Marketing Team Coordinator my junior year and President my senior year. Plus, we have the most FABULOUS advisor who supports us, pushes us to do our best and is there for us, always.”
NAMA is also a chance for members to go on study tours to various agribusinesses. This year, the study tours the club went to were Wyttenbach Meats, Culver’s Corporate (we even got free custard!), Filament Marketing and Sassy Cow Creamery. At monthly meetings, members have the chance to listen to speakers and network with professionals. A favorite speaker from last year was Deputy Secretary of Tourism Sarah Klavas, who talked about how her department markets Wisconsin to tourists.
Members also have the chance to work at World Dairy Expo each year and gain new professional connections with employers. This event is NAMA’s largest fundraiser and helps fund the trip to the national competition each year. Al Yang, a senior studying Life Sciences Communication and a first-year member, truly enjoyed working at World Dairy Expo. “My favorite NAMA activity that I strongly recommend members to attend is volunteering at World Dairy Expo. The event is huge and you get to see cool technology that farmers around the world are using to take care of their cows. Overall, the event is a blast and I recommend anyone to attend,” said Al.
NAMA is a great organization to be involved in. Many seniors reflect back on their years in NAMA and are thankful for what they have learned because it will help them in their future careers. Elizabeth Sarbacker, a senior majoring in Dairy Science, will be working for Furst-McNess Company as a Dairy Marketing Specialist and is thankful for what she has learned in NAMA.
“NAMA has taught me so much about marketing, working with peers and even about myself,” said Elizabeth, “The skills I have learned and connections I have made through NAMA help me now and will continue to help me every day in my career and personal life.”
Interested in learning more about NAMA and how to join? Reach out to Emma Olstad, President (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brock Sullivan, VP of Membership (email@example.com) for more information!