NAMA: AGvocating from the Ground Up  


Sara Hendrickson received the first ever Badger NAMA National Events Scholarship to attend the 2016 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 12-15 in Kansas City. She submitted this blog post as part of the scholarship criteria. See our blog for more information about the Badger NAMA National Events Scholarship.

“Surround yourself with the best people possible to be the best person you can possibly be.” The National Agri-Marketing Association’s commitment to professional and personal development allows people to live up to this standard set forth by Jim “The Oldest Rookie” Morris, the closing speaker at the 2016 Annual Conference. The best and brightest marketing professionals in the agriculture industry gathered in Kansas City April 12th-15th for a packed four-day agenda that included workshops, presentations, and discussions from best-selling authors, producers, and award-winning trainers.

Sara taking notes during a session at the 2016 Agri-Marketing Conference (photo courtesy of ZimmComm)
Sara and other attendees taking notes during a session at the 2016 Agri-Marketing Conference (photo courtesy of Chuck Zimmerman and ZimmComm)

Entrepreneur and author Joseph Grenny challenged us to rethink marketing as a social science: influencing people in terms of personal, social, and structural motivation versus ability. Andrew Davis, a strategist and marketing author, continued the lively and entertaining discussion on maximizing creativity by rethinking the customer experience. The journey to decisions is never a straight line and owning this process requires the creation of inspirational moments that urge people to act. Breakout sessions included topics like specialty agriculture marketing, bridging the generational gap of decision-makers, digital sociology, and many others.

The highlight for me as a sports enthusiast was hearing Jim Morris share his incredible story of overcoming obstacles and finding the motivation to pursue his dream of being a major league pitcher. His overwhelming positivity despite the seemingly insurmountable setbacks he encountered throughout his life was incredibly inspiring and I rushed home to re-watch “The Rookie” after hearing more about the backstory. I even had time for a little sightseeing before leaving town making the entire experience tremendously enjoyable.

I had the opportunity to help celebrate UW-Madison’s first place victory in the student marketing competition, network with dozens of exhibitors in the Connection Point, congratulate the Best of NAMA winners, and learn from influential marketing leaders thanks to the generosity of the Badger Chapter’s National Program Scholarship. As a recent addition to the Badger NAMA chapter board of directors as the UW-Madison Student Chapter Liaison, I look forward to continued involvement in the local and national levels as well as implementing the valuable information I gained while attending this year’s annual conference in my role as a Multimedia Communicator for Cooperative Resources International.

Have more to share from your experience at the 2016 Agri-Marketing Conference? Email us or post on the Badger NAMA Facebook page.

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