By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
The Imperial FFA Marketing Plan team of Shaylee Dorn, Jessica Hartman and Shaylee Heathers achieved a high as well as a high score at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky. last week. The team took fourth in the nation with its curb side recycling pickup service plan.
The original team that qualified for nationals included Dorn, Travis Luhrs and MaKenna Ketter. The latter two could not compete last week due to sports commitments in college.
“We were fourth place in the nation. We were hoping for a national championship. With that said, we have our head held high, but I want the community to know this, those girls gave a national champion performance down there,” said FFA Advisor Jeremy Vlasin.
“I’ve watched a lot of marketing plan teams on that finals stage and I knew when they walked off, that they had made a strong case to be the next national champions,” he said.
The team brainstormed and came up with the recycling plan.
“You have to look for the opportunity in the local community,” Vlasin said, “and add it on to businesses. They recognized the opportunity for that being out there.”
In the Marketing Plan competition students have to create a way to add value to an existing local business, Vlasin said. They write a six-page plan identifying and explaining the analysis of the market, business proposition, product attributes, distribution, sales, promotion and budget.
The team must also give a 15 minute presentation to judges and field questions, as well.
At the national level there are three rounds. From the preliminary round 18 teams are chosen to compete in the semi-final round, after which four teams are chosen to continue.
The only teams at national convention are the first place teams from each state.
“So when you go down there to compete, you know that you are not competing against people who felt like ‘trying out’ a competition,” Vlasin noted.
This is the third team Imperial FFA has had on the finals stage in the past two years. Last year the Marketing Plan and Parliamentary Procedure teams advanced to the finals stage.
Vlasin noted that the Imperial FFA team competed against teams from much larger schools.
“The fact is, we don’t have as large of a talent pool to choose from... our students know that, so the game plan is, we out work them. And that’s exactly what these three did,” he said.