Agribusiness Club wins in Chicago
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 23:10
USU’s Agribusiness Club is back in Logan after attending a competition in Chicago where they took first place, winning a plaque and $500 for the club.
The USU Agribusiness Club started several years ago, said Trevor Knudsen, club president and team member for the competition.
The club has participated in competitions in cities like Fresno, Cal., Portland, Ore. and San Juan, Puerto Rico. They have done well in each of these competitions, placing in the top three each time and taking first place in Chicago.
The club also participates in farm tours and helped sponsor the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's assistant to USU.
“We have about 15 members, mostly agribusiness majors, but we want to grow and would love to have anyone participate no matter what their field of study is,” said Knudsen. “We meet once a month or so as a club, and if anyone wants to join or get more information, they are more than welcome to contact me.”
Normally, the competition is a food marketing competition, where the team develops a marketing plan for a particular food product, said Dr. Kynda Curtis, associate professor and extension specialist in the department of applied economics.
“This year, the marketing plan was aimed at recruiting employees for a major commodity company,” Curtis said. “The students did a survey of College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences students before leaving for Chicago, and I believe this contributed to their success. They effectively illustrated the cost savings in recruitment which could be met by providing an improved benefits and years of service retention package, which also helped them win.”
“All of the teams that signed up to go were presented with the same challenge — how to retain more Gen Y graduates in the Chicago Meat Authority workforce — in the morning on Saturday,” Knudsen said. “We were then given about seven hours to do research and come up with a plan that we thought would help the company out. We all presented before two panels of judges on Saturday night, and the top three teams presented in front of representatives of the company on Sunday morning.”
Everyone on the team enjoyed the trip and had a great experience, enjoying Chicago and some deep dish pizza. The team also enjoyed seeing some sites in Chicago including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where they trade agriculture commodities and futures.
“It was really nice to get out of the classroom and apply some of the things that we have been learning,” said Trevor Nielson, of the team members that competed. “I did feel a little intimidated by all the big name ag schools like Texas A&M and Cal Poly, but it turned out to be a really good experience. We were able to meet some good connections with students from these other schools and we have a good time.”
“A special thanks goes out to USU and the Applied Economics Program for funding the trip and to our advisor Dr. Curtis who has helped tirelessly to make the arrangements and prepare us for the competition,” said Elliott Dennis, one of the team members who competed.