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Meeting Tomorrow’s Ag Marketers, Today

05.03.18Katie Ertmer

What was the most impactful thing you did in college to prepare for your career? For me, the answer is easy. It was competing in the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Student Marketing Competition with the University of Wisconsin-Madison student chapter. NAMA is the nation’s largest association for professionals and students in marketing and agribusiness.

Preparing for the competition gave me experience developing a marketing plan and pitching it to a mock board of directors. My days as a college kid are long gone, but I still use the skills I learned in student NAMA to serve my clients at Filament. And, I’m able to help create that experience for the next generation as a student liaison for our local NAMA chapter.

I recently represented Filament at the annual national NAMA conference and Best of NAMA awards ceremony. In addition to the great professional development programming and networking offered at the conference, I had the pleasure of supporting the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin-Platteville student NAMA chapters in the student marketing competition.

To compete, student teams find a new, differentiated product that adds value to the ag industry. They perform market research, brainstorm strategy and create a comprehensive, three-year marketing plan to launch their product. As a team, they submit a written plan and give oral presentations at the National Agri-Marketing Conference.

Students spend 6 months and countless hours developing their plans and presentations. For me, it was the best way to prepare for a career in agricultural marketing after college. In fact, I’m one of six Filament team members who participated in NAMA during college.

This year, both Badger NAMA-supported teams made the final round. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville team placed sixth, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison team was named national champion. It was an honor to be part of their winning journeys and grow my mentorship skills along the way.

Working with college students keeps me on my toes. They have a unique perspective on agri-marketing, and I learn from them as much as they learn from me. Whether it’s reviewing resumes, sharing feedback on their marketing plan or connecting students with other professionals, I am in awe of the bright students I get to know throughout the year. It’s even more rewarding to see them back at professional NAMA events after graduation.

I’m not the only Filamentarian supporting the next generation of the aggies. Check out Cassie’s adventures as a Dane County dairy bowl coach.

Katie Ertmer
Katie Ertmer