from The Umbrella, The SUNY Applied Learning Newsletter; Issue 6 for August 2018
In April 2018, 14 SUNY Cobleskill students along with their advisor, Dr. Sophie Winter of the Agriculture and Food Management Department, attended the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. For the fourth straight year, the College fielded a team of seven students in the NAMA Student Marketing Competition. The competition was a chance to demonstrate months of work regarding their product: Altitude Protein Crisps, which uses Spirulina algae as a key ingredient.
The SUNY Cobleskill team conducted market research for Altitude Protein Crisps based on a set of target “consumer profiles.” They designed and administered online and in-person surveys; this research was used to determine packaging size, flavor, and price point for Altitude. The team prepared a six-page executive summary of their marketing plan, and submitted it one month before the conference. At NAMA, they delivered their live, twenty-minute presentation, which included a slideshow. SUNY Cobleskill is known for using videos to introduce a lighter touch and this year was no exception, as the team included two student-produced “testimonial” videos about Altitude. The event ended with a five-minute period of questions from the judges.
Over the course of the conference, SUNY Cobleskill students were able to meet with hundreds of Agriculture Marketing professionals, as well as with members of 28 other student chapters from around the country, including from Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thomas J. Coene, Chair of the National Agri-Marketing Student Chapter at SUNY Cobleskill, observed: “For me, the best part of the conference is watching other student teams compete and hear their product ideas, as well as their tactics for marketing their exciting agriculture products. We are truly in the presence of our nation’s future agricultural leaders when we attend the conference each year.”