Illinois State University’s National Agri-Marketing Association (ISU NAMA) recently competed in the student competition at the Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. ISU NAMA worked all year to prepare a 20-minute marketing pitch for a new, innovative agricultural product.

“We start in the fall semester—brainstorming ideas and coming up with one great product to move forward with as we get closer to the marketing competition. In the spring semester, we start putting together the marketing plan and presentation for the product we chose,” said Steven Beisswenger, senior agriculture business major and ISU NAMA president.

This year, ISU NAMA chose to market an all-natural thrush treatment for horses. ISU NAMA placed among the top 12 universities in the nation by advancing to the semifinals of the competition.

In addition to its success in the marketing competition, ISU NAMA also took home some coveted chapter awards.

“The John Deere Signature Award definitely was great to win! Since it is a cumulative award that is based on a NAMA chapter’s performance for the entire year in many different aspects, you have to be a well-rounded chapter to win it,” Beisswenger said.

ISU NAMA also took home the First Place Outstanding Student Chapter Award for the fourth year in a row, Chapter Performance Awards for Career Development and Chapter Programs, and Rick Whitacre received the 2015 Outstanding NAMA Advisor Award.

“What makes Dr. Whitacre such an outstanding advisor is the time and effort that he puts into ISU NAMA that most members don’t see. As the president, I got to see how dedicated Dr. Whitacre was,” said Beisswenger.

During the school year, ISU NAMA is also very active on campus. They host events like “Ag Day on the Quad,” the agriculture internship and career fair, the annual Agriculture Department bowling tournament to support local food pantries, and many more. Because of activities like these, ISU NAMA was also honored by the Dean of Students as the ISU Large Student Organization of the Year at the Student Involvement Recognition Ceremony.