The NAMA team in the Auburn University College of Agriculture, which was designed to help students practice managerial, marketing and leadership skills, received $10,000 in crucial funding on Friday, Aug. 28, from Alabama Farm Credit.
The National Agri-Marketing Association, or NAMA, is the nation’s largest association for professionals in agribusiness and marketing. The College of Agriculture had NAMA student teams in the past and brought it back last year in an effort to provide meaningful opportunities for students to practice their managerial and marketing skills and demonstrate leadership abilities. The NAMA student team at Auburn participates in the Student Chapter Marketing Competition at the annual National Agri-Marketing Conference.
The annual NAMA Student Chapter Marketing Competition challenges future agribusiness leaders to work as a team to prepare and present a total marketing plan for an agricultural product or service, from conceptualization through execution. Competing students spend two semesters in a two-credit course under Dyce’s instruction and supervision, researching and preparing a marketing plan for the product or service. Ultimately, the plan will be judged by agri-marketing professionals in its effectiveness to potentially generate sales, to increase market share, and to build awareness among influential purchasers.
By preparing and competing in this competition, students get to engage in an exercise that challenges them and prepares them for the industry. The process yields innovative future agribusiness leaders with firsthand knowledge of market needs and requirements before they enter the workforce.
“The Auburn chapter of NAMA serves an important role both for faculty and students,” said Paul Dyce, assistant professor in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Animal Sciences, who leads the Auburn NAMA student chapter. “As a faculty member whose project was developed by the NAMA members, it allowed me to think critically on potential products produced from our experimental results. It provided the students the invaluable opportunity to test their agriculture marketing skills in a real-world scenario. Students were also able to expand their contact network and enhance their communication skills through their participation in the annual NAMA conference.
“The funding provided by Alabama Farm Credit is critical to providing this valuable learning opportunity to students.”
Alabama Farm Credit has committed to support the Auburn NAMA team for the next three years, which will help offset annual costs for the student team to travel to the competition, pay registration fees and more.
“Alabama Farm Credit is committed to ensuring agriculture has a reliable partner now and for future generations,” said President and CEO Mel Koller. “Part of ensuring the future of agriculture is providing our youth who are involved in the Ag vocation the resources they need to perform at the highest level. We are proud to be the primary sponsor for Auburn University’s NAMA team, which provides agriculture students a chance to create business plans and present those plans in competition with other universities. This program provides foundational exposure for these students to pursue their dream of starting their own operation one day. Together we grow, and this is another opportunity to see our ag community in Alabama grow.”