May 5, 2017

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

Cal Poly Students Win National Marketing Competition

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Team won first place at this year’s student marketing competition hosted by the National Agri-Marketing Association.

Cal Poly — which has taken first place three times in the last four years — competed against 28 other schools from the U.S. and Canada for the championship title April 26-27 in Dallas. The top six marketing teams in winning order were: Cal Poly, University of Wisconsin – Madison, North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Ohio State University.

Cal Poly’s team included: James Broaddus, an agricultural communication sophomore from Davis; Blair Brookes, an agribusiness senior from Kelseyville; Molly Gilmartin, an agribusiness senior from Valencia; Eleanor Harlan, an agribusiness senior from Woodland; Jenna Nichol, an agribusiness junior from Cottonwood; and Shane Gillard, an agribusiness senior from Atwater.

Agribusiness Professor Lindsey Higgins coached the team. The competition is part of the National Agri-Marketing Association’s annual conference and trade show.

The students developed a marketing strategy for creating a consumer product using grape pomace left over from the wine-making process. The team began working on the project in November by consulting with Sonoma-based WholeVine to develop the product and spent the last six months conducting market research, crafting a marketing strategy, writing a marketing plan and developing a presentation.

They created Rise, a line of baking mix products that offer added protein, fiber, and antioxidants compared to traditional competitors, with significantly lower levels of sugar. The team crafted a complete strategy toward launching the product into the retail market and presented a five-page written executive summary and a 20-minute presentation to pitch the marketing strategy.

“The team reached out to a wide network of industry contacts and Cal Poly alumni to conduct research and get feedback on their plan,” Higgins said. “We are grateful for the support that continues to provide our students first-hand exposure to real-time industry issues.”

About NAMA

A nationwide organization, the National Agri-Marketing Association consists of agri-marketing professionals. Student NAMA chapters, with more than 1,300 members at leading universities and colleges, comprise an important part of NAMA’s membership. For more information,

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.

From left: Professor Lindsey Higgins and students James Broaddus, Caitlin Stevenson, Blair Brookes, Jenna Nichol, Molly Gilmartin, Eleanor Harlan and Shane Gillard.


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